Pushed to the Edge

I did something recently that, in a million years, I thought I would never do. In order to do it, I had to push up against a potent fear of heights, distress at the thought of injury or death, and a well established mistrust of my body to function during the anxiety caused by said phobias. I did it anyway. It’s interesting to me, my choice to do this thing. I’m risk averse, prefer being in control, and I have a fair share of strong aversions: flying, heights, the dark, being stuck in an elevator with a snotty-nosed child who’s just been diagnosed with flu, to name a few. Once in a while though, I like to  push myself out of my comfort zone. Like, REALLY push myself. I’ve been sky-diving, paragliding, and even spent time inside a Chuck E. Cheese establishment for a 5 year old’s birthday party! This year, I climbed the Telluride Via Ferrata.  

This via ferrata (there are over 400 world-wide) is a climbing route that precariously traverses rock faces and ledges up to 600 feet above the trees with some sections so exposed that you can only pass by utilizing cables to clip into, as well as iron hand and foot holds. I’m pretty sure I’ve been on things like this before...in my nightmares...naked. This (real-life) time I had all the right gear, an exceptional guide (an expert climber AND a psychologist—jackpot!), and the weather looked inviting.  

It started off as just a little hike—no bigs—until I caught a peek of where it was all headed: the huge cliff drop-offs, the tiny ledges for your feet, and the cables to clip into that were supposed to make me feel safe, but somehow didn’t have that effect on me. It should be noted that I’m not a rock climber so all of this was completely new to me. I was uncomfortable. But off we went, my incredibly patient guide and I, moving at a glacial pace and allowing groups to “play through” and pass us. My stomach was in knots and my hands were shaky as I relied on my guide to clip and unclip my carabiners for me. Eddie, guide extraordinaire/emotional support human, kept reminding me to feel my feet on the ground, to trust the stability I felt in them, and to BREATHE!  It’s astounding how your daily job can revolve around reminding people of the importance of connecting to their bodies and their breath (walk the talk, Donna, walk the talk), but when you’re in a state of anxiety it can all fall to sh*t. So, my unfailing feet took me across those narrow ledges as my fingers slowly started to gain the nimbleness and confidence to occasionally be in charge of moving my carabiners with me. I began to trust the process just a little and my body stepped up to the challenge...until I saw it: The Main Event. 

The Main Event, as it’s called, is a section of complete exposure on a massive rock face with only iron rungs to cling to above and below you (as pictured). This is what everyone tells you about, but you can’t truly imagine it until you see it. Every cell of my being was telling me to stop, to turn back. BIG NOPE! So, we stood still for a while —since I actually couldn’t move. I cried. Well, it was more of a snivel than a hugely audible cry, but still, I wept. We let people gingerly pass us on that narrow ledge for a solid 20 minutes while I tried to legitimately decide whether or not I was actually capable of moving forward. My tears were equal parts overwhelm, fear, and the potential disappointment I would inevitably feel if I were to turn around. I asked Eddie if he thought I could do it; he had promised me he would pull the plug if he thought it wasn’t a good idea for me to continue. He answered with a resounding, “I’m certain you can 1000% do this”. Interestingly, and much like a movie soundtrack, just then the wind picked up and there was a huge clap of thunder. Seriously? But after Eddie’s chutzpah-boosting answer I said, “Let’s effing do this right now because if I turn around I may never come back.” And so we did the thing. If there were no pictures to prove it, I almost wouldn’t believe it happened, as it feels so surreal now.  

After the Main Event, actually the literal moment I finished it, the sun parted the clouds and beamed down as if to say, “You go, girl”. Thanks, sun. My endorphins were flowing, my self-confidence was high, and the remainder (about another hour and a half of similar, albeit less exposed, terrain) was actually FUN—kinda. My hands started to gain the muscle memory and ease to move my own carabiners, my pace picked up, and, most importantly, I had a smile on my face while climbing. The nerves were still there but I felt safe. And it was truly magical to be exactly where I was. 

Would I do it again? I’m not sure. But I am beyond happy that I made the decision to have the experience, to push myself to my edge, and to be bold. This is, after all, the philosophy I try to live by personally, and the one behind starting my business. I am strong from the inside out— thank you, Pilates. I can trust that my body will allow me to do things I didn’t think I could do. AND, I can still push through anxiety to experience life to the fullest and challenge myself.  Sometimes it may look like a via ferrata or jumping out of a plane,other times it may be having a hard conversation or taking a business leap,but pushing myself out of my comfort zone is something I will always do. Pit of baby scorpions, here I come! 

