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1485 Civic Ct., #1460
Concord, CA 94520

Client of the Month: Lena C.

Lena is ninety-four years young.  She is Aspire's oldest client and is a jaw-dropping inspiration to people a third of her age. Consistently cheery, energetic, and positive, her strength and balance have dramatically increased in the past year.  She's the matriarch of a beautiful family who has made Pilates a part of their lives.  We are honored to teach two of her grandchildren who love the challenge of physical training: Shannon, an energetic, talented 17 year old dancer and Curtis, a hard working, self described "sports fanatic".  We also love working with Loretta: Lena's strong, supportive, and compassionate daughter. This is three generations at Aspire, and we're having so much fun!

 

lenaLena began at Aspire a year ago with back, knee and shoulder pain.   She had been taking John Muir's balancing class for several years, so she was excited to "up" her level of fitness by adding Pilates to her lifestyle.  I quickly saw that Lena absolutely embraces life and never lets discomfort in her body slow her down. "There's no need to complain and sit around being a grouchy old lady,"  Says Lena. " It's better to get out and do things".  We started slowly and carefully, beginning by strengthening the muscles that would decrease her joint pain and help prevent falls.   After a few weeks, her pain level decreased as her strength, flexibility and balance increased.  She soon began exclaiming, "I tell you, I have no pain!"    

 

After six months at Aspire, Lena added exercising with a neighborhood personal trainer to her fitness regimen.  Now working out four days a week with Pilates, Balancing Class, Personal Training, and doing homework with resistance bands, she's made a fantastic improvement with her strength, balance and comfort in her body.   She feels strong and accomplished.

 

 

lena-2All my clients know that my ex-professional dancer self suffers greatly when teaching at 9:00am.   As I whimper and drag myself out of bed to my shrieking alarm, my misery quickly turns to a smile when I realize that it's a "Lena morning."  Simply put, this walking ball of joy is the best part of my week.  Her huge smile, firm hugs, and exuberance for life awe and inspire me.  

 

Lots of love, Lena.  To many more beautiful moments of hugs, smiles, and outrageously silly Conga line dances! 

 

 

 

 


Client of the Month: Joanne A.

Joanne exudes kindness and an exuberant joy. Like being around a bright light, she is genuinely one of the sweetest people that I have ever met.

 

I started working with Joanne seven years ago while volunteering at the Wellness Community (now called the Cancer Support Community) in Walnut Creek.  This incredible organization, which supports folks undergoing cancer treatment, attracts incredible people like Joanne. Having survived deadly ovarian cancer, she was giving assistance and providing inspiration to those needing her enthusiasm to give them hope.    

 

joanneMickyEars"When you deal with people who may be dying, you realize how important life is, even if you never realized it before.  I needed to make my life count."  

 

Realizing that she had more living to do, Joanne created a "bucket list".  As she began checking things off this list, she was led to Pilates.    As a new student at Aspire, we started working slowly and carefully to build her strength, flexibility and balance, as well as rebuilding some of the body mechanics that were causing her pain.  A few months into training, she had a revelation.  "The strength and confidence that you gain from Pilates changes your life.  I gained a lot of strength in my body, but I also found abilities that I never knew that I was capable of."

 

Although she was never very active before her illness, Joanne has now walked a three-day fundraiser and has walked/run eight half marathons to raise money for cancer organizations.  While participating in these races, Joanne notices that most of the women experience a lot of soreness and pain.  But Joanne travels with her Pilates props and her pain prevention exercises and marvels,  "I can't believe that nothing hurts!"   

 

Joanne serves as an inspiration for other runners during these difficult races, and often encourages exhausted participants younger than she.  "People tell me that they can't finish the race.   I tell them, 'That's not true. I'm old, I've had cancer and I'm doing this. Just keep going, you can do this.'"  Even at her advancing age, she sees no reason to stop walking/ running in these races that bring her joy and help raise funds for worthy causes.  

 

As Joanne's proud Pilates teacher, I sometimes catch myself giggling in admiration while watching her on the Reformer.  This 66 year old Pilatista has near perfect form, beautiful grace, and works out with heavier weights than I do.  Her new-found fluidity, strength and great body mechanics are a mind-boggling testament to the power of seven years of two weekly Pilates classes.

 

With Joanne's new lease on life, she also loves making children happy at her fun job at The Disney Store.  She passionately knits beautiful scarves and bakes heaps of delicious, sweet treats (of which I benefit from greatly, along with her close relationship to Disney's Princess Tiana).  From first-hand experience, people around Joanne feel supported, loved, and showered with sunshine. "Typewriter Hips", or not (an exercise that she'd gladly skip), Aspire lights up when she walks through the front door. She brings a kindness and warmth to every class. 

 

Congratulations, Joanne!  To many more half marathons (wearing Micky Mouse ears) while you race for the cure!


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