Member Spotlight Featuring Marika Maritz!
Why do I absolutely love Pulse PDX?
My Mom enrolled me in Ballet Classes when I was 3 and then I switched to Modern Ballet when I was 6. With weekly dance practices, weekend dance exams, and performance shows, I was truly in my element. I was a shy kid and introverted for the most part, so dancing helped me break out of my shell. Every 4th week we’d do Pilates to improve our strength and flexibility and I enjoyed the impact Pilates had on my ability to enhance my dance skills even more. Opportunities in South Africa back then were limited in the dancing field. Right before High School I made one of the toughest decisions of my life. Quit dancing and focus on my academic studies instead. Very reluctantly, I bid farewell to the dance world.
Fast forward to 2004. I moved to the US (Vancouver, WA) as an Au Pair (A live-in Nanny attending College). After my year as an Au Pair, I got married and started working at Wells Fargo. Then in 2010, I joined the Portland Local 8 (Longshoremen & Railroad) Credit Union, and moved to the Rose City neighborhood in Portland. The Finance industry might have been what my aptitude tests indicated I’d be good at, but not what my heart and spirit desired. Something was missing…
Around 2014 I saw the beautiful mural on the side of the PulsePDX building and enjoyed seeing it every day as I drove to and from work. My position at work requires sitting down for 10 hours and this started wreaking havoc on my neck, shoulders, and lower back. I started where most women start. Finding fun workout clothes as extra motivation to start some kind of yoga / posture improving workout. I found the Popflex-Active Leggings on Pinterest and clicked through to find the POP Pilates Life website. I immediately thought to myself that this is something I’d love to start doing again. There was a link to classes in my area. I searched, and POP Pilates at PulsePDX showed up to be just down the road from me on Tuesdays, my day off.
It was truly meant to be. The beautiful mural housed the Pop Pilates class that would end up taking me back to my childhood happy days. My first class was on August 1, 2016 with Ginny. 3 months later I was hooked and found out (from Danny and Jennifer) that a POP Pilates Master Class Training was scheduled for January 23rd, 2017 in Beaverton. I could hardly wait to get certified in a format that I loved and also improved my inner and outer strengths. I signed up for the training and even though it scared the living daylights out of me, I knew that it’s what I wanted to do. I told myself I’d get certified and take classes for a full year after becoming certified, before looking to start teaching.
In the mean time I’d focus on learning all I could from the Pulse Instructors and work on my performance anxiety by doing Zumba and joining the Instructors on stage. I realized that the more comfortable I am, the more fun I have, and the less nervous I get. Ginny, Quinlan, and Donnie also started to give me even more opportunities to join them on stage sometimes for the POP Pilates Kick Butt Cardio songs. I’m honored and ecstatic every time they do, and I love being part of the POP Pilates Community.
The other love of my life is Kenny, an almost 8 year old Shih Tzu/Terrier rescue and my best friend. He was diagnosed with diabetes a year ago and requires insulin shots every twelve hours with a special diet. He goes to work with me and I get up every day at 4:30 AM for his shots. Why so early you ask? So I can make it to PulsePDX classes at night, of course! My schedule changed so I can be home by 3:00 PM every day and off on the weekends. I promptly signed up for the Labor Day sale, unlimited classes for a whole year. Life now feels incomplete if I don’t do POP Pilates on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and now also, on Sundays. I try to stay for the Zumba classes afterwards and take Fusion on Fridays as well. I am 100% addicted for life.
In August of last year I went through extremely tough life changes. It derailed and delayed my plans to start looking for teaching opportunities. I was able to work through this challenging time mostly because of the PulsePDX community that soon became close friends and just like family. Everyone at PulsePDX are so accepting, friendly, and supportive. This makes being far away from my own family a lot more bearable. My life feels complete now for this first time in a while and I am eternally grateful for everyone and everything PulsePDX brings to my life. It’s my happy place, my therapy, and where I get to leave all the negative things in life behind on the mat and the floor. I simply can’t live without PulsePDX ever again!