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Although one can never pinpoint precisely how such an injury happens, a lifetime of running and high-impact exercises over the years can be a major contributor. OK, but what should we do about it? 
  • Linda Cunnigham

Meet FI member Ray Walsh, Pilates enthusiast!  

Prior to joining FI two years ago, Ray’s fitness regime consisted of boot camps, cross-fit, tough mudders, and running. In addition, Ray is an avid golfer. This past summer, Ray ran three days a week, ranging from three to six miles on each run. One day during a run in September, Ray felt some discomfort in his left groin and hip area, yet he continued to train as he always had. Eventually, the pain worsened, and he went to see an orthopedic doctor whose diagnosis was arthritis in the left hip and lower back. Ray, understandably, was full of questions such as “How did this happen?” and “Now what?”!!!

Although one can never pinpoint precisely how such an injury happens, a lifetime of running and high-impact exercises over the years can be a major contributor. OK, but what should we do about it? 

Enter Pilates

After he completed the required prescribed Physical Therapy and started to feel somewhat better, Ray wanted to know what his options were. Would he return to his previous fitness regime and risk another injury? Was this the end of going to the gym and playing golf? What options did he have? After discussing it with me, Ray took a good look at his circumstances and started taking weekly Mat Pilates classes at FI in December of 2023. 

Ray was amazed at how “just laying on a mat” could challenge him and make him feel muscle usage that he previously had not experienced in any of the activities he had once participated in. To quote Ray, “These past months of attending Pilates classes at FI, I have felt increased muscle strength, particularly in my abdominal muscles, lower back, hips, and buttocks. There’s also a sense of balanced muscle strength bilaterally. Pilates has improved my quality of life, promoting mindfulness and body awareness. I’m totally feelin’ it!” 

Good for Golf, Too!

Pilates is also helpful for all golfers, as golf and Pilates share many of the same fundamentals, such as breathing, concentration, and proper body alignment. 


Ray has also tried a few sessions on the Pilates Reformer and states that in their unique way, mat and reformer provide outstanding results, relieve pain, and can help injury recovery.

I want to share Rays’ final thoughts on FI and the Pilates program:

“My thanks go out to Linda Cunningham and her etiquette, who took her time to explain and guide me through my first few classes in terms of what to do and proper attention to my form. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Sabrina Locavore for her input and professionalism while attending her classes as well. Last but not least and most importantly, Cor and the entire FI team. You all conduct yourselves incredibly, from your classes to post-workout stretching. I am hooked!”

In closing, I’d like to share how fulfilling it’s been to work with Ray and watch him embrace Pilates, something that was so foreign to him just months ago. His enthusiasm is contagious—just ask anyone in the Friday 9:30 a.m. Hot Pilates class. 

If Ray’s story sparks just a little fire in your fitness journey, please come and see me and feel the “core burn” for yourself. You can reach me at or by asking for me at the front desk.

About the Author


Linda Cunnigham

Linda Cunningham is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, AFAA Group Instructor, AAAI/ISMA Pilates Instructor, AAAI/ISMA Kids Fitness Instructor, and also certified in Zumba.

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