Pilates with Gini

Long-Distance Pilates

This is Gini. There's a lot of laughing that goes on.

This is Gini. There’s a lot of laughing that goes on.

I stopped seeing a Pilates instructor who was 20 miles away and now I do Pilates with a trainer who’s 350 miles away.

Wait, what?

See, I’d been with my same Pilates instructor — Mercy at Apex Pilates — since 2001. But it’s been a solid decade since I lived anywhere near her studio. A single session would require two hours of my day — 30 minutes to get there, an hour-long session, and 30 minutes to get home. I don’t know about you, but I don’t often have two open hours with which to do my Pilates workout. But there wasn’t a really good option near my home.

It only took a couple of weeks away before I started getting twitchy. Pilates changes how I feel. It’s so much a part of my life that at one point I owned and managed my own studio in San Jose. The balance and strength that some people get from yoga, I get from Pilates. I didn’t want to lose that.

Around the same time that I left my longtime instructor, I was introduced to Gini* through the magic of Twitter: her brand of wiseassery matched well with mine (and she’s also a lifelong Cubs fan, like I am, which requires a certain personality type). I signed up for her Jackassery Free Movement newsletter, and lo and behold, she has a program where you work out with her online, doing mat Pilates via Google Hangout. But could this really work? I mean, would I get a good workout or just be phoning it in (so to speak)?

People, this works for me. I don’t have to drive anywhere. I don’t lose an hour in commute time. I just roll back into the house after dropping off The Assistant, set up my mat and laptop, and boom: Pilates. And also laughter, but mostly Pilates.

Here’s the crazy thing: it actually works. I can see her demonstrate what’s going on, complete with a box of visual aids to illustrate different movements. She can see what I’m doing and correct my form. It’s a surprisingly effective method, as my ab muscles will attest the next day.

Want to know more about Gini? From her bio:

Gini opened her own brick and mortar studio in 2003 while also traveling and providing teacher training workshops around the country. In 2010 she closed up her studio and moved most of her work online so she could serve more people without having to keep up a hectic travel schedule.

Gini’s clients include dancers, actors, Pilates instructors, yoga teachers, yoginis, runners, amateur sports players, and professional athletes and teams, such as the US Soccer National Men’s Team, whom she helped prepare for the 2013 season.

So if you’ve ever wanted to try Pilates and don’t have a good resource near home, you should check her out.

As a funny side note, I told her six months ago that I was going to blog about her. “But at the rate I’m going, I probably won’t get to writing about it until February hahahaha.”

(*looks at calendar and sighs*)

Here’s hoping that 2015 is less chaotic.

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