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Showing Up and Getting Stronger: My Pilates Reformer Journey

By Claire Auckenthaler, YWCA Minneapolis Health & Wellness member
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I have been a fitness member of YWCA Minneapolis for the past eight years. I love it! Over the years, I have utilized several different fitness programs, enjoyed cardio classes, the pool, weight equipment, etc. I have always been pleased with the wide variety of what is offered and the quality of the teachers I have had. The gym equipment is high-quality and well maintained. In fact, I would have to say this is a well-run gym, now that I think about it!

A Love for Pilates Reformer

A few years ago, I was in the routine of taking Pilates Reformer classes at YWCA – I loved Pilates and the teacher was excellent. But then, I dealt with orthopedic issues that ended my participation in the class. In fact, it ended most of everything I did in the gym with a few exceptions.

Pilates Reformers at YWCA Uptown
Pilates Reformer Machines at YWCA Uptown

Surgeries that Halted My Gym Participation

After a minimally invasive back surgery in 2013 and hip replacements in 2014 and 2016, I had long wanted to get back to the reformer. But, I was afraid I could never do it again – until eventually, my rheumatologist confirmed I could go back.

Seeking a Pilates Teacher Who Understood My Limitations

Last March, I called Tresa Sauer seeking private lessons for the reformer. Honestly, I was terrified to go to any Pilates studio around town, but Tresa had a great reputation for her attention to detail and excellence. I wanted a teacher who understood my limitations, so I wouldn’t get hurt – and I felt I could take a chance on Tresa.

Pilates machine fitness

Showing Up at 7:00 AM

Tresa offered me a space in her Tuesday 7:00 am Team Training class. I’ve never taken any exercise class before 11:00 am in my life! But, I took it. I believed that if the safest, best teacher is teaching at 7:00 am, I was going to have to (no pun intended) rise to the occasion. Now, I take the Tuesday and Wednesday 7:00 am Pilates reformer class with Tresa and she’ll never get rid of me! This just proves that if you find an exercise you love, you will show up.

This just proves that if you find an exercise you love, you will show up.

Increased Strength & Feeling More Stable

I am very devoted to the class. I was (and still am) physically weak. However, I have seen and felt the difference with increased strength, core stability and balance. Pilates reformer has been critical for me to help maintain overall muscle resilience. I used to cycle too, but I have not done that in several years because of the orthopedic issues I had. This year, though, I am finally feeling strong enough, and physically stable enough to get back on a bicycle.

I have seen and felt the difference with increased strength, core stability and balance.

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