In college I once had a good guy friend tell me, "If I could just put your personality and everything you are into (insert super fit girl's name here) body, then you would be the perfect girl." At the time I laughed, and played it off well. Never letting this guy friend know how deep those words cut me.

I wasn't overweight at the time. I had been earlier in my life, but not at that time. Was I fit? Not like "so and so." I had never taken dance or gymnastics. I never played soccer or joined any high school sports team. I am not coordinated, and when I try to dance I end up looking like Elaine from Seinfeld. I can't throw a ball and make it go anywhere I want it to, I can't catch, and I definitely can't jump.  

I would run for exercise because it was free and didn't require coordination, but I didn't do it on a regular basis. Just whenever I thought about it and had an extra half hour. But it was never more than a couple of miles.

Now fast forward to grad school. I went out for a run one day and came back with a torn meniscus. Then I couldn't even run anymore. Good thing the University had cheap group fitness classes. It was literally the ONLY thing I could do to get some exercise. Even then, I would make sure I was the person in the back of the class, because I was embarrassingly uncoordinated.

 Then I took a pilates class. I loved it. I was surprisingly good at it.  The exercise moves were slow and controlled, and I could keep up with it. I started going more and more and could feel my body getting stronger. I became addicted to that natural "high" of working out. And one day, something inside of me told me that I should certify to teach it. I laughed at the thought. I didn't think I was good enough. But the feeling never went away, it kept getting stronger and stronger until I finally got up the courage to certify.

 Fast forward to today. I have been teaching since 2008 and have since certified on the pilates machines, pilates barre, and even decided to certify to teach spin. (Once you start you just get addicted to certifications!) I have discovered that I not only love to teach, but I am passionate about it. And here is why:

 When you teach you can push yourself harder than you think possible. You are the leader, and others are looking to you for inspiration and that in turn unlocks a stronger, deeper power inside you to go farther than you think you can.

 Getting paid to workout is a huge bonus. But more than that, knowing that you are committed to something keeps you accountable. I can't just not show up to an exercise class because I am tired. I am the instructor, and I have to be there (or get a sub, which requires thinking ahead). So I finally exercise on a regular basis, because I don't have the option to put it off.

 If I can spend time taking care of myself everyday by working out, then it is so much easier for me to take care of others. It is like what the flight attendants say whenever you fly, "In case of emergency, please place your own air mask on first before assisting others." You have to take care of yourself in order to have the energy and ability to take care of others.

 And lastly, the more I teach pilates the more parallels I find in life. Pilates is all about strengthening your core (abs, back and glutes). If your core is strong, then everything else will function more efficiently. For example, I am a better biker because I know how to engage my core and not waste unneeded energy to stabilize myself. I have more balance in my daily activities. I find that is the same thing with life. If you have a strong core, or in other words, if your core values are strong, then everything else will fall into place. If God comes first, then you can do all your other activities more efficiently. You will have more balance in life.

 And that is why I am passionate about pilates.

Certified Pilates Instructor
  • Body, Arts, and Science Institute (BASI) Pilates Mat Certification  
  •  Pilates Reformer, Chair, and Cadillac Certification from Thrive Pilates  
  •  Pilates Mat Certification (Expert Level) from Expert Rating Certifications  
Certified Spinning Instructor
  • Spinning  Instructor Certification from Mad Dogg Athletics 
Certified Pilates Barre Instructor
  •  Pilates Barre  Instructor Certification from barrEVOLUTION 

Follow Me!
Pinterest: aaessig
Instagram: @alisiaessig
Blog: www.thedcessigs.blogspot.com
Pin It


  1. I don't know why, but the beginning of your bio made me almost cry. You remind me that I can do anything.

  2. You are amazing! I want more certifications too. You inspire me to do more.


Pin It button on image hover