Student Shoutout - Dina

 Student Shoutout - Dina

By Kerry De Vivo


The Student Shoutout goes to Dina who has been a client at EPA since 2019.  

I asked Dina- What inspired you to start Pilates sessions?

“My Orthopedist suggested that I use Pilates as a rehabilitation from an accident to strengthen my core. I had had two surgeries on my right side after a terrible fall from my bicycle and was really struggling to feel good and resume my previous activities. I love sailing and sailboat racing and had really not been able to do any since my accident. I started at Excel Pilates in spring of 2019. I had a set of exercises that I was doing that were directed by my PT and I just added Pilates to that.” -Dina

While Dina showed up for her first session with injury caused issues, it was clear that she was an athlete inside and out. And it was clear that resuming her activities was something Dina was determined to do. Her focus on this goal, her willingness to work hard along the way, her grounded, positive, and humorous attitude through the process helped Dina reach her goals. And it has been a pleasure for all of us who teach her to be part of her journey.

I asked Dina- How has your Pilates practice affected your life? 

“Well, the exercises have strengthened my body and given me the strength to go sailing again! I'm certainly not as competitive as I once was, but I'm not as young either! Really, I have a J/70 that I sail with my two sons and that is very easy for me to do. I can do anything I want to really. Even paddling a kayak or paddle boarding." 

Dina continued, "One thing that is really important to me was that during the COVID lockdown I was able to connect with the Excel community and keep up my practice. This was good for my sanity but it also made getting stronger easier because it became part of my everyday routine. I am all about routine and getting in a good pattern. I use the EPA Mobile app now whenever I miss a class or want to workout at home. I travel for work and always have my computer with me so it's easy. I have done Pilates in hotel gyms, in rooms and out on the pool deck at a friend's house. Recently I was in Abu Dhabi and was able to just go online and have my "class time". I loved sharing the class with my friends who were with me.” 

(Thanks for taking us on your trips Dina )😀

 Dina has remained true to her Pilates practice. COVID, travel, injury - they don’t get in her way. She created a space in her house to optimize her Zoom Pilates practice during the pandemic shut down in 2020 and continues to use that space for her home practice. She has a good rhythm with incorporating Pilates self practice along with studio sessions and using the EPA Mobile especially when traveling. 

Dina doing Short Spinal Massage on the Reformer

I asked Dina- What is one of your favorite Pilates exercises?

“I don't know if it is a favorite, but I have had a goal of mastering Teaser on the Reformer. Most of my learning has been on the Mat. So recently I had a one on one session with Kerry and told her we needed to work on Teaser because I couldn't do it on the Reformer... Well, she proved I could. I just needed a routine!!!!” -Dina

 I’ll add to this moment from a teacher’s, and an eye witness’, perspective… In the one on one session that Dina referenced, she said she can do Teaser everywhere but on the Reformer. I could tell this was perplexing and frustrating, with a hint (strong hint) of determination. 

So with this goal in mind, we did a session “connecting the dots” between the exercises that build to Teaser. We also looked at aspects like breathing properly and finding proper powerhouse connections (discovering that the glutes needed to show up to the party). At the end of the session, Dina got on the Long Box (on the Reformer), and floated up to her first Teaser on the Reformer. And really, she floated up! I watched thinking, 

Oh she’s still coming up!!! And then YES…. she did!!

My eyes filled up as I was flooded with gratitude; gratitude to have a job that helps clients reach their goals. 

I am SO PROUD OF DINA!!!  And soooo excited for her!

Naturally I had to run and get my phone and document this great achievement with video and pics!!

Dina doing Teaser on the Reformer

 When Dina sent me her responses to the questions, at the bottom of her email she said, “It’s Teaser Tuesday you know!” And seriously, that made my day!! How cool that our clients love Pilates as much as we do. 

Dina, you demonstrate to us that we CAN overcome unexpected obstacles and reach our goals. 

Thanks for the inspiration Dina, it’s abundant!