Introducing the lovely Holly Olympidis, my student of the Year for 2018!

Why I think Holly should be recognised as student of the Year for 2018

All my students are fantastic, but Holly in particular in the past year has been particularly amazing. Holly is a mum of 3 BOYS!! Which in itself deserves an award! In 2018, despite sleepless nights and looking after her young family and all the demands that placed on her (sleep deprivation just being one part of the equation), Holly would turn up to class and give the class her best. She tries so hard at every exercise and would pay attention to her technique and always strive to push her self and improve; yet she would listen to her body and if it served her best to stay at a lower level she would. She has an admirable mindset and attitude.

I can see as a teacher too that she would always try to be focused and present in class. Our minds naturally wander and distract us with our “to-do lists” or other such distractions, but I would see Holly bring herself back to the class and concentrate, and be present. After all, her class is her time.

Holly continued with her Pilates classes and attended various “special” one-off classes, like Ballet Pilates Fusion, Sunday Chill Out Yoga, even when she was even heavily pregnant and would still give it her best – despite growing another human being in her tummy and all the demands that was placing on her body. We all thought Holly was an inspiration and was proof that one can continue to exercise during pregnancy and continue to get the benefits. An inspirational moment I remember was in the Ballet Pilates Fusion class that Holly asked to attend (and being a Pilates pro now and pregnancy pro, she said she was happy to modify and do alternative exercises where needed), the other ladies were noticing how well she was doing and the effort that she was putting in that it would motivate them to work harder and keep going.

I asked Holly if she could kindly offer us her top tips and this is Holly’s response:

  1. Make the most of the mental down time:

As a Mum of three young children, my mind is constantly consumed with issues I need to think about for everyone else in the family. Focusing on the exercises and not allowing my mind to wander to these thoughts during a Pilates class gives my mind a much needed break. It allows me to leave Pilates feeling rejuvenated, refreshed and ready to face the general stresses and strains of life.

  1. Follow Liz’s cues:

No matter how often I’ve done a particular exercise in the past, I always follow Liz’s cues. This ensures I get the full physical benefit of every exercise and helps me to remain mentally focused and prevent my mind from wandering.

  1. Monitor your progress:

I always try to make a mental note of roughly how long I can hold a position for or how many reps I can complete. Aiming to improve each week is a great motivator to push that bit harder. It also means I can easily monitor my progress and encourages me to get out to as many classes as possible.

Thank you Holly being your best self and for bringing your lovely positive self to class and being an inspiration to us all! A reward is on its way to you!