Liz is an amazing teacher. She not only remembers your name, but also remembers any health issues that you may have told her about in previous sessions. If you are looking for a reference to someone who is a great teacher and a great help – Liz is it! You would be lucky and grateful to have her. If you are interested in why I think so, please read on.
I first met Liz after many months of recovering in bed from an auto accident and a resulting brain injury. I had been a passenger in a vehicle that was struck by another that crossed two lanes of traffic and hit us broadside at about 60 mph. The vehicle that I was in rolled three (3) times, coming to rest on its roof and forever changing my life.
I was unable to start any physical therapy until nine (9) months after the accident. In the beginning, I made some progress, but the therapy was not making the difference that I thought it should for my efforts.
I was a definite challenge to my Physical Therapist because I was living with a constant and most times severe headache since the accident, and it affected everything that I did because any movement affected the headache. During a water therapy session, I met a couple of other patients who raved about “their teacher who instructs the Pool Pilates classes.” They spoke of how their balance had improved greatly and how they had grown so much stronger since meeting her and being in her classes. I was unsure at that point in my rehabilitation if I could follow along with a class. I was still in speech therapy at the time, could barely speak, and was relearning how to talk normally as well as overcome cognitive issues and memory problems.
These other patients were confident that I would enjoy the classes despite my challenges and they were sure that “Liz” could help me. They were right! I decided to attend her Poolates class, and I loved the class and her teaching style! She instructed me, but not so much as to overwhelm me. As I kept coming to her classes, I would see myself making more and more progress. She was instrumental in correcting my form in ways that I found helpful and gratifying. Even though I was in a class with others, I received individualized help and attention from her, as did everyone.
After being in her Poolates class for a few weeks, Liz spoke to me about her Mat Pilates class, and mentioned that she thought I could progress faster if I added some of the land based Pilates exercises that are done in those classes. So I tried her Mat class. At first, there was so much that I couldn’t do there. Many exercises were just too difficult for me. When the class would do something that I could not, I would balance on my exercise ball per Liz’s instruction until they finished. Eventually, as I became stronger, there were more and more movements and exercises that I could do. There are some movements that I should not do, and Liz would always give me an alternative to try while the others were busy with theirs. Liz taught me to “listen to my body”. This is something that I find myself doing all the time now! Knowing when a muscle is fatigued or that an activity hurts me can prevent further injury. Liz taught me how to address those issues.
I looked forward to every class with Liz! Everyone (family, friends, therapist and doctors) who saw me could see my improvements. My treating neurologist said that these exercises were good for the healing processes in my brain.
After hearing someone talk about how Liz had helped them to “heal their bad back” on a Pilates Reformer, I asked her about that machine and what treatments were like on it. I had known Liz for about 4 months by this time, and had made so much progress doing both the water and mat exercises (Mat classes twice a week and Poolates classes 4 times a week). I was very interested in seeing if the Pilates Reformer would help me further.
I was not disappointed.
I was able to work one-on-one with Liz, and as I did, I grew more knowledgeable of my muscles and how to target them through each movement. I also learned how to prevent injury to myself and how to use my breath to help in my movements.
The Reformer helped me move through the motions that my muscles were too weak to do, or that I was unable to do on my own. It was different from the water & land Pilates classes in that there were springs to either help aide or resist my movement, therefore introducing further challenge to my muscles and allowing me to make it through motions where I still had weakness. All of my body improved, particularly the muscles that had been the most changed by the accident. This machine was made to help people recover from injury, and I think that Liz has a gift for helping people recover.
There really are not words that can describe how much I have improved. If you had seen me “before Liz”, and then after Liz’s tutelage, you would rave about what she has done too! I gave Liz many challenges because of my head injuries and physical weaknesses, but she always welcomed those problems and special situations and found ways to help me improve. She said that if I kept coming back to her, that she could get me to where I wanted to be with my rehabilitation. She did!
I’d doubt that I would have been able to make this progress in my recovery with another instructor. Liz stands in a class all her own. I have never met anyone with her talents and good energy. I do ask myself all of the time: “What would Liz have me do?” I then take her teachings and put them to work for me. If I were still able to see Liz today (she has since moved away), I would want her to be proud of me as I continue to get stronger because of what she was able to teach me.
If you have read all of this, thank you. I hope you are fortunate enough to work with Liz and have the great experiences that I did.
Love and Light,