For years Wayne watched students leave my studio feeling better, taller, and with a lighter step. He saw their bodies transform. He even watched as I trained our son and his fellow athletes, helping them perform at their best. He saw actors and professional singers, athletes, and dancers study and improve, grow and change, and yet he didn’t want to train.
This makes it appear as if it is his fault, well it wasn’t. It was mine. Many years prior I gave him a lesson. He remembers it was morning and I remember it was night (I guess you can see already what ONE issue is!). Anyways, he gets down on the Reformer and all I can see is every issue of our marriage, most marriages, but definitely our marriage. He wasn’t listening, he didn’t hear me, he couldn’t take direction from me, he wanted to do it his way, and did I mention he didn’t listen? Well, let’s say it was the worlds’ shortest lesson. It ended with me yelling at him while he stormed out of the studio saying things I hoped the kids didn’t hear.
Fast forward 20+ years, and I hear him groan as he gets out of bed. Moan as he bends over and sounds like a 70-year old at the age of 50 as he gets off the floor. Wayne is an active man! Plays racquetball a few times a week, lifts three to four days a week, and golfs as much as he possibly can. He cycles 20 miles a day and is trim and athletic in appearance. He was happy doing what he was doing but didn’t know he could feel better, stand taller, and live with greater ease.
I joke and say it took 31 years of marriage and a pandemic to get him in the studio, but this is the truth. The gyms were closed and he wasn’t golfing. All he was doing was cycling, a lot. I asked him if he wanted to come to my gym but on one condition. He did the method as the method was supposed to be done, 30 lessons in 10 weeks. I also told him I needed to film his lessons. I wanted this for many reasons, one was to prove that the method as a method worked, and the second, I figured if we were being filmed we would behave, sort of.
I began as I always do. I looked at the body before me and followed what my mentor, Romana always stressed,
"Teach the first seven exercises on the Mat and use the apparatus to build these exercises. Slowly add new exercises."
This is gospel to me.
I began by focusing on the Hundred. The Hundred is the foundation of the method and every exercise builds off of it. By breaking down the skills of the Hundred into digestible pieces his work steadily improved. What he could do opened the doors to develop what he couldn’t do. We began with the focus on the Powerhouse and built the upper stomach, followed by the lower stomach. His concentration was amazing and this surprised me. Next, we focused on the box and control of each skill developed.
Gradually we brought the focus to the precision of skills and added breath and fluidity. We built each new skill this way.
His focus made it easy for him to
Working together in the studio has totally changed our relationship. We both have increased respect for each other. There is something so beautiful to see the man you love become free from pain, achieve movement he never thought possible, and that you were able to give this to him. One of my favorite moments was the day that he lifted the long pole over his head and all the way behind him. He was like a little boy and I got a glimpse into a youthful and joyful Wayne that I had never seen.
I was able to watch him Return to Life and in turn Pilates Returned Life back to us.