One thing we have found is that wellness goes so much deeper than just exercise and nutrition. One major part of the wellness factor is a sense of belonging and a strong feeling of community. When we feel as if we belong and that we have a tribe of like-minded people looking after us, we feel more connected and happier. Not surprisingly, these connections hold us accountable, which, in many cases, help us to stick with a routine.
Quality and lasting relationships are a few of the things that we have found to be truly organic and begin in both of our studios. The friendships that blossom from our classes inspire us, as instructors to continually improve, and make our job so much fun. These clients walk into our studio with a curiosity about Pilates and how it might be able to help their physical wellbeing. So many times, we have seen these clients connect to other clients, become lifelong friends with both their instructors and other clients – helping with more than just the physical but their overall wellbeing.
Our instructors teach with so much heart and that passion. That love is felt by our clients. We have so many stories about clients who were once new to the studio, who got to know other participants in their classes and have now formed incredibly strong, lifelong friendships. These friendships span to instructors as well.
Marilee Fisher first started coming to Pilates in East about 5 years ago. She had previously done Pilates at another local gym, but when that closed, she followed her instructors to Pilates in East. The friendships that she has developed have grown deep – and now, she and her Pilates tribe see each other 1-2 times a week in class. They share the joy of their accomplishments, the challenges/frustrations that come with getting stronger and pushing themselves outside of their comfort zones.
Marilee says, “Now some of my closest friends are those I have met in reformer class. We like to walk around Reeds Lake, go for a hike, and just grab lunch or a cocktail.”
These friendships also help with accountability. ” If I have a class on my calendar and my girls are expecting me, I am there. If I can’t make a regularly scheduled class, it’s also nice to know others in classes at different times. I am always comfortable walking into any class at Pilates in East/Ada because I know I have friends there (some I just haven’t met yet)”
Deborah began taking private sessions with Kerstyn when Pilates in Ada first opened. She felt that the privates the private reformer sessions gave her a great foundation for jumping into group classes. Recently retired, Deborah has upped her class attendance to twice a week and finds this to be her “me” time. Her time to take care of herself but also connect with others now that she’s no longer reporting to an office daily.
Karen recently relocated from the east side of the state to Grand Rapids. She found Pilates in Ada after falling in love with Pilates in her previous hometown. She and Deborah ended up in the same class and realized their lives had so many parallels – including a love for Pilates. They now both attend 2 classes a week and often make it a social outing – grabbing coffee or breakfast afterwards.
These are just a couple examples of how strangers become friends after finding Pilates in East and Ada. We are so thrilled to watch the hundreds of friendships bloom each year in our studios. Not only is it refreshing to see a close friend in class, but the accountability that these friendships create is another bonus to practicing Pilates.
Find your community, find what makes you feel good. Find what makes you feel strong, beautiful and belong.