The Seattle Athletic Club is thrilled to announce that our Inspirational Member of the Month is Jamie Osbourne! I’m certain you have seen Jamie working out in the club; he is here nearly every morning and utilizes every square inch of the club including the weight room, cardio room, the Pilates Studio, Cybex room, and the stretching area. He loves to share his amazing journey of struggle and triumph, and here is a peek into his recovery process from a devastating cycling accident in 2007 and his incredible climb to where he is today.
1) Jamie, we see you here each and every day! What inspires you to workout every day?
a) To rebuild strength, balance and posture which have all been compromised by paralysis and other residual deficits due to a bad road cycling accident in 2007 rendering me quadriplegic b) Working out produces endorphins which by far are the best pain killer of anything I take c) Community – it’s great for my mental health to see friends, familiar faces, and other like-minded folks committed to exercise and fitness d) Energy – it’s a great way to start the day e) Most importantly, although progress comes very slowly, I always have goals, and over the last 6+ years since rejoining the club have made significant improvements in many areas that have allowed me to go places physically I never thought possible in 2007 when I was injured. Btw, my doctors are very intrigued by my continued progress, which for spinal cord injury was generally understood to flat-line after 1-2 years. I’ve had more recovery in the last 6 years since rejoining the SAC than I did in the first 3 years by many fold!
2) We know you are facing some incredible physical challenges. What advice would you offer to those facing any physical obstacle?
a) Have goals of some kind, achievable goals that you can build on, produce small victories that will accumulate over time and become bigger victories. Perhaps a goal is just getting yourself to the club, and do some stretches. Check off a goal and move on to the next, and reward yourself in some meaningful way. b) Consistency – it doesn’t have to be 5-6 days/wk but do it on some consistent frequency and the gains will come. c) Work to overcome fear, which our bodies often do to protect ourselves when injured. At some point that fear becomes an impediment. One of the best pieces of advice I received at the club was “Jamie, you need to learn to trust yourself.” It changed everything in my recovery. c) Visualize. I picture in my head in great detail the next goal I want to accomplish. I sometimes think of myself as a movie maker – actor, writer, producer, director. Every time I do this for some big goal I want to accomplish it has come true. d) Make the best of it. Focus on the things you can do, not what you can’t or used to do. I spent way too much time in the first couple of years stuck in the past, and having difficulty coming to grips with a new reality. As a famous football coach once said, “play the hand you are dealt.” e) Be willing to try new things, and don’t get discouraged or stop doing something because everyone else can and you can’t. I’ve tried many different things where I struggled mightily. Instead of giving up and saying I can’t do this, I viewed it as a challenge. What I do when I first start something new with difficulty is to view my starting point as a baseline “I’ve found my baseline” I’ll often say and build from there. Weights, Machines, Bands, Pilates, Barre,Yoga and pushing the sled are all exercises I’ve struggled with initially but gained much from.
3) What have been your greatest recent accomplishments? (I heard there was a recent ride around Mercer Island?!)
a) Being able to live independently with little/no accommodation with exception of using trekking poles for walking longer distances. b) Most recently, I’ve cycled around MI 3X in the last 2 months, each time without stopping and each time after I’ve worked out Sunday mornings after 2.5hrs in the gym, including Shari’s spin class. It helps loosen me up. c) In 2015 I rowed in an 8man crew shell at my alma matter in Ithaca NY. d) I was able to hit golf balls on the driving range, even make reasonable contact without falling down d) I hit my best results in average wattage on the spin bike for 60 minutes e) I took several ski runs at the base of Backcomb last Christmas (on the green run!).
Of course all of these efforts are very painful which is why I don’t do them on a regular basis. There is always a price to pay in anything I do. When I do though I feel so alive!
Please help us in congratulating Jamie on his nomination for Seattle Athletic Clubs’ Inspirational Member of the Month!
Significantly reduce knee pain by improving function in other parts of your body. Regardless of injury, surgery, or arthritis, specific “whole body” exercises will help you bend, twist, and walk without knee pain, and without further damage to your knees. Experience having pain free and flexible knees that won’t interfere with your quality of life.
About the Instructor:
Peggy Protz has studied and taught a wide range of movement and exercise techniques. She holds a BFA in dance, was a Pilates instructor for 15 years, trained in yoga and massage, and has been a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner since 2001. Using the Feldenkrais Method, in addition to aspects of dance, pilates, and other modalities, Peggy helps people discover more pain free and comfortable ways of being in their body.
