Recently, my sister asked me what type of student was the most rewarding to teach. I didn’t even have to think about it — a professional athlete or professional dancer, highly physically conditioned and very motivated. When she probed a little deeper though, I realized something quite profound. Actually, it wasn’t the talent of a body I was attracted to; it was the talent of the mind. I was reminded of a former client who was not an athlete nor a dancer. She was a professional writer who basically sat on her butt all day, which caused continual back aches. Shaped like an apple, she practically rolled into my studio. 

From her very first exercise, her overall weakness and lack of abdominal strength was so severe, I wondered if she’d stick around long enough for me to help her. But she did. I underestimated her commitment to changing her life and she made so much progress, her backaches completely disappeared. Her waistline began to change, chiseling into a more svelte hourglass. I loved teaching her because she was present, smart and willing to try anything I asked. Not only did she gain body strength, her confidence soared and making me think of Mr. Pilates’ quote, “Physical fitness is the first requisite to happiness.”

So, I’m grateful to my sister for asking me about my client preference. It made me realize that all along my favorite students were thoughtful, curious and hard working, no matter their size or shape.

For more information about Darien Gold, you might check out the March/April 2020 issue of Pilates Style magazine. Interviewed by Anne Marie O’Connor, you’ll learn about Darien’s life and her forty-year journey from the gymnastics mat to the Pilates mat. To read the entire article, hard copies are available as well as digital – a year’s subscription will set you back ten dollars.

You can also listen to Darien’s live weekly radio show, “All Things Pilates” on KPCA.FM and local radio, 103.3FM or her bi-monthly podcast, ALL THINGS PILATES on Apple Podcast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Learn from some of the top Pilates experts as well as lesser known experts — all who are making an impact on our fascinating industry.

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