Like most kids I experienced the world through my senses: touching, tasting, smelling and especially moving. I was a kid on the move all the time. My competitive swimming career began at age 7, summer and winter all the way through high school. In junior high, field hockey and lacrosse entered the picture ushering in not only a new phase of my development but taught me discipline, sportsmanship, self respect, leadership and patience. This marked the beginning of my curiosity into self-mastery.
In high school, I recall making a conscious link between physical activity and how it magically and consistently balanced out my mind and teenage emotions. Every sport season brought new life lessons and I was thrilled to be varsity captain for several consecutive seasons. I was awarded a full athletic scholarship to Northeastern University for lacrosse, and it is probably no coincidence that I chose Physical Education as my major.
Soaking up all the information I could on the science of the body and movement, I was fascinated to discover that what I had intuited growing up had a scientific basis. Freshman year, I began teaching aerobics and a new passion emerged. I was able to apply what I was learning academically with my love for movement and sport. The following year I began personal training in residences and then expanded to teaching sports teams and businesses. By senior year I had my own aerobics studio and personal training business. By the time graduation came, I knew what my calling was: to be a teacher.
I began leading educational programs to prepare group exercise instructors and personal trainers for their national exam, presenting at multiple fitness conventions and creating DVD exercise programs. My teaching took me all over the globe including visits to the US Air Force bases in Japan, Guam, Okinowa, Korea, Hawaii, and Alaska; and teacher training in Russia, Europe, and around the USA.
After 18 years in the fitness industry my interest was growing in the mind, body, spirit aspect of movement & health. I began to question the “more is better” model of fitness that was prevalent and sought out other avenues to health and well-being. What attracted me to explore the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning were the underlying concepts of Pilates, absent from the current mainstream fitness approaches but which happened to resonate with what I was resolutely cultivating in my own teaching.
When I was introduced to Pilates formally in 1995, it changed my life, as I rediscovered the pure joy that movement had always provided me. Walking into Drago’s Gym the first time was like touring a history book with all the crazy looking contraptions and gymnastic-like movements being performed by people of all ages and sizes all with amazing strength and ease. Romana Kryzanowska was the grand master teacher, formerly a student of Joseph Pilates. Her knowledge of the body coupled with her infectious spark for life and generosity with her knowledge, will forever remind me of the type of teacher I aspire to be like.
A few years later in 2001, I was invited by Peak Pilates to co-author their comprehensive education curriculum. Since then we have created several education programs which are offered world wide through the dynamic network of teacher trainers whom I have had the honor of developing and mentoring. I have grown into being a teacher’s teacher and am excited to continue developing programs, tools and interactive experiences to help Pilates teachers as well as students gain self mastery through Pilates as both a movement system and a lifestyle choice.
I can honestly say that since I love what I do, I’ve never ‘worked’ a day in my life; I feel blessed.