Kari & Darwin’s Story

I was someone who, starting in my early 20s, had shoulder pain, upper back/neck pain, and chronic headaches. Sometimes I couldn’t lift my arms, or sometimes would end up in bed with a headache that no amount of over the counter pain killers could seem to get rid of. I was diagnosed with Myofascial pain syndrome when I was 28, which in short basically means you figure out how to deal with it yourself or just suffer and take mounds of pain killers.

Throughout my 20s and 30s I stayed active on and off doing a number of different kinds of classes and home-based workouts. Classes always appealed to me because of the motivation factor. I had trouble being consistent at home, classes energized me, and if I got myself there I had to do it!

Shortly after I turned 40, I discovered a new Pilates studio had opened up. It was Lead Pilates & Wellness. Timing was perfect. I was having a particularly bad time with shoulder pain and I was having trouble moving my left arm. I had been diagnosed with bursitis and had physio, but I always thought that even though it was my shoulder that hurt, it WASN’T my shoulder that was the problem. I decided to start with private sessions at Lead and continued for a couple of months and then in January of 2011, began taking mat and Essentrics classes.

I took classes 2 times per week for about 5 years and it taught me so much about movement, patterns and body awareness. It changed the way I move, walk, stand, sit, drive…it impacted everything I do outside the studio. I rarely deal with shoulder pain now, and although I still battle with headaches, they are not daily anymore. I feel like I have more control over them when I incorporate Pilates and Pilates-based exercises into my routine.

During my own journey at Lead, I often encouraged my husband, Darwin, to take a class or private sessions. He has struggled with persistent low back pain since injuring it in his very early 20s. He had always been active lifting weights but it seemed that as he got older, every time his back “went out” his body took longer to recover. He ended up taking privates at Lead’s old studio but didn’t stick with it. As time passed, he became more fed up with constantly being in pain and he decided to try private sessions again. He now takes 2 private sessions per week. He really likes it and is always amazed at how challenging it is! Best of all he feels better and is walking straighter!

Lead Integrated Health Therapies has also been so valuable in helping both of us in our pain free pursuit. We utilize several services such as chiropractic care, massage therapy and BodyTalk to keep us in tip top shape. I have also seen Dr. Willow ND for help with hormonal changes and following her suggestions, I was feeling more like myself again within a few months. Darwin saw her to help with inflammation and his back pain. She has been a great resource for both of us.

I often wish, like most, that there could be a quick fix for health and wellness as we age, but it’s a daily decision. Every single day I have to get up and decide to do the things that will get me to where I want to be. I want to stay strong and active as I am getting older so I can keep living a full and unlimited life. Having Lead as a cornerstone of my health and wellness has been unbelievably valuable in the last 10 years.

If you are someone who is considering trying a class at Lead, just go for it! The atmosphere is awesome and not intimidating at all, the instructors are super informative and helpful, and the strength, mobility and flexibility you will gain is so worth it. Your body does a lot for you, love it back!!

– Kari