We've Closed Our Concord Space. 

Tropical Pilates Retreat - March 9-16th!

Our Website Wil Soon Be Modified to Reflect Our New Direction

Lisa T. -February 2010 Client of the Month


When Lisa walked into the studio, she was in horrible pain and without much hope that she could feel better. She was on a medical leave of absence from work and spent much of her time icing her back. Before being injured, she was a vibrant elementary school teacher and avid world traveler.

 "A year and a half ago, I slipped at work and slipped a disc at the same time. I underwent four months of physical therapy, chiropractic appointments and two epidurals. Doctors were telling me that the pain was 'normal' and I'd probably be in pain for the rest of my life. My daily activities had become excruciating. I was so badly injured that walking was painful. After trying yoga, I started Pilates."


When Lisa started working at Aspire, we started out slowly. "The first couple of weeks in private sessions, we worked on breathing exercises to get my core muscles to kick in. It doesn't sound like much, but I was in pain and too weak for anything else." These basic exercises gave Lisa a solid sense of body awareness, began strengthening her deep core muscles, and helped to stabilize her spine. In order to minimize her pain, we also suggested changes in how Lisa approached her daily activities, such as how to sit while grading papers and positions in which to sleep, which began to make an impact on how she felt.


Prior to beginning Pilates at Aspire, Lisa had little success relieving her pain or strengthening her body. But with this new and careful "inside out" Pilates approach, she gained strength, stability, improved body mechanics and endurance. She worked very hard throughout the summer, integrating the new techniques into her life. Then just before school started, a dramatic announcement came from her doctor: Lisa was cleared to return to work! "When I went back to work, I was SO HAPPY, but so nervous that I was going to hurt myself again or be back in pain. Thankfully, that hasn't happened."


Lisa continues to get stronger and stronger. After 18 months of not being able to workout or exercise, she still surprises herself that she is now able to spend an hour on the Elliptical. "Now I really understand what it means to use my core and am always surprised that now my stomach and legs are doing most of the work for me instead of my back."


"At my last appointment, the doctor said that my injury was considered 'stationary' and that I was working at 90%. Tonya has made it her personal challenge to help get me back to 100%." Will Lisa ever be back to 100%? Only time will tell. But through her hard work and positive attitude, Lisa has already gone far beyond what she or her doctors had dared to imagine. With less than eight months under her Pilates belt, she gets stronger and stronger, and the quality of her life has changed for the better. Our guess? That we will soon see Lisa, once again, leading youth groups across the world.


Best of luck, Lisa! You are a true inspiration!



This is the Year! (How to keep your New Year's Fitness Resolutions

"This is the year! I'm going to do it! I'm going to follow through on my New Year's resolution to get in thisistheshape no matter... how badly it hurts!" Unfortunately, because many of us tend to over extend ourselves during the first week of January, all of the positive energy and enthusiasm created by our aspirations are quickly dampened by sore muscles or even injuries. The injuries stop us in our tracks and the sore muscles transform working out into torture.

When we eventually stop working out - to end the torture - guilt sets in because we've bought into a "no pain, no gain" philosophy that, in the long term, really doesn't serve us well. Moving towards an outlook that embraces "no pain, big gain" as part of our 2010 New Year's Resolutions, is the perfect way to break the old patterns and start fresh. What's the key to "no pain, big gain"? Start slowly and build a foundation of healthy body mechanics. 

Tips to Build Successful Fitness Resolutions

Build a solid foundation of good technique. This enables you to realize fast results while simultaneously preventing injury.

Start slow and steady. This enables your body to become strong, flexible and prepared to tackle your athletic aspirations.

Remember that there is always tomorrow. You don't have to hit that athletic goal before the gym closes tonight.

Find a good teacher or mentor. Working with someone well qualified makes a huge difference in helping you start and stay on the path to long term success.