Teacher’s Profile – Tracie
With a constant high demand for classes it was time to work with other teachers and as Tracie was one of my first clients attending classes. She always showed enthusiasm and commitment and so years later I approached Tracie about joining my troop.
Tracie teaches Pilates for 'Pilates and Yoga with Bunny' as part of the online subscription live classes. Together we share Monday evening classes alternating that gives subscribers to online a chance for live classes with 2 different experienced teachers and influences
Tracie is an asset to our tribe and working together we sourced her training with the same provider so our teaching styles are similar and also I knew the level she would be qualified to. I am so grateful to have her as part of the team.
“I came to Pilates in 2016, desperate for an exercise programme that wouldn’t exacerbate my various health issues.
Since my 20s I’ve lived with Lupus (SLE) and Graves Disease (overactive thyroid). Both conditions, now in a quiet remission, have taken their toll on me physically and I’m now dealing with the ‘collateral damage’ caused by inflammatory auto-immune disease.
The amazing Rheumatology Team at UCLH in London got me to remission after nearly 20 years of drug treatment. I was well enough to welcome a dog back into our home and our beloved Staffy, Tess, started my slow walk to recovery and some semblance of fitness. I had little upper body strength, or core strength, my posture was poor and joints sore, tight and inflexible: I felt fifty years older than I was and was determined to do something about it.
Tracie Hills Pilates
The walking developed and I loved being out in the countryside with the dog. We trained for the 2013 Moon Walk Marathon – something I never thought I would ever achieve- and finished it. I was on a high.
I tried running, going to the gym, weight training and even badminton in an effort to boost my fitness and strength. Nothing worked for me. I was constantly injuring myself because I didn’t understand that high impact exercise will never work for my body. I understood physiology and sports injuries: I’d been volunteering as a physio and match first aid responder for our local rugby club. I had the RFU training, I could treat a rugby player but I still didn’t understand the needs of my own body.
Since moving to Hampshire in 2013 I became a dog walker and dog trainer. One of my clients suggested I try Pilates and recommended Bunny’s mat classes. I signed up for a term and was hooked after the first session. What struck me was that I was learning how to move properly again, how to use my body and work it without pushing myself too hard or too fast. I loved the uncompetitive environment of the classes, everyone had their own goals and worked at their own pace under the expert tuition of Bunny. I found the mental concentration required for each exercise fascinating: body and mind working together.
Within a year I was more flexible and stronger than I’d been at 25 and even a little taller once I’d sorted out my posture! I felt great and moved from two mat classes per week onto the Reformer. Seeing my strength grow as I managed more advanced exercises has been a joy. What I now know is that Pilates has helped me learn to love my body again and listen to it. My health issues had damaged my confidence and body image for so long that feeling low had become so ‘normal’ that I didn’t register it until I started thinking deeply about what Pilates meant to me.
In January 2019 I was considering training as a Pilates Teacher. It has given me so much and I passionately believe that Pilates could benefit so many other people of all ages, fitness levels or body type. I will admit that I had my doubts, not about the academic study or exams, I’ve always enjoyed learning. What concerned me was that fact that I was older than most exercise professionals and I doubted my body’s ability.
With Bunny’s reassurance and support I took the plunge and started the training. It was a rigorous and very in depth course in human anatomy and physiology as well as Pilates itself. I clocked up four hundred hours of study and practical teaching practise and passed the exams to qualify in June 2019. It’s been hard work but incredibly rewarding and has made me even more determined to help as many people as possible by spreading the Pilates message. “