For more information or to sign up, please contact Peggy at firstname.lastname@example.org or Danielle Zack at email@example.com.
Better Movement for a Better Life
Feldenkrais Method® changes how you live in your body
Tired of a nagging sore neck, stiff hips, or a painful back? The Feldenkrais Method is an innovative approach that offers a way out of physical discomfort. Exploratory exercises are designed to improve flexibility, posture, and balance, leading to increased physical comfort, faster recovery from injuries, and enhanced athletic potential.
But what is it and how does it work? Developed by Israeli physicist and judo black belt Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984), the Method was first introduced in the United States in the early 1970s. Using principles of physics, biomechanics, experiential learning, and human development, it’s purpose is to awaken the body’s natural ability to move with efficiency, grace, and comfort. The exercises, though often quite simple, have a profound effect on the way a person experiences their movement and their body. Through these experiences comes a clearer understanding of what a better way of moving actually feels like. This allows positive changes to take place on deeper and more permanent levels. Muscle aches and body pains become less of a problem as the person discovers a way of moving that is more free and less stressing to their whole system. And since being able to move better in any context is foundational, this technique can be applied to virtually any activity; sports and fitness routines, yard work, sitting at a desk, walking, running, dancing, playing a musical instrument, or any movement required for basic everyday life.
Peggy Protz, Feldenkrais practitioner, will be offering a series of three workshops starting in March at the SAC. Peggy has worked with many types of clients, from teenagers to senior citizens, to golfers, cyclists, and kayakers, to people with injuries. “It’s great for people who are struggling with injuries. They may have stopped doing things because of the injury,” she says. “I’ve worked in a lot of fitness environments, and many people simply deal with neck or back pain and just kind of assume that’s part of working out. But what if they could actually do their fitness routine without having discomfort both during it and afterward?”
In a Feldenkrais class or workshop, Peggy verbally leads students through movements in various positions, coaching everyone to work at their own pace and making modifications when needed. “You get so much more out of your body when you’re in tune with it,” says Peggy.
Please congratulate Christin Call for being nominated Employee of the Month.
Christin consistently goes above and beyond when it comes to teaching Pilates. Her positive energy and enthusiasm for teaching are reflected in the outstanding classes she teaches and her passion shines through every time.
As a strong leader in the Pilates Department, Christin is a true professional in every aspect of the word. She is dedicated to teaching, having fun, and most importantly, listening to the members every time they step into the room.
Christin’s clients couldn’t wait to share with me some of their thoughts about her:
“I continue to be amazed at how effortlessly she is able to conduct my duet studio session to focus on the separate needs and interest of both myself and my Pilates-mate.” (TI)
“The instruction received from Christin will affect me positively throughout my lifetime.” (MN)
“..by her presence I’m reminded to make a deeper effort, stretch a little further, and feel stimulated to work better to stay in good health, mentally and physically.” (AL)
“Christin works at her client’s level but adds in nuances to make the workout challenging. We are lucky to have her as part of the SAC team!” (PB)
We couldn’t agree more! Thank you Christin for all you do!
The Seattle Athletic Clubs boasts over 50 group exercise classes a week! Have you tried one yet? As an instructor, I have a short list of suggestions that will make your and the instructor’s experience richer and safer.
Introduce yourself to the instructor before class begins.
Instructors will notice your presence in class, even if you sneak in and go straight to the back row! So, introduce yourself and inform him/her of any injuries you’re dealing with so he/she can be aware of your condition.
Show up on time (means 5 minutes early to set up your equipment). Instructors build their class around a warm-up and a cool-down, and if you miss the warm up you may hurt yourself.
Ask questions! After class, approach the instructor to ask any questions about an exercise or concept you didn’t understand. Instructors love to talk shop.
And finally, give feedback! Whether a compliment or a suggestion, an instructor will want to know what you thought. Let his/her manager know what you thought as well because feedback (positive or negative) can only sharpen our awareness and hone our skills to make us better instructors.
A one-on-one session is a great way to start your Pilates training, but when you learn your routine, you can work out with a partner or small group to cut costs.
It’s only for women
Joseph Pilates was a man! He studied wrestling, body-building, and yoga. He created a system of exercise meant for every body, male and female. Pilates simply requires concentration, focus, coordination and agility, which anyone can do!
