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The Ties that Bind: Instructors and Clients

Dieter Menzel and Bianca Bolissian at the Merrithew STOTT PILATES® Studio

When Dieter Menzel walked into the Merrithew Corporate Training Center (STOTT PILATES® Studio) in Toronto seven years ago, he had no idea that he was at the beginning of forming what would become long-lasting friendships.

His doctor, also a client at the Merrithew CTC, had referred him there to help with his lower back pain. It was there that he met ITs Bianca Bolissian, Tania Serrano and Sarka Osecka.

“If you want somebody to promote the benefits of Pilates, it’s me!” Dieter says, with a laugh. When he first started working with Bianca, Tania and Sarka, he had trouble driving a car because of the pain in his back. “Now I can drive for two hours, no problem,” he says. But though the physical aspect of Pilates has helped him enormously, it’s the personal touch that has kept him coming back for years. “Fitness instructors must have an engaging personality, be competent and have empathy,” he says, noting that these qualities were lacking in the places where he previously went to work out. When Instructors are empathetic to the client, they notice things like mood, and can adjust the workout accordingly, says Dieter, which is important in keeping up the client’s morale and sense of value. Walking into a friendly studio can make all the difference between continuing with an exercise regimen and letting it slide, he says. “You need to want to come.”

Now, it’s not unusual to find Bianca, Tania, Sarka and Dieter enjoying a coffee together at a nearby café, or having a meal at a restaurant. “We’ve become friends,” says Bianca. "Dieter's great. He has a fantastic outlook on life."

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