Our Pilates Pact

“Pilates saved my life.” That’s the title of the story told by JoAnn Smith for this issue’s “Success Story” column (page 38). In her heartbreaking tale, JoAnn recalls tragically losing her son, Brian, then a college student, and how she and her family coped with the seemingly endless stream of tear-drenched days. JoAnn credits her Pilates practice, which evolved into a career as a Pilates teacher at the Pilates Center of Omaha in the aftermath of Brian’s death, for helping her get through the unimaginable. “Every time I teach a Pilates class,” she writes, “my life is brightened. That is an incredible gift.”

We all have struggles in life—some of us, like JoAnn, face them every day. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to reflect on all the good in our lives, which probably includes a regular Pilates practice if you’re reading this. “I’m Thankful For…” on page 66 advocates reframing your mind-set—and always thinking in terms of thanks—to better every single aspect of your life.

Before press time, two events occurred that shook my universe to the core. First was courtesy of Mother Nature: On August 17, Hurricane Harvey came to Houston, where I live. My family was forced to evacuate, possibly leaving behind everything we’ve ever worked for. The storm knocked out our main power breaker, relegating us to a mattress in our living room and feeling helpless. However, as we were told by our electrician, among others, our breaker did its job; being without power, even in the Houston heat, seems minor compared to what could have transpired.


My husband, his health and his perseverance. Genetics play a large part in his heart diseases, and the silver lining to his recent heart attack is that we now know how to better take care of him.


My supportive family, which also includes my work family. The PS staff—or family, as I like to call them—is a part of my everyday life, and I truly appreciate and love each and every one of them.


Living in the great state of Texas. It was nothing short of amazing to see the Houston community and surrounding areas come together to help and support those in need during Harvey and beyond.


Our readers. Last but certainly not least, I’d like to thank you, someone I’ve never taken for granted, for all your support this year. Want to see more or less of something in the new year? Drop me at line at editor@pilatesstyle.com.

Then, in the midst of the chaos on a Sunday evening in September, my husband, Matthew, was transported by ambulance to the hospital’s cardiac unit. We couldn’t believe it when the doctors told us he had had a heart attack—he had been eating right and doing regular Pilates and more.

When Matthew was discharged and things started to return to “normal”—which included me being able to go to Pilates class—I was able to step back, breathe and reflect on everything, especially on those things I’d taken for granted. Our lives are fragile, and too often we find ourselves in situations where we’re powerless.

With the holidays approaching, it’s easy to get caught up in the stress of it all. Let us help you make the best of this season, and stay feeling good from the inside out. To that end, don’t miss our workouts that you can do anywhere (see pages 42 and 84), stress-busting techniques (see: the entire magazine), healthy eating tips (pages 16 and 70), plus our special holiday gift guide (page 23).

This November through December and beyond, let’s make a pact to appreciate life—from the trivial parts to the most precious—and to always make time for Pilates, since it really is so much more than just a system of exercise. You in? 

See ya on the mat,



Bambi Abernathy

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