Pilates builds a foundation of core strength, and that requires some deep, precise, consistent work. Only after your core is established and muscles correctly firing can you move on to the more complicated, advanced Pilates exercises. So yes, Pilates can seem repetitive in the beginning. But be patient! Your repertoire will expand as you become stronger and are able to demonstrate control in your body.
It’s only for dancers
Joseph Pilates was not a dancer; he was a boxer and wrestler, studied yoga and gymnastics. When Joseph and his wife Clara set up shop in New York City, George Balanchine sent many dancers to Pilates to rehabilitate their ballet injuries. The news of a workout that promoted strength with stretch spread quickly through the dance community, and has been popular ever since. However, Pilates is beneficial for all populations.
Pilates can be modified to accommodate nearly any injury, but true Pilates, once the basic concepts are understood, is challenging to the most fit person. In other words, pilates is hard!
I’m new to Pilates. How do I start?
The best way to start if you have never tried Pilates is to begin with an orientation. In an orientation, a certified Pilates instructor will teach you a beginner lesson on the Pilates equipment, and then direct you to the class you would like to take.
How do I make an appointment for my orientation?
Contact Danielle Zack, Pilates Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 443.1111 x246.
What is the difference between mat classes and private instruction sessions?
Pilates is intended to be done one-on-one under an instructor’s supervision and guidance, and mat classes are meant to supplement the work you do with your instructor. Both are valuable, though, and will strengthen your body. Private sessions are tailored to your individual needs so if you have injuries or specific physical concerns this is your best choice. Mat classes are designed for the general population and there is less individual attention.
What are the prices?
The average cost for a single Pilates session in the city of Seattle is $71.70 per hour. The SAC offers the highest quality instruction for nearly 40% less!
Private Session – $50
Duet Session – $31/client
Group Session – $25/client
How long are the lessons?
All sessions are 55-minutes in length.
What should I wear?
Please wear comfortable, fitted workout clothes and clean socks (no shoes needed).
Where do I go for my first Pilates session?
Come downstairs to the Pilates Studio, which is located across the Café next to the cycling room. Please feel free to enter and sit down next to the desk. If this is your first appointment, some paperwork will be on a clipboard with your name on it for you to start filling out. The instructor will be finishing up teaching a client, so feel free to watch. You’ll be next!
What if I make an appointment and I have to cancel?
All cancellations require 24 hours notice. All cancellations must be directly given to your instructor via email or phone messages. All appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours notice will be charged the full session amount.
Where do I go for mat class?
All Pilates mat classes are located in the Mind/Body Studio, which is across the basketball court.
Which Pilates mat class is right for me?
If you are a brand-new beginner, please come to the Introduction to Pilates Mat class on Saturday at 8 a.m. If you have very little experience with Pilates, please come to any Fundamentals Pilates Mat class. If you have some/moderate experience with Pilates, please come to any Fundamentals or Intermediate Pilates Mat class. If you have extensive experience, please feel free to come to any class, including the classes marked Cardio-based mat, magic circle mat, and Saturday’s advanced mat class.
If you have severe injuries or just concerns, please feel free to contact Danielle Zack for a recommendation.
Clean socks. Pilates exercises utilize the feet, so we don’t work out wearing shoes. If you are concerned about slipping, you can bring your socks with little sticky grips on the bottom. Or, we can provide a sticky pad to help adhere the feet to the Pilates equipment.
Fitted workout clothes. Pilates works on alignment; therefore, we need to see your body! We look for specific landmarks in the hips, shoulders, knees, ankles, and metatarsals.
Health history. It helps us to know what your health has been like your whole life, not just recent injuries. Chronic means long-lasting and acute means short and severe. We want to know both!
Energy. By now, everyone realizes that Pilates works your core, so some people like to workout on an empty stomach. I can’t emphasize this enough: don’t skip breakfast! A Pilates lesson is an hour long and requires energy (calories) to get through it! Eat something before you come, even if it’s just a handful of almonds. Your body and brain need the fuel.
No equipment. We supply mats, towels, equipment, etc. If you want to bring gloves, like weight training gloves, feel free. You probably won’t need them for your first lesson, but eventually we work up to pull-ups, and you may like them for cushion, comfort and grip.
