Client Q&A: Tonya Kidd-Beggs
March 15, 2016
Journalist Eve Brannon talks Pilates, pain management and perfect holidays with Reform Studios client Tonya Kidd-Beggs.
Could you tell us what brought you to start reformer Pilates?
I had been doing mat Pilates for about six years and always enjoyed it, however due to a severe lower back problem, I found that every time I reached a certain level with mat Pilates I had to pause my training due to pain. With the restrictions of my injury, my back would repeatedly go and I would have to halt all exercise entirely. To date I’ve had two surgeries putting metal pins and rods into my back and today I’m currently a year post surgery. However I always knew giving up exercise wasn’t an option, as I wanted to continue with personal fitness, so I had to find something that could work for me.
Where did you hear about it?
I had a little previous knowledge and experience of reformer Pilates through a previous instructor and when I heard (through Facebook) that this form of Pilates had come to Belfast, I knew I had to look into it.
When you’re not at Reform, what does life look like for you?
I have four children: a 19 year old, a 13 year old and 9 year old twins, so life as a Mum and wife is full, busy and manic at times! I have a strong involvement with our local church, specifically with young adults, which keeps me on the go.
What is your favourite reformer exercise and why?
To be honest there’s not one specific thing, for me it’s being encouraged and supported to continue to improve and at times, push past my pain. I continually surprise myself that I am capable of movements I would previously been so fearful of. My flexibility and strength has increased beyond my hopes, so every improvement is enjoyable.
What sets Reform apart from workouts you’ve done in the past?
I went to Reform primarily for fitness and general wellbeing, however in doing so, and with the help of Yvie, I have opened up a whole element of rehabilitation that I never thought possible. My pain management has drastically improved to the point where I have come off some of my pain medication – something neither myself, nor the specialists thought possible. Prior to my back injury, I would have worked out with a personal trainer, doing generic cardio and weight training – I thought this was ‘a must’ for strength building and toning, but I have found this is more than achievable through reformer Pilates alone. There’s no need to slog it out in the gym for hours!
What were your first thoughts when you saw the Allegro 2 machine and what do you think now?
It was definitely a little daunting at first, looking at all the springs and straps. But once you realise you are in control of it and not the other way around, you feel comfortable very quickly. I’m always surprised by the versatility and endless new poses, exercises and stretches that it can offer.
Have you tried Barre class and if so what’s your thoughts?
Yes, I caught onto the Barre classes pretty quickly after trying the reformer Pilates. I think the two forms of exercise really go hand in hand and benefit each other. I tend to do two one-on-one reformer classes per week and one Barre class per week. I love them both; Barre is great fun!
Has Reform improved your life and if so, how?
It has been like getting my life back. My whole day used to be timed around my back pain, which dictated my whole schedule. With the pain relief I have achieved through Reform my lifestyle, mobility and in turn, my mood have all greatly improved. It really has been life changing.
Do you have any goals in terms of your health or fitness for the future?
Well I don’t feel I’ll ever reach a point where I’ve had enough of Reform or their classes. I fully intend to continue to train there and hopefully continue to grow in strength and stamina. I don’t see it as a stepping-stone to getting back to the gym – it’s a lifestyle choice now and part of my ongoing rehabilitation. I will always make time for it in my life, as it really is quite crucial for me now.
What’s your favourite workout gear?
Lucas Hugh and Lululemon are my favourite brands – both are great for Pilates as they are so lightweight and comfortable. I love splashing out on new workout gear!
And your favourite workout tunes?
I think Reform get it just right – upbeat for up tempo movements, then chill out tunes for the cool down, which really helps you switch off and wind down.
If you could travel anywhere in the world today, where would you go and why?
It would have to be a quiet couple’s holiday with my husband to somewhere exotic like Dubai – a beach is a must!
If you could choose one item from your home that represents you what would it be?
Do you know what? It would probably be my home itself. It holds my family, my dogs, my faith – I’m such a homebody and it encapsulates everything I hold dear.