Members of the Month! – Why Frances and David joined Viva

I’m pleased to announce that we have two members of the month 

Frances and David Shaddock who attend the Monday and Wednesday Pilates sessions.

Congratulations to them both on their attendance and continuing interest and love of Pilates. 

So as members of the month, I thought I’d ask a few questions to just why they chose to do Pilates and what it has done for them.

Why did you start pilates?

Frances …
We’ve  been a couple for a very long time, over 50 years, and tend to do most things together. We even managed to coordinate early retirement, David in 2000 and me in 2001. Unfortunately David has had a long standing chronic back condition so in recent years has been unable to undertake useful exercise.
David …
In fact it got so bad I seriously thought I would end up using a wheelchair. Frances, however, has always been ‘naturally’ fit and flexible so needed to find something, other than gardening, to keep her active. After trying yoga she discovered Pilates and loves it.
Frances …
David decided in January 2016 that he should lose some weight, purely out of vanity, and it had a incredible effect on his back condition.
David …
I was amazed that the more weight I lost the less pain I had. So much so, that over a period of six months, I was able to stop taking pain killers and switch off my spinal cord stimulator implant. It then became obvious that although out of pain my fitness was appauling so given Frances’ enthusiasm for Pilates I thought I should give it a try.
Frances …
After nearly two years the change in David’s health and fitness has been astonishing and it’s all down to Pilates. Our fitness levels are now similar and we’re doing things together that we thought we would never be able to do again.  We are back to doing long walks and travelling and he is even taking over jobs in the garden that were once my domain.  He even thinks skiing could be on the cards after about a 12 year gap but I think that’s just a step too far.
How is it doing Pilates as a couple?
Frances … 
Luckily we enjoy each other’s company and going together helps to keep us disciplined and motivated. I did wonder if David would mind often being the only man.
David …
Knowing I would probably be the only man I’m  not sure I would have gone to Pilates alone. So being there with Frances made that easier.
What I don’t  understand is why more men don’t go.
Many of the techniques are being adopted by top athletes for a very good reason. They work.
I have one piece of advice for any couple … don’t imply that your partner has got an exercise wrong. Leave that to Helen.
How would you describe the benefits to others generally and also being part of Viva?
Frances …
Doing pilates has made us think generally about our health and well being in everything we do.  There is a discipline required to carry out the exercises properly which extends to the whole of our lifestyle.  For example, what we eat and drink has become as much part of our health regime as the exercise.
If you’re thinking about Pilates we highly recommend Viva as Helen keeps us motivated and uses her sense of humour to make it enjoyable.
David …
What has also surprised us both is the level of fitness that we have achieved through Pilates considering we are just about to hit 69 and 70. Also, whilst we have a very full social life, going to Pilates 3 times a week means we continue social interaction during the winter months.
Viva, for those that wish to, acts as the focus for social media interaction, with Helen’s newsletters, blogs and Facebook posts.
Finally, we’re both looking forward to the retreat in August, despite the fact I’ll be the only man, again!
Roll on 2019.