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Meet Kate Medley of PilateZENergy in Point Loma

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kate Medley.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kate. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
When I was a young girl, my soon-to-be stepfather, Art, gave me a beautiful gift. It was a rock with a quote by Albert Einstein: “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Oh what a gift for an old soul like me. That rock has been MY Rock.

I was born in Green Bay Wisconsin and am a die-hard Packers fan! My family moved to Raleigh, N.C. when I was 10 and I attended boarding school (at my request), but I returned to Wisconsin to attend UW-Stout, majoring in Fashion Merchandising with a Business minor. I’d had a love for fashion my entire life; my bible at age 12 was Vogue Magazine. It was so natural for me and I thrived—ultimately studying in London and graduating with honors.

After UW, I moved to Denver for an internship and stayed there, pursuing my career in the luxury retail market. I landed a job with Louis Vuitton, but as there was no place for my advancement in Denver, I interviewed for a position in San Diego to open the Fashion Valley location. I moved to San Diego and begun phase two as Leather Goods Manager. A year later, I was promoted as Store Manager of the Neiman Marcus lease boutique. I was on the fast track and living the dream. But life had different plans for me and that Rock became ever-so-important.

Art fell ill with lung cancer and was given only a year to live. It was brutal…horrible. Trying to keep it together and travel to support my mother and stepfather’s battle was all uphill. My eyes opened wide and my vision changed. Life was too short. I needed to find something that would lead me to help others fight the fight. I decided to take a sabbatical from my career and find myself…to really dig deeply…to heal and grieve…to find the light that I had lost.

I would have never guessed that I would find that light in this thing called Pilates. It wasn’t totally new to me; I had dabbled in private sessions after long, vigorous retail hours in Denver, but I never could really commit. I liked it, but there was no love affair. But now my priorities were shifting and the words on my Rock were coming true. I started back in with my Pilates practice. It became my therapy, and I decided to begin instructor certification.

That would have to wait, however, in the face of more difficulty. My fit, active father had a life changing hunting accident. He fell 40 feet from a tree, tore his aorta, severed his spine, broke all his ribs and became paralyzed from the chest down. He was fighting for his life in ICU. To see that pain in a father’s eyes was devastating. I took a month off from my Pilates apprenticeship to be by his side. He was a fighter, and never gave up, and transitioned to spinal rehabilitation. I visited him and attended his rehab classes. Witnessing patients struggle day after day was mind-blowing—patients whose lives were turned upside-down and still made the choice to be positive and fight the good fight. It further fueled my fire, and I completed my Pilates certification, training with some of the best including Junghee Won and Jennifer Kries. Armed with a new mission, I began teaching full-time.

During the next five years of instructing in studios around San Diego, I kept hearing “if you aren’t the owner of a studio, you’re doomed,” but I was determined to prove the naysayers wrong. Eventually though, with the sad passing of my father and those words of Albert Einstein nudging me, I decided to take the plunge and move out on my own.

When I first saw it my current studio space in Point Loma, I found myself covered in goose bumps: It was a sign from the heavens. PilateZENergy was born.

As I enter the third year of owning my studio, those words on my Rock ring more true than ever. I think back to how the light bulb shined so brightly when I found Pilates as my way to give back…to make a real difference. Difficulty has driven me, and I strive to embody those words on my Rock in the way I live my life. And when I hear a client say “I can’t,” I respond “you will.”

Has it been a smooth road?
Through PilateZENergy, I have been blessed with two years of teaching amazing clients committed to their practice. It has been extremely gratifying to see the progress made by so many.

The biggest challenge has been to convince new potential clients to make the financial investment in private and semi-private sessions. And that is exactly what it is: an investment—in better health. While large group classes can be valuable, especially to an experienced practitioner, the Pilates method relies on precision and control, and on the little things that only an experienced instructor paying close attention can see and fix. This is especially true for students with injuries, or who may be coming back to fitness after time away. Certainly, Aaron Rogers of my beloved Packers would never consider trying to play on Sundays without the aid of a coach watching his every move. The same goes for someone wanting the most from Pilates.

Another challenge has been to stand out in the sea of fitness choices everyone has today— both online and at studios and gyms of every shape and size—often at deeply discounted prices. The best deal that day or week may not be what’s best for one’s long-term health. It is difficult for a potential client to know where to begin or to choose a program that will really produce long-term results. That’s one of the reasons that many people choose to avoid a fit lifestyle, or fail to remain committed to a helpful instructor or studio. Educating everyone on the value of what Pilates offers in one-on-one settings is a must. I want to let people know that Pilates, practiced in a way true to the methods of Joseph Pilates, can bring about a better quality of life for themselves, and subsequently, for those around them.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I offer private and semi-private mat, Reformer, and Springboard Pilates, fusing a classical foundation with more contemporary techniques. I also offer more affordable cardio-circuit classes to groups of three or four students who have some experience on Pilates apparatus. Also available is in-person in-home training, as well as Facetime/Skype mat sessions for my clients who travel or who are currently living out of town. In addition, PilateZENergy classes are available by subscription on demand at PowHow.com. Finally, PZ offers one-on-one instructor certification customized to the goals of the future teacher.

My studio is a unique, warm, and inviting space, filled with warmth and light. I focus on creating a fun, safe, private environment and develop a personal rapport with every client. My teaching style is non-intimidating and detail/results oriented, seeking to accommodate every client’s unique physical and emotional needs. My goal is to always educate, coach, inspire, and awaken each client’s body with awareness and better health. I have a true passion for teaching and hope to share my experience to help others better themselves. I am most rewarded when witnessing a client’s growth and progress.

And I’m pleased to announce the coming of PZ Perks in 2018—an all-new super fun PilateZENergy rewards program that will make classes even more affordable to frequent clients.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
My greatest hope is that healthcare professionals and insurance providers will begin to consider Pilates, yoga and other forms of functional fitness training as real alternatives to medications, surgery and other invasive treatments. More and more, we are seeing a move in that direction, but it is sadly too slow to help many people who could benefit immediately.

The other big shift will likely be related to technology. As mentioned above, I am already offering private sessions to clients via FaceTime/Skype, as well as on-demand Pilates videos. Certainly technology will provide a means for teachers and students to connect even more easily in the years ahead.

With all this, though, it still comes down to two things: a great teacher and a committed practitioner. That has never changed, and never will.

Pricing:

  • New Client Special: 1 / 60 minute Private Session $40
  • 1 Private Session $70
  • 5 Private Pack $300
  • 10 Private Pack $550
  • 1 Semi Private Session $90
  • 5 Semi Private Pack $375
  • 10 Semi Private Pack $700
  • 1 Face Time / Skype Session $55
  • 5 Face Time / Skype Pack $250
  • 10 Face Time / Skype Pack $450

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Diana Elledge, Chuck Elledge, Janalyn Yanover @horizonlightproductions

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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