Pilates Has Heart

January 12, 2017
by Hilary Opheim
Pilates Has Heart Second Annual Mat Class to raise funds in honor of Terri Dome.
Texas Heart Institute partners with WAP to raise awareness.
Anyone who knew Terri Dome left with a better heart. It’s ironic that her heart was too weak to support her greatness. At the young age of 13, Terri was diagnosed with non- Hodgkin's lymphoma. After a year and a half of radiation and chemotherapy, her cancer went into remission. At 28 years old, she started fainting and discovered that the chemo and radiation had damaged her heart and lungs. After years of pacemakers, Terri underwent a heart transplant on February 14, 2009. Terri called this her Heart Birthday. As soon as her doctors gave her the thumbs up to work out, she found her way to WAPilates.
Hilary teaching Terri at WAPilates
I still remember that phone call from Terri asking, "what exactly is Pilates?" Can I do this with my recovery from a heart transplant? Am I strong enough? She was afraid she would be limited in her ability. She agreed to give it a try, and my life, those of the WAP instructors, and many, many clients was forever changed.
Terri was a bright light. No matter what was happening with her body, the pain she was having or how she felt, she made all those around her smile and laugh. She didn’t want anyone to know her as the “sick girl.” Many didn’t know about her heart transplant until she agreed to do a piece for our newsletter.
Terri was a true fixture in our studio. She had “her” chair and after her workout she would sit in her chair, iPhone in her hand playing Words with Friends or checking out movie times so she could hit the theatre. Her Friday Pilates sessions were her favorite. My personal workout with Kim, who was also Terri’s instructor, was right after her workout. It was noon on Friday and usually a quiet time so it would be just the 3 of us in the studio.
She would watch when we got to advanced work, looking up from her iPhone and saying with all seriousness, “Oh yea, I do that!” as if that was no big deal. She would sprinkle all the clients' workouts with her contagious laugh and commentary. They would leave the studio with more than a healthier physical body. They left with a more whole heart.
Terri was quiet in what she did for others. She volunteered and would visit kids dealing with the cancer she had. She would sit and talk to them about the job she had at Lucas Film. She talked with them about Star Wars and all the behind scenes, made them laugh, and she would listen as they shared their feelings and fears. She knew what they were going through and was able to share that with them. She would also give her time to the Texas Heart Institute and speak on her experience to help others.
Terri became more than a client to many of us. To me she was one of my best friends; she was a rare find in that department. If you were lucky enough to know Terri and have her in your circle, then you had a friend who would back you to the end, fight for you, and unconditionally love you. That is a gift that she had like no other.
1st Annual Pilates Has Heart Mat Class
On July 1, 2014 we lost Terri. It took a good year for the studio, clients, and instructors, to come to terms with her no longer being in our world. Her chair seemed so empty and the Friday afternoon was silent. In late 2015, as my client Carla and I were starting her session I told her, “ I want to do something to honor Terri, to continue her work and to keep her memory alive.” That is how Pilates has Heart was born.
We decided to combine her love of Pilates and WAP . Terri always said that Pilates and WAP saved her life. So, our first annual event was held on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2016, her Heart Birthday. Those who knew and loved Terri came together for a Mat class, and in a true grass roots way raised over $3,000 for the Texas Heart Institute. Her husband Steve Dome spoke for the first time about Terri, and many gave donations and helped spread the word, Pilates Anytime being one of them.
1st Annual Pilates Has Heart Mat Class
On Sunday, February 12, 2017, Pilates has Heart will hold it’s second annual Mat class at Silver Street Studios. This year, the goal is to reach $15,000, and 100% of the proceeds will again go to the Texas Heart Institute in honor of Terri Dome. This year we are excited that Texas Heart Institute is partnering with us to raise awareness and to be a part of this event. Pilates Nerd has donated some wonderful shirts that will be sold and all the proceeds go to the Texas Heart Institute and again Pilates Anytime and the Pilates Method Alliance have shown their support by helping to spread the word.
1st Annual Pilates Has Heart Mat Class
Keri Sprung, with Texas Heart Institute, knew Terri Dome, and I think her words speak to the heart of the event: “Terri’s beautiful heart and mind continue to inspire our research and education, and we are deeply honored to be a part of this event celebrating her unwavering courage and dedication to helping others.”
Thank you to Pilates Anytime, Pilates Method Alliance, Pilates Nerd, and Good Citizen LA for being with us from the beginning. You are in our hearts!

Hilary Opheim

Hilary trained with John Gossett in Houston, Texas. She opened up WAP in January of 2005 and has continued her journey of learning and practicing Pilates as a teacher and as a student. She has studied with many distinguished instructors and enjoys the continuing journey of Pilates and the work that Joseph Pilates created.


No comments yet. Be the first!

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

"Don't force it. Allow your body to adapt."

Reformer Workout
with Sally Anderson

Try Pilates Anytime Free

Over 2,700 Pilates videos for beginners, experts, and teachers