Student Shoutout - Delia

Given that this month we celebrate our 20-year anniversary for Excel Pilates Annapolis, it seems very appropriate for our Student Shoutout to spotlight Delia, as Delia has been a client of the Excel Pilates family since 1999! 

Yup, Delia has been with Excel Pilates all this time!! 

Back in the 1900s (1999 to be specific), Delia stepped into Excel Pilates DC (our affiliate studio) for her first Pilates session. There she saw a floral arrangement honoring the one-year anniversary of the studio.  This past week, we received these beauties from Delia in honor of our 20-year anniversary here at EPA. And the super cool thing is, right after she brought in these happy tulips, a new client arrived for their first session. 

That's what I call FULL CIRCLE!

There truly are no words that can express how rewarding it is to work with someone for so many years. We have been through it all. And Delia's dedication to the work of Joe Pilates and EPA.... no words, so inspiring! 
We are honored! 

Delia doing Sidebend on the Mat, our logo exercise (nice shirt!)

So I asked Delia a few questions about her Pilates experience, and here's what she had to say!

                  What inspired you to start Pilates sessions?

As I turned 40, I found I was desperate for an exercise routine that I could AND would follow.  As silly as it sounds, I read an article about Madonna (heh, it was the late 90s) in which she praised Pilates.  So I picked up the yellow pages (heh, it was the 90s) and found Excel Pilates DC.   I started with mat twice a week and loved it.  I have not looked back.  Now, my friends know that I am unavailable on Thursdays at 9:30. THAT is my special time in Kerry’s studio.  (N.B.  It is ALL about the mat.  The equipment helps you find what you are working for in your mat exercises.  But the practice, in my opinion, is all about the mat.)

How has your Pilates practice affected your life?

I stand taller. I think about my core and abdominal muscles, a lot.  But more importantly, it is the one thing I have done for myself, consistently, for over 20 years.  It has improved my focus, my posture, and my self-confidence because I have learned that if I practice and concentrate, I can improve. 

What is one of your favorite Pilates exercises?

I love the Wunda Chair.  I am still trying to convince my husband that we absolutely need one in our rec room.  However, hands down, my favorite exercise is the boomerang*.  It has every movement and uses every muscle.  Joe placed it at the end of the routine for a reason.  I always smile and feel joy when we begin the boomerang, because I know I am close to completing another session. 

Twice a week for 22 years.   How many routines is that?  I did the math, YIKES. 

*side note: After I emailed these questions to Delia, but before she submitted her reply, she asked me, "What do you think I chose as my favorite exercise?"  My guess was boomerang!  Yup, 20+ years of working together ;)

Given the longevity of your Pilates practice, what words of wisdom, or sense of perception of the Pilates Method over decades, would you like to share with others?

"Don't you get bored doing the same ten exercises on that mat all the time?" That is a question I often receive from friends who have taken Pilates through their gym or community center.  Of course, the obvious answer is No!  Learn every exercise on every piece of apparatus and you will never become bored.  But frankly, that is the simple answer.  What I have learned after all these years of practicing is even if you do the same mat exercises 3 times a week for years, the revelations come when you push yourself to lengthen your muscle beyond what you thought was possible.  Or you find that balance sweet spot on the wunda chair that has eluded you for years. Or feel that deep muscle in your scoop for the first time.  Or you finally figure out how to use your breath to extend your reach. That is what keeps Pilates new for me after 23 years.  Those little moments bring a new understanding of the benefits of the work. 

So one of the ways that I knew Delia had a passion for Pilates and really got the benefits for this work is... for her 50th birthday, she celebrated by having a birthday Pilates Mat class with her friends at Excel Pilates DC! I mean, how cool is that?  It brings us Pilates teachers great joy to share the Pilates Method with clients in the way Joe intended. Then to have clients who are so dedicated, truly understand the depth of this work, well, it's real!!! Thank you Delia for your inspiration, dedication and hard work!