1. How did you discover Pilates?
I was introduced to Pilates through a book my father gave me for Christmas a few years ago. I have been an avid runner and did not like going to the gym, so he thought that Pilates would complement the exercises I was (not) doing. I read the first chapters of the book and was fascinated. I tried to practice the exercises from the book whenever I travelled for work in remote areas of Africa, in my small hotel room. However, I never went further than those initial chapters and I now realise that I did not really know what I was doing. It is only when I met Lucy Bosscher of the Aspire Pilates Studio in The Hague and did an introduction course, that I came to understand what Pilates is and how much I could benefit from it, particularly for my running and triathlon competitions: to keep injury-free and to enhance my performance.
2. How long have you practiced?
I have been taking Pilates classes for three years, both private, using all sorts of equipment, and group classes. I love both types of classes, but consider private sessions a real treat and try to do them at least once a week.
3. What was your initial experience of Pilates and how has it evolved over time?
I loved Pilates from the very beginning. It was quite a revelation to discover its principles, the breathing and the control you must have over each muscle of your body. With time, I got to understand better what movements are required for a specific exercise and what I should pay attention to. But even after three years I keep being surprised in discovering new exercises and all variations that go with it.
4. How have you benefited from Pilates?
Pilates helps me improve my running style, keeps me stable on the bicycle and has greatly enhanced my stroke in swimming. I keep training and competing, reaching better personal results and sometimes even a higher step of the podium but, above all, pilates has kept me injury free.
5. What is your favourite exercise and your favourite piece of equipment?
Until a week ago, I would have said : the “tree” or the “pike”, but now it is definitely
the “magician”, which I have just discovered. As for my favourite piece of equipment, without any doubt, it is the chair, so simple, and yet so versatile.
6. What has Pilates become for you?
Pilates is a privileged moment dedicated to my body and my mind. After each class, I feel so good! I feel relaxed, I feel confident. I always leave Aspire Pilates with renewed energy. Pilates is a great exercise system; it conditions your body and at the same time refreshes your mind. I never get bored with Pilates!