Thank you, Cassey Ho

Just after I finished my semester at Berkeley in May, I decided to fill up all my free time (because apparently I just like not having free time) by beginning the Blogilates beginner calendar.

It wasn’t just a choice made out of boredom. I’d seen Blogilates material floating around on the internet before, like when Wong Fu Productions hung out with her one weekend or in some of my friend’s Facebook and Instagram posts (shout out to Melody), but I’d never bothered to really look into it — until now, which is where all that free time comes into play.

For those of you unfamiliar with Blogilates, here’s a brief rundown: Blogilates founder, Cassey Ho, graduated from Whittier College in 2009 with a degree in biology, but decided to take a different route post-graduation. When she began teaching Pilates in her sophomore year of college, she realized that she wanted to direct her focus and energy elsewhere.

Photo Courtesy of Blogilates Tumblr
Photo Courtesy of Blogilates Tumblr

Ho’s passion for teaching grew from simply running classes to launching her own line of fitness accessories and beginning her POP Pilates blog and YouTube channel. She has received a huge amount of attention and acclaim for her work — and rightfully so. Ho’s complete program is not only helpful and instructional, but also extremely supportive. (I have personally emailed her twice, and received responses to both of them.)

Now that the summer’s winding down, I can proudly say that I’ve done Blogilates for three months now, and it is one of the best choices I’ve personally made for myself.

For those of you who don’t know, I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was in 6th grade. I was exempt from PE for my middle school years since I was required to spend about 22 hours of my day in a back brace, but returned to the required PE track in high school, after my doctor finally declared that I had finished growing and would no longer have to wear the brace anymore.

Photo Courtesy of Scoliosis Research Society
Photo Courtesy of Scoliosis Research Society

Despite my treatment, I still had to undergo spinal fusion surgery in December 2010 to properly correct my curves. They had progressed to such a degree that if I didn’t have corrective surgery, they could continue to worsen and potentially have a negative effect on my internal organs.

Needless to say having a back brace, avoiding PE for three years, returning to the widely generalized structure of public school PE, and undergoing back surgery within a span of five years really did not help me look fondly upon anything relating to physical fitness.

It’s only been in the past couple years — after my brother began to develop a great interest in staying active, doing yoga, and developing a sort of fitness routine (that looks much healthier than mine still) — that I began to make the same choices for myself.

Of course, after only three months, you can’t really see a visible difference, but I can definitely feel the difference — both physically and mentally.

Post gym selfies and back to that Berkeley grind.
Post gym selfies and back to that Berkeley grind.

There has been a quite deal of excitement over the discovery of muscles in my legs, ones that I didn’t even know existed before, but the greater part of this entire experience thus far is simply feeling better about myself. This is, to date, the happiest I’ve felt in my own body.

Maybe I can still see that little food baby (Curse of my foodie nature?), but it doesn’t bother me anymore, because I feel good, I feel healthy, and I feel happy with myself.

So with all that being said… Thank you, Cassey Ho, for helping me become a happier human being. I still have my little challenges here and there, but they’re no where nearly as daunting as they were a few years back, and I know I’ll be able to get through each of them from my own mental and physical strength and determination.

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