How I discovered a better way to get stronger, feel healthier, and get back to the things I love doing…
(without feeling sore, achy, beat up and even worse – getting injured!)
“In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 sessions you will see the difference and in 30 sessions you will have a whole new body” – Joseph Pilates (the founder of Pilates)
Hello and welcome to Ross Pilates and Conditioning. My name is Debbie Ross Bisignano. For as long as I can remember I’ve always been fascinated with learning about anatomy and just how this amazing human body of ours works!
In fact, when I was growing up my mother bought me plastic skeletons to play with instead of Barbie dolls.
Kidding, but on a serious note I really love studying how our bodies function and more importantly love to use this to help others feel and move better in their bodies.
Ever Feel Like You’ve Been Hit by a Truck After a Workout or Aggravated an Old Injury? Yeah, Me Too…
I am a former competitive bodybuilder, powerlifter, personal trainer and fitness instructor who was searching for a better way to get fitter, stronger and more flexible without walking around feeling like I’d been hit by a truck after my workouts or even worse like I had aggravated an old injury!
Even in my mid 30’s I felt like I was having aches and pains in my joints and it was getting harder and harder to recover and feel good after my workouts. I wanted to stay fit but without feeling like I got beat up. I knew there had to be a better way.
While attending an IDEA Fitness conference in Orlando I was exposed to the Pilates method. It was then I knew that this was what I had been looking for!
I had finally found an exercise method that would build core strength, muscle tone, better posture and improved flexibility in a way that actually left me feeling amazing afterwards. And I also knew I had to share it!
A Workout That Left Me Feeling Stronger and Not Sore? I’m In…
I completed my first certification at STOTT Pilates and was excited to bring the method back to my clients in Thunder Bay. I began teaching classes at local community centres and the Canada Games Complex and started to train clients out of my small home studio while keeping my day job.
It was in 1999, (with knots in my stomach), that I somehow found the courage to leave my job at Parks and Recreation where I had been Fitness program co-ordinator for 16 years to chase my dream of sharing Pilates with others full time.
Doctors, Physiotherapists, and Chiropractors Kept Sending Me Their Clients…
I quickly realized that many of my clients were coming to me with joint pain and discomfort. I wanted to learn everything I could and have more tools at my disposal in order to help my clients live pain free, healthier, more vibrant lives. I completed my certification as a Post-Rehab Conditioning Specialist and Medical Exercise Specialist through the American Academy of Health, Fitness and Rehab Professionals, (now the Medical Exercise Training Institute).
I was getting referrals from Doctors, Physiotherapist, Chiropractors and Massage Therapists and my clients were really seeing some great results. I was thrilled but I knew I wanted to be able to help even more people than I could see in a day.
I wanted to inspire other teachers, like myself who loved helping others to experience the life changing benefits Pilates has to offer!
I wanted to open a studio.
When I shared my dream with my husband at the time he would consistently discourage me, telling me how I would fail if I have left the safety net of my small home studio. After awhile, I started to believe him. I continued to focus on just helping those I could although the desire in me never completely died.
Fortunately the universe had another plan for me.
In fact I like to say it gave me a good “kick in the ass.” One day in May, my now ex-husband came home saying he wanted a divorce after almost 20 years of marriage. I was devastated, my whole world turned upside down in an instant.
- What was I going to do?
- Where was I going to live?
- How was I going to continue training my clients knowing I had to downsize?
- How would I continue pursuing my life’s purpose, helping others to lead happier, healthier, pain free lives?
Looking back I realize things happen for a reason, even though I certainly didn’t think so at the time. Then somehow, someway everything just came together.
I found a cute 1200 square foot studio space that would be the new home of Ross Pilates and Conditioning. My brother loaned me some money to buy some additional equipment. My family and friends painted, laid down new flooring and helped with renovations.
“I literally had tears streaming down my face…”
On moving day my clients came to my house and moved all my equipment to the new studio. I literally had tears streaming down my face as I watched a “convoy” of trucks pull out of my driveway with my all of my equipment knowing that my clients cared about me and shared my vision. I will be forever grateful.
Fast forward to today. We have moved to our present home. A 2500 square foot studio where clients say it feels like home.
I am fortunate to have teachers who are as passionate about helping our clients reach their goals as I am. We collaborate with each other, use a team approach and absolutely love our clients!
We are constantly learning in an effort to be more knowledgeable and effective teachers and we strive to make a real difference in the lives of our clients who we call friends.
Pilates changes lives, we see it everyday! My message to everyone is never stop believing in yourself and your dreams.
Debbie Ross Bisignano