When you first meet Mel, don’t be fooled by her sweet smile. Our smiling assassin has many years of experience and plenty of know how. Her quiet disposition will sneak up on you and make you work hard despite her gentle nature.
Mel is our newest family member and her journey to us has been serendipitous – she contacted me on the final hour before Debora (our last devil in disguise) followed her heart to the sunny coast of Byron Bay and on intuition I invited her up for a trial.
Mel walked in the door like she was coming home and from the moment she stepped onto the studio floor I knew she belonged with us.
Pilates runs in Mels blood. She first discovered it in 2002 when her sister was practicing to become a teacher. Living together at the time, her sister practiced on her with the mat work but it wasn’t until Mel was introduced to the Pilates apparatus that she realised she had found a new love. A few years later Mel went on to become a Polestar Pilates teacher in mat, reformer and rehabilitative studio Pilates.
So, we took a chance on each other and she moved her life to Darwin, leaving behind the familiarity of the Sunny Coast to the furthest post in Oz, her husband, 2 puppies and a teenager trailing behind her. Mel had been to Darwin before, we didn’t have to sell it to her but things have changed in 20 years and to tell you the truth I was worried she wouldn’t find a house to rent as it seems that half of the country is making their way to the last frontier this year.
Serendipity is a funny thing. She weaves herself into your life and touches every fibre of your existence if you allow her to. And if you surrender to her magic she will take you on the ride of your life where the mundane doesn’t apply and the unknown fills your soul.
A good teacher knows when to take chances, she listens to her body and is driven by a deep intuitive understanding of those around her.
It’s the mind – body connection Mel says she is attracted to and when I asked her what comes to mind when she thinks of Pilates she responds with “Peace. Rebalancing. Mindful practice. Control. Continual learning and growth. Inner strength.”
You will know Mel when you meet her because those are the words that will come to mind when she teaches you. Those are the words that she brings into the studio, into her teaching and into her way of communicating without maybe realising. The words she uses to describe Pilates are the words we would use to describe her – and that is serendipity weaving her way through our story time and time again.
No doubt some people will resonate with Mels first Pilates experience which left her confused by the terminology yet intrigued by the way it made her feel. After 2 children Mel was looking for safe, effective ways to regain her exercise regime and her sister was already training to become a Pilates teacher so Mel had the perfect excuse to give it a go. Over 2 decades have passed since she first gave in to her sisters new practice and now Mel hardly remembers what life was like pre Pilates!
Pilates has helped Mel overcome recurring knee injuries so she can enjoy running and she knows all too well the way injuries can knock the confidence out of any athlete. Regular Pilates practice has allowed her to say goodbye to ongoing physio appointments since her commitment to self practice rebalanced and rebuilt her physical ability, returning her to a confident and positive mindset, able to continue the pursuits she enjoys.
Mel exudes the passion we all feel for Pilates at Encore and she loves sharing her knowledge with student teachers. She believes that there is no better way to give back than to share her experience with those who are learning her craft and we are very fortunate to have her as a Polestar mentor to inspire and educate our students in Darwin.
While in studio you will mostly find Mel sharing her knowledge in our physical therapy room, helping our more complex clients rehabilitate from injury, learning to manage pain or how to live better with long term health issues, outside of the studio you might find Mel running the tracks with her dogs, hanging at local events in the park or hiking and camping our beautiful wonderland.
She takes the holistic approach that Pilates offers and translates that into every part of her day, finding balance in life and building on her own mind – body connection.