Friday, August 26, 2016

Pilates at Amphi - A Public/Private Partnership

GRIN's legwork and Body Works Pilates's teachers and Balanced Body's equipment have given the girls' Sports Fitness Class at Amphi Middle School professional Fletcher Pilates instruction, within the curriculum.
That may not seem like much, but I am here to tell you that it is a monumental achievement.  Without the support of the school's administrative staff, without their determination that the program would succeed, without their fearlessness in the face of insurmountable (to me, anyway) obstacles, they tweaked and poked and prodded and together we came up with a solution that worked for everyone.

It's been going on since April 13, 2012.  That's 9 semesters of work, 9 semesters of girls who've gained strength and control, noticed by their Coach and classroom teacher, verified by those who've gone before them.  We've done research and measurements on physical and psychological dimensions over the years, and now, with the help of the friendly folks at AlignaBod, we have the perfect tool.

The girls aren't that interested in how many seconds they can hold a plank.  That doesn't translate to their lives outside the gym.  These are 12 and 13 year old girls; they spend a lot of time looking in the mirror.

If I can show them in pictures how their bodies have adapted to their work on the mats, if they can see themselves standing straighter and taller, if they can hold the pictures in their hands or put them on their locker door or bulletin board at home....

Do such things still exist?  Is Facebook the digital bulletin board? Ah, once again, I digress .... 

.... I think it will make a big difference.


I took three photos of each student.  They faced forward, to the side, and to the grid.


I aligned them with the bold vertical line but gave them no instruction other than

Just stand there.  

Some were stiff and some were loose and some were delighted to join in the fun.


I asked each of them to write her name on a clean page of the yellow mini-legal-pad (scrubbed, there on the left, for obvious reasons) and to respond to this prompt:
using this scale: 
Are you impressed with my high-tech materials?

In December, I'll repeat the process and consider my findings.
I'll print the pictures for the girls, and hope for the best.

My expectations have already been met.

13 comments:

  1. Just for girls? I'm surprised the school didn't require for both sexes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We found one teacher who would share one day of instruction with us - and she is the coach of the Girls' Volleyball and Basketball teams. This class is for those students.

      The politics of getting this done required teacher buy in. Once I had that, everything else fell into place. If the boys want a class (or the district wants us to offer one) we'd be glad to oblige :-)
      a/b

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  2. I love this! My esthetician was telling my yesterday that I should be doing yoga to help with my anxiety. I'm going to take her up on it. I do agree with dkzody, why is this only geared toward girls? Everyone can benefit from yoga and pilates.

    Keep up the good work. They will all see the physical as well as mental differences.


    Megan xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Look at the answer above, Megan. We tried a co-ed after school program; no one came except the teachers :-(
      a/b

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  3. Fantastic, HRF! I couldn't be more excited and proud of what you're doing to make a difference for these girls. This is probably their first exposure to the wonders of yoga and pilates...hopefully it will instill in them a lifelong love of exercise and self-care. Tucson and Amphi are sooo lucky to have someone like you who've demonstrated this level of commitment to get a program like this off the ground, to help others improve their lives and make such a huge difference! The grid and the photos are above & beyond and serve as a testimony of the benefits for all to see!!! What a neat idea...You continue to amaze & inspire me every day! Enjoy your weekend. XO

    ReplyDelete
  4. *its refreshing to see the development of programs geared to young women, although I agree that yoga & pilates benefit EVERYONE of all ages, body types etc...However, so much of what we see opportunity-wise, at least in my district, caters to opportunities for young men...which can be disheartening if you have daughters...so, its nice for a change, to see a community invest, create and establish something like this tailored to young ladies. For example, this week our HS football team is on their annual trip to Cali and I think to myself..."wait, what about the girls"? Equal opportunities...now THAT's something I can get behind...and with YOU at the helm, for those girls it's a game-changer...BRAVO to all of you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are catching the girls at a sweet spot in their lives, we hope. Training for posture and breath will, we hope, give them a better start in life. So many of them are already hunching over b/c their bodies aren't "right"..... Our goal is to lift them up and out!
      a/b

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  5. Great gift to the kids. So glad they could pull it off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Administration in the schools (Prince and Amphi share a big campus) made all the difference. They refused to let it die!
      a/b

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  6. Replies
    1. Do you recognize your wonderfulness in this post?!!?!? Without you, this would NEVER have happened. "Just because it's hard doesn't mean it shouldn't happen".... from your mouth to my heart.
      a/b

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