A life story

Hello everyone. I'm Gemma the Pilates instructor at True Balance.

Pilates has been a part of my life for a long time but I would never have called myself a Pilates fanatic. When I was younger I suffered with bad back pain and unlucky me I was told as a teenager that I had osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia...not nice to hear in my early teens. After years of unsuccessful physio I finally had a breakthrough. I didn't know it at the time but my new physiotherapist designed me a routine based on Pilates exercises and within weeks I noticed a huge difference. After years of physio I did a few months of this new routine and I was discharged from the hospital! Amazing. So as time went on I dipped in and out of Pilates, doing my routine at home and going to the odd class when I had the time but I never made it a big part of my life.

Then after having my baby my body had a whole new challenge to face. Carrying my little one around all day (he's very cuddly) caused my shoulders to pull forward and my lovely posture slowly started to disappear. Carrying him in his baby carrier for hours on end demanded a lot from my back. Luckily I found a local Pilates class aimed at post natal women. It helped me to get my strength back and made me think about my posture. The class got me out of the house when it was so much effort to go anywhere with a baby and it helped my body to adjust to the new challenges of motherhood.

And so the dream of becoming a Pilates instructor began. I did my research and signed up for a course. The first time I had to attend a training session was awful! It was the first time I had left my son and I was so anxious but I knew it would be worth it. And it was.

Now I have completed my Level 3 Diploma in Mat Pilates as well as modules in pre and post natal Pilates and Pilates for common orthopaedic conditions. I believe that Pilates is a way to help your body to work the way it should and in my classes it is my strong belief that every exercise should be tailored to the individual. If something is too hard don't do it. Do the exercise properly at a lower level and build yourself up. It's about being patient with your body as it corrects imbalances develops strength and increases in flexibility. Pilates is great for people from all walks of life including as part of rehabilitation after an injury or illness, as a way to strengthen your body after pregnancy, for elite athletes or more commonly for your average Joe who wants to give themselves the gift of a well functioning body.

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