In 2007, Tim Duchesne walked past a pop-up stand in his local shopping centre. It was advertising Pilates sessions and Tim, at age 78, had been thinking he had to do more exercise than just walking. So, he signed up for a package.
Tim didn’t know what to expect. His reaction after his first session was … disappointment. Coming from a navy background and used to going hard and heavy, he was unimpressed by the gentle, slow moves but wasn’t going to waste his package.
By session five, he began to think there was more to this Pilates than he’d initially thought. 14 years later, he is still coming, twice a week.
I asked Tim why. “The usual,” he replied, “Mobility, balance, strength…” He explained that he lives in a retirement village, and has seen what happens when people stop moving and working on their balance – Zimmer frames, bent over, loss of independence…
Tim arrives half an hour early for his session and does a set routine of exercises with a foam roller and weights (maybe he still feels we go too easy with him). If I give him a choice of exercise or spring strength, he will always ask which is harder and pick that one. It is a challenge teaching him because we have a duty of care, but the way to improve balance and strength is to test it. Tim is not held back by fear or moderation!
He is great for business – living proof of the possibilities in “old age” and the promises of Pilates. Tim is the first to admit he wouldn’t be where he is today without it.
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