Every Wednesday is Father’s Day

by Leslie Braverman on June 6, 2014

Pilates Strengthens Our Father and Daughter Bond 

 

PNWP Owner Leslie Braverman has had the pleasure of introducing her father to Pilates over the past year. It has been life-altering and an education for both of them. She shares their happy story with you, and encourages all our friends and family to celebrate Father’s Day on June 15— and to make joyful father-daughter connections throughout the year. 

 

My dad, Larry, has 1st dibs on my schedule every Wednesday at 11 a.m. Teaching Pilates to my Dad is not what I expected, and is unlike teaching any other client.

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Dad and me during his Wednesday session. (We were trying out PNWP’s new iPad and getting “shot” in the studio took Dad by surprise.)

 

When I was growing-up, Dad worked hard. He was up at 4:45 a.m. and home by 6 p.m. to eat dinner, watch the evening news, and in bed by 9:30 p.m. Weekend breakfasts and family outings were my favorite times with him.

He mostly knew me as a snotty-nosed kid and a willful teenager dreaming of a life in dance. I saw him as a typically quiet man capable erupting into bursts of anger (kids!) or passionate conversation. My drive to dance mirrored his own early desires to be a professional tennis player and writer. When I moved six hours away from home in high school to study ballet, our relationship came to a halt. We were suspended in time: the snotty kid and intense father.

My parents moved to Portland from North Carolina last year. For the first time in nearly 30 years, we were all living in the same city. Dad started taking Pilates with me out of a characteristic sense of duty—and some gentle prodding from my Pilates-loving mother.

My adorable parents, Adrienne and Larry Braverman, joined me to help celebrate PNWP's 13th anniversary in April 2014.

My adorable parents, Adrienne and Larry Braverman, joined me to help celebrate PNWP’s 13th anniversary in April 2014.

 

At 75, he isn’t as supple as he once was, but his balance and coordination are enviable. He’s had years of running and playing tennis, squash and golf, so I expected this. What has most surprised me is that Dad truly focuses on what I tell him—and that I have the opportunity to observe him interpreting information and making change happen.

In addition to a strong resemblance and similar temperament, we share a talent for movement. I have come to realize over the last year that he has the acquired instincts of a dedicated athlete: an internal dialogue quickly translates information about movement into physical gesture—something that is usually difficult to teach people who have not been oriented toward exercise and movement from a young age. He is able to take subtle cues about quality of movement. He asks questions and adapts or alters his body awareness within a short period of time.

Dad, helping PNWP celebrate our 13th anniversary. He's ready to show off on the Pilates Reformer. Isn't he the BEST?!?

Dad, helping PNWP celebrate our 13th anniversary. He’s ready to show off on the Pilates chair. Isn’t he HANDSOME?!?

 

Suddenly, after all these years, I feel opened a window and discovered a side of my father that I never knew. Observing him approach each Pilates exercise with silent intention and seeing him accept my instruction has linked us together in the richly satisfying present—me as a Pilates instructor and he as a student. Both of us as adults. With this experience comes a newfound appreciation and respect for one another.

I share this information, from the heart, in honor of Dad. It has been my great pleasure to teach him Pilates. I look forward to our special hour together every week.

Happy Father’s Day!

Pacific NW Pilates is studio, school and fitness family under one roof. Click to learn more about our education courses and workshops, private studio sessions and group classes. Or call for details: (503) 292-4409.

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