Donna Ligon, Owner and Instructor, Bolder Pilates

We have recently been added to this wonderful list of top 75 Pilates blogs: https://blog.feedspot.com/pilates_blogs/.

Be sure to check it out.


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Donna Ligon
I Do Pilates So I Can…

My journey to Pilates started with low back pain when I was just a teenager. My chronic pain worsened throughout my high school and college years, significantly exacerbated by multiple car accidents (SEVEN to be exact, plus being hit as a pedestrian…but who’s counting?). My mid to late twenties found me spending about 8 days per month laid up in a zero gravity chair, taking muscle relaxers to quell the constant spasming in my back, and relying on friends for help with everyday activities like grocery shopping and cleaning. At 27 years old, this was my normal; until I found Pilates.  

Cut to 20 years later (yadda, yadda, yadda) and my life looks completely different. I’m older, but my body feels younger than it was back then. All of the activities and adventuring my friends were doing while I was debilitated with pain, I can now do. I hike in the mountains, cross country ski, do Yoga, take dance classes, and can perform all the activities of daily life without fear of my back “going out” on me. Not to mention, I have been happily teaching the incredible benefits of Pilates since my life was forever changed by it. Pilates was the tool I used to get my body to a place of strength, health, and vitality. It has never been about a workout, although don’t get me wrong, it’s a phenomenal one! This idea of using Pilates as a catalyst for living one’s best and boldest life was the foundation for building my business, and it continues to be the guiding principle behind our studio.  

We have recently launched our “I do Pilates so I can...” campaign to highlight our studio community’s successes with Pilates and what it has helped them do better in their lives outside of the studio. OK, I’ll start: “I do Pilates so I can… live a bold and adventurous life free from limitations and pain.”   

- Donna Ligon, Owner and Instructor, Bolder Pilates

Follow our campaign on Instagram and Facebook, and we invite you to share your story with us.  

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Small Business Saturday And Cyber Monday deals are here!

Ditch the malls, support local and SHOP SMALL this Saturday! We are so proud to be a small (and woman owned) business in this wonderful community. It's critical to the the health and wealth of our town to support our local establishments that work so hard every day to bring you their best, and to ensure that Boulder stays unique and vibrant. We can't wait to hit the streets of town on Saturday and support of our faves! As a thank you for your continued support of our l'il biz, use the code below to buy any service on our site (excluding workshops) for 10% off.

Class or private package running low? Buy a new one...or heck, buy a few, and relax knowing you're all set for a while!

Saturday, November 24th through Cyber Monday, November 26th, 2018.

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Two Year Anniversary Celebration and Open House!

It's anniversary time at Bolder Pilates. We opened our doors to our sweet little studio 2 years ago last month! In many ways it seems like yesterday, and in others it feels like we've always been here. We have grown closer and stronger as a team and as a community of teachers and clients.

Join us for our Two Year Anniversary Open House and Celebration on Saturday, October 20th. We will have 2 free classes plus a SIP (on bubbles of course) and SHOP debut of our new ALO YOGA and Toe Sox ( grippy socks) lines.

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SpecialsDonna Ligon
Pilates Parties are the new Happy Hour.

I loves me a good party. It’s a chance to hang out with my favorite peeps, drink yummy cocktails and eat good food. Ya know what I don’t love? How I feel the next day: tired, potentially hungover (oops) and my desire for heathy activities like exercising goes waaaay down. As I get older, my bed time gets earlier, and evenings out have been replaced by more brief happy hours where I can be comfortably horizontal in my jammies by 9. I’m always looking for ways to hang out with friends that doesn’t necessarily include alcohol or food, but where we can connect and do something fun…and healthy! Enter, the Pilates Party. Whether you have a special occasion, like a bachelorette party, birthday gathering, shower, or you just want to get a group of friends together for a healthy morning or evening activity, a Pilates party is the perfect solution. Here’s how it works: Gather a small group of friends, anywhere from 6-12 people, call Bolder Pilates to schedule a time for you to have a private group class where you will be treated to coffee beverages (lattes from our coffee bar are our specialty), a custom Pilates mat class for your group, and lots fun. Instead of feeling sluggish or hungover, you’ll leave feeling energized, refreshed, and worked in the best possible way. We promise to make it a blast, so call us to schedule your private pilates party today!

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SpecialsDonna Ligon
New Client Package Deals

We are currently offering three different specials for all new clients. Spring Your Health Forward  lets you see how amazing your body can feel with this trifecta of wellness utilizing Pilates, physical therapy, and massage. Get Moving includes Initial Evaluation, 1 Private Session, and 1 Equipment Class. Into the Mix includes Initial Evaluation and 2 Private Sessions.

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SpecialsKaren Overn