Recently, I've been thinking quite a bit about Romana.
Things she said.
How she carried herself.
The twinkle of mischief in her eye.
Her hands. Hands that could convey more meaning than words. Sometimes even just one finger. (coupled with those mischievous eyes, of course)
She always said "Pilates can easily be summed up in 3 words: Stretch. Strength. Control. In all the right amounts."
I remember her warning us fledgling instructors that teaching something with so much repetition could get pretty boring after awhile for both the clients and ourselves and to combat that, we needed to be creative with how we communicated with our clients. She would describe exercises as "delicious" and "juicy". She insisted that we all get a dictionary and at the start of every new day, we open it randomly to a page and point. Where our finger landed would be a word (naturally) and we should challenge ourselves to use that word in our teaching throughout the day.
Romana worked hard and she celebrated hard. She believed in champagne every Friday at noon. Not just for herself, but for anyone who happened to be in the studio at that moment; instructors, apprentices, clients. The cork would pop and before you knew it, you were being handed a dixie cup with a swallow or two of bubbly, toasting another week in the books. It didn't matter if you were quietly observing or in the middle of side splits on the reformer.
It's safe to say Romana taught me a few things. Among them, Pilates.