My Fitness Journey – Mat Pilates Changed My Life

Hi friends! Happy New Year, and welcome to 2022!! It’s been a minute and I’ve been insanely busy, but I’m back! Last year, I talked about where I was in my personal fitness journey and was very candid about my body image. In that blog post, I talked about my history and the mindset shifts that helped me regain confidence and overcome the plateaus that hindered my progress. Today, I’m celebrating my success and following up on where I am with my Pilates Instructor certification. Well, to start, I’m officially a certified Mat Pilates Instructor and am already teaching at inBalance Studios! Let’s get into that process, shall we?

The program was incredibly easy and at my own pace. Hope Pedraza, owner and lead instructor at inBalance Studios, makes it so easy for you by hosting weekly calls for Q&A and helping you throughout the process. The 100-hour program is broken down into 9 modules and is designed to provide a fundamental basis and understanding of anatomy as well as the scientific reasoning behind the movements in order to establish the foundation needed to develop creative, fluid, and comprehensive classes for all levels and all styles of classes from an advanced athletic practice to a rehabilitative session and everything in between. When you feel ready (I took my sweet time) then you take the written exam. I took notes and studied using all of the provided study materials and guides. The test is timed, but it’s online and honestly very easy if you take the time to properly study before the exam, it’s fairly easy. Then comes the practice hours.

I had to psych myself into it. For some reason, I was paralyzed with fear that I wasn’t able to get it all right. First, I practiced at home in front of the mirror, calling out the cues, setting up the proper form, explaining the variations and modifications for each move, but when it came to setting up my practice hours for virtual or in-person sessions, I froze. It was a feeling I wasn’t familiar with. For someone who is a subject matter expert and public speaker for a living, this was an uncharted territory with fitness. Sure, I knew all the moves as a participant and member, but when it came to leading a class, cueing the moves, ensuring everyone’s safety while demonstrating the moves, and controlling my own breath, that was a different story.

I received a text from the inBalance studio manager asking me what days/times will work for me to put in my practice hours. I knew what she was doing and it was the exact push I needed to just go for it. And so I did! I started teaching my practice hours and with the support of the inBalance team and my best friend, I summed up the courage to teach in front of people and test out to receive my certification. Today, I teach at both locations (Northwest Babcock and Alamo Ranch).

Never in a million years did I ever think to become a fitness instructor. I always thought that you had to be a certain body type, have a six-pack, and just be the absolute picture of nothing but the perfect specimen to teach fitness classes. Shifting my perspective and sharing my journey with my classes made me more relatable, which was unbelievably refreshing. Through this process, I’ve become more aware of the miracles that our bodies are. I learned that movement, even more so than the concept of fitness, is crucial to our physical and mental health. I’m so grateful to be able to lead and inspire others in their own journeys as I continue to navigate my own. I’m so grateful to my wonderful mentors Hope Pedraza, Monica Zapata, Aubrey Jaklich, and all the instructors at inBalance Studios for their support throughout this process. Thank you to one of my best friends in the world, Marlena, who never misses a class and is showing actual proof that movement is an intrinsical part of your health & wellness. And I can’t forget my wonderful, supportive husband, who’s my guinea pig while I practice and test out routines and flows before sharing with my weekly classes. I still have a long way to go, but I have such an unwavering support system and I know that this is only the beginning!

Photgraphy Credits:

Photography by Carol Hernandez

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