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Meet Lariesa Bell of Pilates of Eastlake in Eastlake Area

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lariesa Bell.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Lariesa. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have always loved the finesse and power of the human body. I love learning about it and my passion is sharing that knowledge with my clients. After receiving my bachelor or science degree from the University of Washington, I started my career as an Aerobics Instructor because I really enjoyed the energy and dynamic moves of an aerobics class. What I felt I was missing from my contribution was the one-on-one connection with my clients. When I decided to expand into personal training I also became interested in the strength and core movements of Pilates and grew my business by working with people in their homes as a certified Pilates instructor and personal trainer.

As a single mother, I struggled to juggle all of my clients in their homes. I needed a location! So I turned my garage into a little Pilates studio with one reformer. The demand for Pilates and personal training with the type of care and personal commitment I was providing drew into more clients than there were hours in the day. My clients all had their individual goals and needs for working out and I honored that with personalized sessions that not only worked on weight loss, but strength and recovery. Some clients were healthy and wanted to lose weight and tone up, while others included young women with crippling rheumatoid arthritis, older adults with degenerative disc disease, sciatica, and scoliosis, and the list goes on. I had the passion and drive to work with all of these individuals, creating mobile healthy bodies and minds.

Even though there were never enough hours in the day, there was always a desire to work with even more people. Within nine months Pilates of Eastlake opened its doors. I wanted to help more people reach their goals and become healthier both physically and mentally. We now operate out of a 2,600 square foot studio, complete with classes like Barre, Reformer, Springboard, Core Conditioning, and Aerial Silks. We also offer private sessions on specialized apparatus to help people find relief from back pain or focus on their goals in a one-on-one setting. This is just the beginning for Pilates of Eastlake and for my journey in leading people to results.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Being a single mother while I was trying to run the business and find a way to support my son was not easy, to say the least. It didn’t help that I was all alone in California while my entire family was in Washington State. I wanted to offer my son the best life I could that allowed him to pursue his interests (which happened to be swim team, among others). I was dedicated to inspire my clients into feeling better and seeing results, so I knew I had to transition from my garage “studio” into a larger commercial space.

One space eventually became a larger space until becoming Pilates of Eastlake as we know it today. I have been in business for over 10 years, and there were days that took sweat and tears, but I always ended up in the right place. The feedback I get from clients is why I am so passionate about what I do. I get to help people feel better, become fit and lose weight. It’s such a positive environment with lot of energy and happiness! People always leave in a great mood after class. All the hurdles in the world couldn’t squelch my joy and desire for what I do.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Pilates of Eastlake is unlike any other fitness studio in southern San Diego. We are not a franchise, and we cater to the needs and goals of each of our students. I know my client’s children, and when they’re celebrating an Anniversary. We are like a family, and we support each other through life while getting fit and having fun! Pilates of Eastlake has grown to include Aerial Fit Academy as well, and the variety of classes and customer service that we offer our students is unsurpassable. Students can take Pilates Reformer, Barre, Aerial Silks, Springboard, and more… all for a low and flexible rate. We are the only studio in the area that offers all of the specialized equipment such as the Cadillac, Chair, Barrel, etc., and specializes in Pilates for rehabilitation.

My husband (a chiropractor) and myself have teamed up to offer our patients/clients the highest quality care to get them out of back/neck pain and get on with their lives. We have created a one-of-a-kind multi-disciplinary approach to their health and wellness that includes weight loss, recovery, and fitness… all to get out of pain and to achieve amazing results.

What were you like growing up?
I grew up in Washington State as a very shy and quiet little girl. You would never believe it now! My passion throughout my life was riding horses. My parents toted me all over to compete, and homeschooled me to give me the time to ride, as well as a great education. I competed heavily in show-jumping as a young adult, until eventually pursuing my degree from the University of Washington.

My Mom’s diligence with my education allowed me to complete college early and graduate with honors. Thanks, Mom! It didn’t take me long open up and became outgoing, gregarious and energetic! I loved everything outdoors and active. Hiking and snowboarding also occupied any spare time, and I eventually climbed to the summit of both Mt. Rainier and Mt. Whitney. My dream was always to live in sunny California where the weather is warm and I can be at the beach! Enjoying nature and being active makes me feel at peace, and gives me a great gratitude for life. I want to share this positive mindset and healthy physical balance to my clients! Mindset is just as important as becoming physically fit!

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