It was the summer of 2010. I was visiting from Atlanta in my home town of Jacksonville Beach, FL with my family. A friend, Pj who now owns Pila-te-Dah in Palm Valley, FL, had recently moved back from California and was offering Pilates sessions on her Reformer. As a Personal Trainer and Fitness Teacher, I knew I wanted to try it out. Pj was teaching in a tiny room in the back of a fitness center at that time. I remember two things from the session. She kept telling me to press my ribs down. I had done some Pilates Mat work videos a few years prior to this (these were the Jennifer Kries Gaya videos), but I could not remember anyone ever telling me to keep my ribs down before.
Have you ever heard that people only retain 17% of what you teach them? Well, I guess I am a great example of this, because that is the only instruction that I remember her giving me on that day. I also remember feet in straps being the most fun part of the workout and this is a very common opinion of new Pilates practitioners. When I sat in my car after the session, my spine felt so decompressed that it seemed the crown of my head would touch the roof of the car! It was very clear to me that Pilates was a transformational movement practice and it was also clear at the time that I liked Pilates on the Reformer better that I liked the Mat work (although this opionion would change over the years). Upon arriving home in Atlanta, I immediately began looking for a Pilates Teacher Training program in the area. The rest is history!