30 Days of Pilates

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 progress and he understood that it was more important to do the exercise correctly than to just “do” a move. He was open to understanding how these movement patterns and habits had an effect on his well being and his quality of life.

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.

Kathryn Ross-Nash
About the Author

Kathryn Ross-Nash

Kathryn began her Pilates training in 1982 and has had the privilege to study with First Generation teachers Romana Kryzanowska, Kathy Grant, Sari Mejia Santo, Jay Grimes, and Edwina Fontaine. Known throughout the industry for her purity and devotion to the work, Kathryn’s client list spans the entertainment industry.


1 person likes this.
Thank you SOOO much for sharing your experience Kathi! 
My first and only session with my husband lasted 15 minutes maybe....So there is hope=-)
1 person likes this.
Thank you, Kathy! I remember meeting you in Allendale years ago. You met my man who was watching.  The story you describe about your husband  is so similar to ours, but we are not at the level yet when he finally realizes that he needs Pilates. He was mentioning recently, that maybe he should start doing it with me. Maybe it will happen one day.  Have a wonderful day! Natallia
Anna and Natallia! Please keep me posted! maybe watch the interview together - hearing Wayne words may help!
Danielle A. Hendricks
This is really inspiring! Thank you for your open and honest account of your experiences. I really want to help my partner counterbalance his pain and imbalances, but it is difficult to convince him (despite the fact he thinks I'm brilliant when I'm working with my clients), that I really SEE some concerning issues with his habitual movement and postural patterning.
1 person likes this.
Hi, Kathryn.  What a great story.  I just found the Pilates Anytime app, downloaded it, and started doing your mat classes this week.  I did Pilates about 10 years ago and decided now was a great time to revisit it and get back in shape.  Your detailed instructions are so very helpful to me.  I did your Foundational Mat 1 video last night, and I swear I can feel every muscle in my back and my core today (in a good way).  I'm going to progress through your videos over the next 10 weeks and see where it takes me.  I'm grateful to have found this resource.  Thank you for what you do!
Congratulations!  You are a beautiful person and you make a beautiful couple.  I too have enjoyed sharing Pilates with my husband.  I value his perspective when it comes to how a male would process/interpret my sessions.  Let's just say her doesn't hold back with his insight.  We enjoy going into my studio a few times a month.  We work out simultaneously with him listening to my cues.  Thank you for sharing.  Be well.  
Martha T
Loved this!
Beautiful article, I teared up at the end.

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