Holly Finchem


I’ve been doing pilates at BBI since their opening at Hodge Boulevard in 2007. Last week while traveling I was descending one of those narrow metal staircases attached to a small plane and of course carrying a bulky bag over one shoulder when the heel of my shoe caught on the edge of the stair at the top. I had only one hand on the stair rail because of my bag and my body was still moving forward with my feet behind. In this instant of time I could feel my core kick in, I was basically planking and pulling myself back over my feet. I know that without my strength training I would have tumbled down that staircase. It was strange to be aware of the moment so vividly. My body had just known what to do and I had the strength available to me to prevent the fall.

Pilates is an everyday life saver. It is also a quality of life enhancer. One of my hobbies is snow skiing. I didn’t take it up until my late 20’s, so I was lingering as an intermediate level skier. In the past three years my skiing has taken a huge leap. Again my balance is greatly improved, I don’t get nearly as sore and none of my joints ache. I can be much more aggressive because I trust my body to be more in control. I also finally understand what it means to “start your turn with your abdomen instead of your feet”. That’s a game changer!

Finally, pilates is the “Fountain of Youth”. If you are a mom trying to knit back those ab muscles after childbirth, there is no better workout. You’ve all heard of kegel exercises but you’ll truly understand how to work this area which is great for restoring bladder control, even when you sneeze! If you are a 30 – 50 something, all your physical activities will be enhanced due to better muscle support of your joints. You will perform as good or better than you did in your 20’s. If you are 50 – 70+ everyone will think you are at least 10 years younger as posture is a subconscious indicator of age. Additionally you will be able to sustain an active lifestyle as well as perform everyday tasks such as loading groceries, moving suitcases, climbing up into that attic storage with ease and confidence.

I have participated in many different fitness regimens along the way and love a good workout and thought when I added pilates, I would miss the sweating (though we do sweat sometimes) and was concerned that I was not doing enough weight bearing exercise to prevent the loss of bone density. I was recently tested at Canyon Ranch using a full body scan and comparing several key bones as indicators of overall bone health. I am 52 years old and they measured me as in “normal range for a woman in her 30’s”!!! Pilates is now my exercise of choice but if I decide to go for a run or take a yoga class or go for a bike ride I can feel how each of these has become easier due to the foundation I’ve built through the work.

I’ve talked mainly about pilates but I must address BBI. I travel a lot and have had opportunities to try many facilities and instructors. The quality of the instructors and the expertise in the teaching methods and the personalities of those selected by Vicki is superb. The beauty of BBI is that while you will fall in love with your own routine and classes, should your schedule demand a change in order to get in that workout, you will fall in love all over again. Every instructor is that good.