Rick started taking weekly private Pilates sessions because he was concerned about his posture and core strength. He periodically had back problems which he believes are primarily iliopsoas strains and quadratus lumborum tightness. He knows that core strength is critical to preventing such problems. In addition he has a family history of osteoarthritis and he feared that his poor posture and inflexibility set him up for similar problems. He had heard that Pilates was helpful for core strength, improving flexibility and posture and since he had a free hour class from the summer rewards program, he thought he would give it a try.
“I think Pilates has helped a great deal, though obviously it’s still a work in progress. My back problems have melted away, I can reach my toes on most days and I think I’m internalizing Danielle’s voice in my head to, “Scoop and open up your chest,” so that I’m much more mindful of my posture.”
There are a lot of things Rick enjoys about Pilates, including three major points;
He feels like he is making progress
His instructor Danielle is always pushing him further “in a pleasant way”
He has fun! He now has added a mat class to his weekly regime. Rick says, “The Pilates studio seems always to be filled with laughter as we joke and lament our way through class. I look forward to it every week!”
Have you ever taken a mat class, and wondered why we teach them the way we do? I’ve been teaching mat classes since 1999, and I hear these same questions over and over. Let’s address them!
Why doesn’t the Pilates Instructor workout with us?
— A Pilates Instructor teaches her class based on what she sees, and she responds to your abilities. Observe the mat class closely and you will notice that a good Pilates mat class is interactive. Are you having trouble with an exercise? She may come over to help you. Is the class moving too slowly? She will give you energy with her voice. If she did her whole workout in front of you, why would you come to class? You could just stay at home and pop in a DVD if you would rather just go through the motions and not be pushed. You are not the “audience”; you are the active participants and are helping to design the class!
Why does the instructor walk around? What is she looking at?
–She is looking at you! She is watching your form and judging your abilities so that she can form the exercises around the needs of the class. When I’m teaching, I notice right away as people walk in whether they are dragging their heels with a lack of energy, or come bouncing in with a lot of energy. If they have a lot of energy, I’ll make the 100 more challenging by adding the criss-cross legs. During the roll-up, I notice if the class is generally flexible or stiff. If no one can touch their toes, I’ll spend more time stretching during single-leg circles.
I like having the dim lights. Why are the brighter lights on?
–The instructor needs to see you! Dim lights are great for a meditative, stretching, breathy class. But Pilates is meant to invigorate, not put you to sleep.
Why is there no music?
–Pilates is very rhythmic. Can you picture the instructor counting the 100 right now? What about open leg rocker? Have you ever done the criss-cross quickly, then slowly? Each exercise has its own rhythm that is unique to that particular exercise. We manipulate the rhythm to make the exercise harder or, occasionally, easier for you. Music would interfere with this technique.
It’s important to do your research when seeking out a Pilates instructor, but how do you know which Pilates instructor is best for you? Here are 8 simple questions to ask when searching for a Pilates instructor.
Are you a certified instructor?
Unfortunately for you, the consumer, an instructor can get “certified” by any variety of “Pilates” instruction. Therefore, you need to ask some follow-up questions.
What training program did you complete?
Your instructor should be certified through one of the Pilates master teachers (a person directly taught by Joseph Pilates). Some names you should listen for are: Romana Kryzanowska, Ron Fletcher, Lolita San Miguel, Mary Bowen, and Kathy Grant.
How many hours did your certification process require?
Your instructor should have at least 600 hours of apprenticeship, where he/she spent time observing, assisting, teaching student clients under supervision, and then instructing solo. Several written and practical exams are required for the trainees to become certified.
Are you current with your continuing education requirements?
Make sure he/she is current on their continuing education requirements, usually meeting a required number of hours in a workshop every year.
How many years have you been an instructor?
Look for an instructor who has at least 2 years of teaching experience.
What is your exercise philosophy or specialty?
This can vary greatly, so look for an instructor who meets your needs.
What is your experience with injuries?
A Pilates instructor should know about any condition that you may want to discuss and how to work with it, including musculo-skeletal conditions and auto-immune disorders.
Are you qualified to teach on all pieces of Pilates equipment?
Some certified Pilates instructors are trained only on certain pieces of equipment. However, an effective Pilates instructor should know how to safely use every piece of equipment so that he/she can assess and deliver the exercise that will benefit you the most.
Fortunately here at the Seattle Athletic Club, all of our Pilates Instructors meet or exceed those standards. However, we all have different styles, so please feel free to engage us in conversation about Pilates. We love to share our passion!