Manly studio regular and Manly Lawn Tennis Club owner, Carmela Blackburn completed the Dynamic Pilates 30 Day Challenge in August 2016 but her reasons for starting Pilates and taking on the 30 Day Challenge were far more than just to drop a dress size…
Q. Why did you decide to try Reformer Pilates?
I decided to try Reformer Pilates for 2 main reasons. Firstly, because it was recommended to me by my surgical and oncology team late 2015 after being diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, as a form of safe resistance training. In particular with physical activity being so vital for a good outcome to the cancer it needs to be a way of life moving forward through the years not just a few weeks commitment. I also love how it changes your whole body making you strong but lean and the classes are actually fun but hard working at the same time!
Q. How has Pilates helped you through your cancer treatment?
I didn’t have chemotherapy but had radiation treatment and would feel quite traumatized at times. Pilates helped my mind switch off. It’s the only space I can go where my mind switches off and I can focus on the class. It’s like a form of meditation…and I love it!
Q. What benefits have you experienced since starting Reformer Pilates?
There are lots of benefits to Reformer Pilates which include a fit, lean, strong body which I didn’t think was possible at my age! I’m in the best shape of my life! Why did I take so long to start? You meet great people both staff and clients and it’s so much fun. The reformer beds make you feel supported properly, so no back strain or uncomfortable floors!
Q. What made you decide to do the 30 Day Challenge?
I decided to take the challenge because my 1 year cancer checks were due in the following month and I wanted to be in the best shape both physically and mentally possible. It was something to fully focus on and it was amazing! I lost 16.5 cm from my overall body and now bikini ready. You know what they say summer bodies are created in winter!!
Q. How did you feel while you were doing the 30 Day Challenge?
After the 30 Day Challenge my body felt so good and so strong. I slept so much better and had so much more energy. The combination of clean diet and five classes a week with the Challenge kick started me into creating healthy habits which I’m now continuing with. I feel invigorated after every Reformer Pilates class I do. I feel supercharged and ready to face the rest of day. If I’m feeling a bit flat I know that after a reformer class I’ll feel better and have heaps more energy. It also helps me to get in tune with my body. Plus the bonus is that I now have a fabulous figure and at my age!
Q. What did you enjoy most about the Challenge?
I enjoyed all of the challenge but I think the routine of classes got me into a very good habit and I could see results quickly so it was very motivating.
Q. What was the hardest part of the Challenge?
I have had cancer so for me there was no hard part in doing the challenge! I already have the biggest challenge ahead of me so this was easy!
Q. Any advice for people considering trying Reformer Pilates or the 30 Day Challenge?
My advice to anyone about trying Reformer Pilates or the 30 Day Challenge is to just do it! Don’t wait for some life changing event to really think about your body and how you live with it and treat it!
Q. What’s next?
I plan to keep up 3 sessions a week and at intervals do another 30 day challenge to boost it up! I feel great and Reformer Pilates is now a part of my weekly exercise routine! Pilates has also improved my tennis performance because it has made me stronger and more balanced out on the court.