“When Life Happens, Head to Fuse”

Sometimes, life happens, and your workouts… don’t.  Fuse student Melissa Thompson chronicles her journey from Minnesota, to the couch, to some trainers, and finally to Fuse Pilates…

When I first moved to DC from Minnesota in May 2011, I had a pretty good workout routine going for me. Back home, I hit my local yoga and Pilates studio nearly every day of the week, a pattern I’d established after injuring my back as a distance runner. However, along with all the other adjustments that came with changing everything about your life (switching career tracks and going into the nonprofit world after being trained as an academic; uprooting myself from my native Minneapolis to head east; leaving the close group of friends I’d had since college, etc.) I found myself wandering away from the first gym I joined in DC. My boss at the time noted one day, “You used to always come to work with your yoga mat. What happened?”

Well, life happened. Along with working a new, temporary job while searching for a permanent career move, I was doing a lot of dating, joining social sports (which I found to be less “sporty” and more “drinky,” but, hey, at least I was getting that social part in), and (I’m not going to lie here) watching a LOT of reality television.

This spring, it all came to a head. When the weather took a turn for the disgusting humidity that is the DC summer, I realized I couldn’t fit into any of my summer clothes. My boyfriend (all that dating really paid off!) was nothing but supportive, telling me I looked great, but if I didn’t feel great, I should do something about it.

I joined the gym next to my office building, thinking I’d start a personal training plan to get myself back on track. My favorite author, Jen Lancaster, chronicled her weight loss journey in Such a Pretty Fat, and her glowing descriptions of her personal training sessions had me convinced.

The first trainer assigned me to spent most of our “session” on his phone, checking email and sending texts while he absentmindedly instructed me to lift a pole over my head to check my “flexibility.” Listen, buddy, I just told you, I’m out of shape, I need help getting on track, I used to work out all the time. I need some motivation and direction for my workout plans. It would help if you acted like you’d heard anything I just said. Hello? Hello? Bueller…

The second trainer was nice, but in the vanilla sort of way where I got the feeling she was putting me through motions she’d been doing with every other client all day long. I left our sessions feeling tired, grouchy, and like I must be some kind of social reject because I couldn’t seem to find a good fit.

So I turned to Yelp for guidance. I’d searched for Pilates studios the previous summer, but didn’t run across any that looked great. However, this time Fuse was the first hit to pop up. After reading a couple of glowing reviews, I knew I had to try it out. It simply sounded too good to be true.

Turns out it’s not. The studio is immaculate; the instructors friendly, knowledgeable, and interested in their students; the class choice, expansive. Fuse knows and loves Pilates and it shows. Every time I leave a class I find myself on a Fuse high, seeing everything in a whole new light. And that’s saying a lot considering I’m usually heading down into the bowels of the Metro to get jostled home on the red line. I feel better, I look better, and I’ve even handling my intense work stress better.

I love Pilates because you get all the benefits of exercise without hurling a stupid medicine ball in the air (boot camp class at a local gym where the instructor spent most of his time yelling at us to hurry up), run until you feel like you’re going to barf (running two marathons was enough running for me in one lifetime, thankyouverymuch), or wrangle unruly weights (body pump always left me deflated). For some people, those things work, but I am not those people. Fuse is Pilates at its best: dynamic, challenging, and fun. I can see my future and it contains a lot of Fuse Pilates.

And the zipper on my shorts (along with everyone who has to see me in them) are truly grateful.

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Posted in Fuse Pilates, Student Perspective

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