Unlike all of my other posts, I'm writing this one quite a bit after the fact. I actually don't mind this as I feel like I've had a great opportunity to reflect on the experience that I've had- I just hope to capture as much of the good stuff as I can! In some ways it feels like it was all a dream while I then feel like it was just yesterday that I was on the West Coast of the USA.
My final day at the conference was meant to start with a presentation by Diane Diefenderfer- Sharing and Comparing The Work of Two Masters (Romana Kryzanowksa and Ron Fletcher) I had been looking forward to this as soon as I had access to my schedule as these two elders seem the most different of them all. I am intrigued by the commonalities and differences between the elders considering their shared experience of working with Mr Pilates. I was but I had to make a call and miss it. Deciding to stay until the very end of the Pilates Anytime party had consequences...
Unfortunately my LONG haul flight home that night meant that I was not going to have time to pack at any other time. While I felt as though I had completely over packed for this trip I still had lots of room in my suitcase. This was fortunate as I was going home with a few extra items... all of my beautiful Pilates Nerd clothing and accessories (I am one lucky girl), My 'JOE' book by IC Rapoport (eek!), an amazing pair of loops by Good Citizen (and the cutest t-shirt), various balls, loops and small props by OPTP and Balanced Body and Ben's birthday present (still a secret).
I figured if I could get everything packed I could still observe the final session of the conference which was a mat class by Kathy Corey. To be sure that I didn't hold up my ride home in any way, I decided just to observe the mat class rather than participate in it. I was all set just before 10:00am so I had time to check out and make my way to the Mountain View room for the class. Unfortunately a few of the photos that I took over the weekend didn't seem to save onto my phone (not sure if it was due to lack of reception???). It's such a shame as this also included the photo I took from this room- the view was so beautiful.
Kathy's class was great as she really made it feel like it would be an individual experience for everyone in the room. She didn't rush in to the traditional order but instead gave everyone time to figure out where their asymmetries lay and to try to create as much balance as possible. Starting seated on the floor (not your mat) all the participants were asked to figure out where their body was positioned. The next stage was a series of movements to help create that balance that we all strive for. Kathy calls this the pelvic imprint. You can experience this yourself- I've chosen this class on Pilates Anytime for you to try. I loved the simple way this made such a difference not only to the body that is about to begin the Pilates class but to focus the mind. There were some beautiful rotational exercises that I was able to do while seated too.
I was so grateful for the beautiful bunch of flowers that Pilates Anytime presented me with at the party. Luckily we had room in the car and Gia (who had been so supportive throughout the process) was able to take them home- they were too beautiful to throw out!
The drive home was a great opportunity to be able to speak with John a little more. I got to meet John at the dinner on the first night of the conference but of course it was a busy night for everyone. On the drive home I got to learn more about the business and to get a sense of the value base that he, Kristi and Ted all work from.
By the time we got back to LA I still had about 4 hours to wait before I needed to go to the airport so after storing my luggage at Pilates Anytime HQ I decided to take Gia and John's advice and head over to Venice Beach. I jumped into an Uber and had a great conversation with Stefanos. We talked about how LA had changed over the years that he had lived there and was changing now, Donald Trump (and his hope for an impeachment) as well as what I should do when I reached my destination.
There had been so much new information to take in over the week away that I was looking forward to a little bit of alone time to absorb it all. Somehow seeing the Ocean up close felt like the right way to send off this trip and it was quite emotional. The great thing about the Venice boardwalk was that you could actually spend a great amount of time on foot and have so much change around you. As I made my way to the boardwalk I stopped by a local market (and found a great card for Ben's birthday too- score!) as I was hoping for some dog patting opportunities but they didn't really present themselves. At the beach, I enjoyed a quesadilla while I took in the sights of the stall holders- a guy selling a photo opportunity holding a python (tempting), break dancers (impressive), a group preaching a strange version of redemption (not for me) and many (awful) t- shirts.
On my way back from the beach, I finished my souvenir shopping at a great little store for a few more family members and found the perfect pair of sunglasses for myself- woo hoo! Once I arrived at Abbot Kinney Boulevard I meandered along with an amazing hot chocolate in hand (the heat wave had finally finished) and did some great window shopping. I also had the pleasure of discovering the G2 Gallery which I highly recommend if you're ever in town. There were two photography exhibitions on view while I was there and the work was exquisite. The Designed Environment was my favourite (probably because of the road trip I had just been on) as the photos of Death Valley were amazing.
I had been in LA long enough to know that allowing extra time for traffic would be a good idea and so before I knew it the time had come to order an Uber and get moving. On the way to the airport after picking up my luggage, we actually had some Australian hip-hop playing on the radio (Horror Show)- clearly it was home time.
After clearing customs I completed my going home from holidays tradition- buying a magnet for the fridge at home (and some duty free whiskey) and made my way to the QANTAS BUSINESS LOUNGE. That's right- JoJo was finishing this trip in style, an upgrade to business class on the A380! My previous post was actually mostly written while enjoying a Californian red and a little cheese plate that I whipped up for myself.
As far as flights go, this one was pretty good. I repeated my 'anti jetlag' behaviours and tried to read and watch a couple of movies before allowing myself to sleep. Those lay flat beds certainly help... I didn't sleep as much as I would have liked but I rested and that was something I didn't do much of while I was away. On the flight over, whenever I would wake up from my sleep I would go through the sequence of my classes to be filmed and (much like counting sheep) that would lull me into the land of nod. That wasn't necessary anymore. What a realisation, all that anticipation and then boom- it was over and I was home! Landing in Sydney just before 8:00am was perfect as we circled the city before coming in from the south (less views) onto the runway. There is something special about seeing this city from the sky before touching down.
Once I'd arrived home and had my first coffee (bliss), did my washing and tried to make up with Miffy my cat the final unpacking was due. I have a few items that will join my special stripey note book. My first visit to the West Coast of the USA was not going to be forgotten quickly- joining the Pilates Anytime family, my first ever PMA, meeting respected teachers that I have looked up to from afar... great memories. Until next time xxx