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Balanced Body COREterly

Winter 2017

People and Places

Who’s Doing Pilates? Tom and Alexa Robbins

by Dan Wilson

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in our 2017 catalog

Tom Robbins is the critically acclaimed, best-selling author of such books as Even Cowgirls get the Blues, Still Life with Woodpecker, and Jitterbug Perfume, among others. In November of 1999, Writers Digest Magazine named Tom one of the 100 Best Writers of the 20th Century. In October of 2012, he received the Literary Lifetime Achievement Award from the Library of Virginia (other recipients include Edgar Allan Poe, Booker T. Washington and Tom Wolfe.)

Tom and his wife Alexa live in La Conner, Washington. Alexa is a Clairvoyant Tarot reader who does intuitive sessions (these are therapeutic sessions where an intuitive counselor can assist in bringing a client to a personal breakthrough of greater insight, peace, and sense of direction). She also happens to be a Balanced Body-trained Pilates instructor. Although not actively teaching Pilates at the moment, Alex does plan on incorporating movement into her work and will be also adding yoga teacher training to her repertoire.

Alexa discovered Pilates a decade ago because an old skiing injury was prohibiting her from doing other activities without pain. She heard Pilates might help and started taking lessons with Carolyn Morris Watson at her studio, Core Kinetics, in Bellingham, WA.

“Carolyn told me I could not only get beyond my pain but become strong,” says Alexa. “She was absolutely right! She and another brilliant instructor, Core Kinetics co-founder Jennifer Perry, trained me out of some serious pain syndromes and got me fit. A Balanced Body Master Instructor, Carolyn suggested I take some of the Balanced Body trainings to deepen my practice. The method made so much sense to me I eventually became an instructor myself, and I sometimes teach at Core Kinetics.”

About the time Alexa was getting into her Pilates trainings, Tom was struggling with his yoga practice and experiencing pain with his daily activities. She suggested he try what she was doing. “It took a while for him to see the benefits of the practice”, says Alexa, “but after a while he no longer suffered pain while exercising”.

Now 84 years old, Tom has now been working out with Jennifer and Carolyn twice a week for 7 years.

As the benefits of mindful movement and healthy aging continue to synchronize, many active adults are seeing great improvement in postural changes, stability, balance and strength and feeling better than they have in years.

Tom is no exception:

“Unless my mother lied on my birth certificate, I’m now 84, yet I’m stronger and more flexible than I was 30 years ago. My condition isn’t due, as one might imagine, to clean living and wholesome thoughts, but to Pilates.

Seriously. When I used to practice yoga, I was forever straining this or that muscle (as well as my brain from trying to remember all that Sanskrit terminology), but nowadays my Pilates trainer has me (among other feats) executing pull-ups while hanging upside down from a trapeze, and guys half my age marvel at the speed and ease with which I fold over and touch my toes. I won’t claim that Pilates is any fountain of youth, but most observers guess I’m in my fifties, and my sense of well-being is almost shocking.”

—Tom Robbins

Learn more about Alexa Robbins

Learn more about Core Kinetics

Learn more about Tom Robbins by reading his books.