Photos © Kate Strait Photography & Dan Budak
What are PortSports & Blue Star Pilates?
PortSports is a charity-based sport and social club for adults based in Portland, Maine. Blue Star Pilates is my venue for furthering my own Pilates practice as well as teaching others the Pilates method.
What inspired you to become the founder/owner of PortSports & Blue Star Pilates?
When we first moved back to Maine in the summer of 2007 after our son was born, my husband and I were having a hard time meeting people our own age and making friends. We revisited an idea of his from our time living in NYC, to start a sport and social club, here in Portland, Maine. We launched PortSports in the Spring of 2008 and have been playing ever since. My love for Pilates began once I made the commitment to regain my strength and figure post-baby. Pilates helps me not only stay fit, but it is also a meditative practice for me. By focusing inward, on how the movement feels within, all external factors disappear and when the session is over, I'm left feeling incredibly rejuvenated. I want to bring that feeling to others, and learning to teach has been exciting and humbling in itself.
What is one challenge and one lesson you’ve learned from your experience as a founder/ownder?
The challenges and lessons are abundant as a founder (and owner). With PortSports, one of the biggest challenges has been keeping the vibe of our sports social and inclusive. Often in sports, people let their competitive nature get the best of them, which can turn people off to playing. Our goal is to provide a safe space to play hard, but with respect for not just teammates, but opposing teams and staff members as well. With Pilates, I'm learning to trust the learning process. Pilates teachers are traditionally taught apprentice-style, so there is quite a large time and financial commitment to becoming a fully comprehensively-trained teacher. Learning a new skill, and then to be able to teach that skill to others with clarity, has been a huge but fun challenge to undertake.
What are your top two PS & BSP memories?
My top PortSports memory...it's hard to pick...we have 4 PortSporters with our motto or logo tattooed on them, and have had several PortSporter weddings. Hearing the stories of friendships that began with either a PortSports event or league are my favorite. My top Pilates memory was launching my first class after my training and feeling the support of my new students. Watching people move and feel good always makes me feel good too.
What is your favorite inspirational/motivational quote?
My favorite inspirational/motivation quote would have to be "stay positive and love your life," by my favorite band, 311.
In one word, describe yourself:
Describe myself in one word, holy moly what a challenge, looking back on my past 10 years, I would say "driven."