Top of Their Game

Six local athletes tell us about the sports that changed their lives — and dish out some inspiration for the rest of us


(page 6 of 6)

Hudson Pilates instructor Nicole Meadors

Nicole Meadors

35, Hudson

After struggling with clinical depression, Kentucky-born Meadors turned to her college hobby for rejuvenation. Now, the former program director for a local movie house teaches in her studio, Pilates Hudson.

Why Pilates?
I committed to it after trying many things — therapists, the whole gamut — to get better. It literally changed my life. The strength you build in the middle of your body resonates to your mind and heart and everything in your life. I got a huge response from my friends and family that my body had changed, and especially my confidence.

What’s your routine?
You can use a mat, but I work daily on machines called the Reformer, Cadillac, Barrel, and Chair. I love the Barrel for opening up the body, the Chair to create balance and stamina, and the Cadillac and Reformer for spinal massage and spring resistance training. I also cross-train twice a week with my personal trainer; we run, box, and work in cardio. I take a weekly private yoga class next door, it’s really athletic and vigorous. And then I take private Pilates classes. I make sure to do some kind of exercise at least five days a week.

What about the notion that Pilates is a “girly” sport?
First off, Joe Pilates was a man! He was a boxer, he was a jock. He trained male dancers, boxers, athletes. Anyone can come to Pilates. It can be rehabilitative, but it’s also a rigorous, beautiful, athletic practice, to the point where your knees are trembling when you walk down the stairs after class.

What changes did you notice about yourself?
It certainly changed my body, stature, and posture. It also became a way of dealing with stress. So I feel more confident, grounded, strong, just from deep within. It chills out my mind, too.

What’s your Achilles’ heel?
I believe in balance: I have my vices and I have my workouts. I eat gummy bears. I love pizza... but I don’t do that all day long, every day. I mix it up. A good, balanced life is more important to me than anything — not to say I’m perfect at it either. It’s still a struggle for sure.

Embarrassing moments?
I speak a lot in metaphors to describe how we’re moving. Sometimes I’ll just say the craziest things — today I just told my class to draw in their stomachs as if it’s a panini in a George Foreman grill. There’ll be a big laugh, but it works.

Any advice for first-timers?
Find a trainer that you connect with, a friend you want to go with, take a mat class. Sometimes the machines are more of a commitment financially and time-wise, but if you do it and love it and it feels amazing to you, don’t get a latte at Starbucks — spend that five extra dollars on a really special class for yourself. Just don’t give up.

What do you enjoy most?
I love the playful part of exercise and working out. It takes me out of the grind of “everyday, all day long,” and into a totally different place where you’re not in your head, but in your body. That’s a super feeling.


For information on places to pursue these sports, check our listings.


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