As a Physical Therapist, Why Did You Become A Certified Pilates Teacher?




Hey guys, what’s up? It’s Stephen from CORE Therapy and Pilates. I wanted to answer a question that I get frequently. As a physical therapist, I often get asked:

How did you become interested in Pilates? Why did you become a Pilates Instructor?

So to answer that question we got to go back in time quite a bit and what the time period was, it was around 2001… I had opened up my business in Los Angeles and I was on a ski trip up to Lake Tahoe. I had a contract business in Los Angeles where I would go fill in for people and work part-time and do this and that and the other for all these different companies in Los Angeles… So while I was in Lake Tahoe I was driving around handing out my resume to see if anyone who owned a clinic in Lake Tahoe would be interested in part-time help. Me coming up for a week while they went on vacation or for a month while they went on vacation, whatever…

And one day I got a phone call from a guy who I had given him my resume over this trip. I’ve done this trip twice and handed out resumes each time and he called me up and he says:

I got your resume and you have some good hands-on manual therapy experience, do you have any experience in Pilates?”

I actually had never even heard of the word (Pilates) … so 2001 never heard the word. I looked at him and I said I’m sorry I don’t have any experience in that, actually I’m on the phone, excuse me, and he very, very, very politely says:

Okay… thank you!” and hangs up

That was it, the conversation was over. I was like:

What the heck is Pilates?”

I went to Cheryl, at this time there wasn’t a whole lot of information on the Internet (about Pilates). There was just a lawsuit that had occurred so there was Not a lot of information for years… it wasn’t on the internet. Now all of a sudden, I’m starting to research it a little bit. Cheryl knew a little bit about Pilates from the gym that she was working out at that had some mat classes. So I started asking her some questions, we started looking a little bit into it and then one day we’re in the middle of training for a marathon. We’re out training in Santa Monica on this big long stretch of San Vicente Street, all the way up to Ocean Boulevard and it’s the morning on a Sunday morning, maybe a Saturday morning, I can’t remember and I needed to go to the bathroom. I was looking for a place and I stopped at this restaurant. When I come out of the restaurant, the first thing I see is a sign that said:

Physical Therapy… Pilates… Gyrotonic…

First time I’d seen the word Gyrotonic before and I was like, huh, there’s that word, Pilates… there’s that word… It was shut down, I was peeking in, looking around, trying to see what it was, trying to see what was going on.

Then the next thing happened within, I would say, within a few weeks I don’t remember exactly but I think within two weeks to a month. I was looking through the newspaper, the LA Times because the way we found jobs back in 2001 was the LA Times or the newspaper, there wasn’t a whole lot of stuff online in that sense. So I’m looking in the LA Times and there was that same exact place that I just stopped at in Santa Monica, they were looking to hire a PT… With them looking to hire a PT… Dudley (the boxer) is about to knock the camera over, sorry… with them looking to hire a PT, I was able to get a job there, started working there a couple days a week and within a few weeks of being there, I knew I was really interested in Pilates.

I started a Pilates certification within probably a month of working there. Now the Pilates certification that I ended up signing up for, the girl, the woman, I asked if I could, if Cheryl could come take it with me and get a little discount to have two people instead of one? She said of course and that’s how Cheryl and I started our Pilates training together back in 2002, I believe it was 2002 by the time this all happened…. but anyway… that’s the story of how I became a Pilates teacher.

Now the kicker in this all, I love to tell this part of the story, the guy that hung up on me, the reason he was looking to find someone interested in Pilates is because he was trying to sell his business and he was going to go – he went to PhD school to become a professor. Well five years later some guy shows up at my studio and he’s got a resume that shows he’s a physical therapist, that he’s Pilates and Gyrotonic trained and I’m like, hum, that doesn’t happen a lot where someone walks in the door knowing these disciplines. So he walks in the door, I look at his resume. I didn’t meet him at that moment, he was just talking to my front desk. I read his resume and I noticed the area code for Lake Tahoe, 7 7 5 because I’d been looking for a job up there for several years so I recognized the area code and immediately I said this is the guy that hung up on me and lo and behold it was…

I ended up hiring him, that was Dr. Thom Werner, many of you had the opportunity to work with Dr. Thom before he went on to teach at the physical therapy school here in Austin and now he’s like the head man at the physical therapy school. I had him full-time for about two years and then he’s been off for some time doing his thing at school…

That’s my story of how I became a Pilates teacher and it really transformed my practice. It allowed Cheryl and I to have a place to work together and grow a business together. It’s really just been a monumental shift and how we’ve been able to serve our clients and help others, so that’s my story… I hope that resonates with someone out there and again, it’s a common question I get…

Y’all take care, have a fantastic day and I’ll talk with y’all soon… bye now.

Call 512-215-4227 to see if Pilates based Physical Therapy is right for you…

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Stephen Dunn

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