I moved to Miami 7 months ago and had a total of 2 friends in town. By the grace of the universe one of them was Alix Terpos. Alix and I graduated from the same Physical Therapy doctoral program in Boston 7 years ago and when I decided to move to Miami I reached out to her. Alix told me about this incredible Physical Therapy and Pilates studio where she worked and I was immediately enthralled with the business model and the client centered care the studio provided. I will never forget the moment I walked through the front door for my interview… because I felt at peace for the first time in a long time.
I had felt totally displaced for the greater part of a year as I was transitioning out of a marriage, and a home in New Hampshire- the state in which I have lived my entire life. I was looking for a place to start over, to re-invent… no- rediscover myself. All I was searching for in a job during this time was one that would pay the bills during my process. What I found instead was a family of co-workers and clients that became an enormous part of my self re-discovery process in a way I could have never anticipated.
I have known from the day I walked in to Pilates in the Grove that it was special. But I didn’t truly realize what an integral part of my life it had become until a rainy Saturday in the beginning of December as I sat in a church and said goodbye to a client who in the 6 short months I knew her had become family to me. During the eulogy her friend mentioned her connection with her Pilates Instructors – and I realized that I had become family to her as well. As her sister and I hugged after the ceremony, and shared tears and laughter about some of the last therapy and Pilates session we had shared, I realized that I had found myself and the sense of home I had been searching for. Pilates in the Grove had became a sanctuary, my clients became friends and my colleagues became family. And I had become myself again.
Our clients tell us all the time how the studio feels like a home away from home and how we, as the staff, have become an integral part of their health and wellness team. They tell us and show us how much we mean to them by sharing their lives, the good and the challenging, with us and by trusting us when they are in pain. Well, I’m here to say that the feeling is mutual. The family that Pilates in the Grove has introduced me to has changed my life. And as I think about being “Home” I realize that I no longer think of New Hampshire… Home is here.