(J)oseph (H)ubertus (P)ilates


Joseph Hubertus Pilates was a man who was passionate about the human body and movement.  He was an athlete, inventor, and innovator.  It was not uncommon for Joe to smoke in the studio, drink a cocktail after a hard days work, and run around New York with his speedos on.  Joe had a zest for life and it seems he lived it to the fullest!  Mr. JHP invented an exercise method called Contrology that is now known as Pilates.  Joe studied the body, understood the way it was made to work, and had goals to keep it moving effectively.  With those fundamentals in mind he created exercises to make you can feel better in your body and live a more enjoyable life.  The goals are endless yet simple and a seeker of movement will figure them out!  Joe was German.  He was serious.  He didn't mess around!  As Elder Jay Grimmes recalls, "You went to Joe's studio to work out.  You did what you were told and didn't ask questions.  You sweat!"  Joe didn't have weekend workshops, or Pilates certification programs.  He created a gym in New York and taught exercises he invented on equipment he crafted to accomplish goals he established for the body, mind, and spirit.  In Joe's days (1883-1967),  working out wasn't necessarily the thing to do.  In fact, the year Joe died was the year the first woman, Kathrine Switzer, another German, ran the Boston marathon ilegally.  She nearly got shoved out of the race by male on-lookers, until her football player boyfriend played defense that day, and beat them to the punch.  Interestingly, woman weren't officially allowed to run the Boston Marathon until four years after that!  Humorously, Jay Grimmes has said, "Joe wasn't this elite man, he was a carnie!  He performed circus stunts at fairs.  He was always getting arrested, getting into trouble, or getting into fights.  He was a boxer!  He wasn't necessarily the kind of guy you wanted to mess with.  I was afraid of him!" Clara his wife was apparently the "better teacher".  In their New York City gym you would find Clara in her white dress, assisting clients with exercises, especially those who complained that an exercise was too hard.  Apparently, Joe didn't want to hear that and if you uttered something of the sort, he would get frustrated and say, "see Clara," and move on to another student.  And according to Mr. Grimmes, Joe did get one of his eyes knocked-out in a fight when he was young, so YES, Joe was blind in one eye.  Mr. Pilates did all he did with one eye!  Joseph felt good and wanted us to feel good too.  He wanted us to enjoy life!  JHP's logic about the American "stress" syndrome and the effect our lifestyles have on our mind, body, and spirit was well beyond his time.  Joe was a mastermind and he was authentic.  That said, channel Joe's spirit in your workouts with me, and get the benefits we both want you to!