Deryl Patterson


A year ago I didn’t know what Pilates was. And the reformer! I was pretty sure that was the device used to torture the hero (Wesley) in the movie The Princess Bride.

But a year ago I was in constant pain and I had stopped all forms of exercise. I used to walk half marathons and now found it too painful to walk the isles of the grocery store. So a year ago my doctor prescribed “core work” so I began the quest to figure out what I could do to strengthen my core. The prescribed “physical therapy” was not convenient to my schedule and frankly not a pleasant experience. I had nicknamed my instructor my physical terrorist!

My first exposure to Pilates and the mysterious reformer was at Hilton Head Health Institute. I discovered the magic of the reformer that allowed me to work on my core without hurting my back! I determined I had found the right way to strengthen my core.

But my instructor at HHH institute cautioned me that not all Pilates studios are created equal. That I should find one that is truly professional and knows what they’re doing. That’s when she told me about Body Balance Institute. In fact – that’s where she goes to get additional training and certification. Fortunately for me, Body Balance wasn’t three states away but only minutes away!

So I gave them a call. I discovered they offered private sessions and their times were very accommodating for my work schedule. I signed up for a private session at 6am in the morning! Who does that, right? It was dark when I left my house and dark when I came home!

After one session (ok, maybe two) I informed Body Balance that I wanted the 6am time slot on Tuesday and Thursday morning with Cheryl for the next year! I was hooked! Actually, I’ve since decided I want that time slot for the next 20 years – more if I’m able and Cheryl is still teaching.

Hilton Head Health was right about Body Balance Institute. They don’t just offer “Pilate” classes, they take the time to learn about you and your condition and design a program that is customized for you! They understand the anatomy of the body, the bones and the muscles. Even in their group classes, they offer modifications to folks like me who have issues!

I’ve been doing Pilates for 9 months now and I’m happy to report it has changed my life! I’m not completely “cured” but I’m able to not only walk the isles of the grocery store (shush – don’t tell my husband) but also the Atlanta airport without pain! I’m doing all kinds of crazy, acrobatic moves and I walk out at 7 in the morning feeling strong! My posture has improved and my tummy is flatter. I look and feel so much better!

Thank you Cheryl and Body Balance Institute!