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“Mentors” written by Laura Burdo.

As a youngster, I would hurry home from school to watch The Richard Simmons’ Show.

I’d sit cross-legged upon the floor, and against parental admonitions, position myself very close to the television. My favorite segment was what followed the exercise, when the lights were dimmed, and reflective music wafted in the background. Richard would peer into the camera and speak directly into our living rooms. My heart swelled with admiration when he would say that he knew there was a healthier and happier person within each one of us. His demeanor was compassionate, and his words, empathetic. To me, he might as well have been clairvoyant – and quite possibly, a Saint. This show resonated deeply within me. And despite family’s efforts to dissuade, I simply couldn’t divert my misty, mesmerized eyes from that screen.

For years, I continued to rehearse and memorize exercise scripts. This fascination of mine concerned my parents because I was an underweight petite kid who didn’t need more activity. I was a performer on a gymnastic team called The Sundance Kids, and I enjoyed modern dance. In high school, I became a competitive cheerleader and joined the track team. Later, I taught aerobics (big surprise), coached cheerleading teams, and earned an income as a fitness model.

I suffered an injury during this time, which lead me to have surgery with many weeks of physical therapy. The therapist explained that I needed to discontinue certain activities, but graciously suggested an alternative avenue for my physical competitiveness – Bodybuilding and Figure Shows.

This I did pursue, and after much work and hard knocks, I eventually captured local, state, and national titles.

I settled into a career that encompassed three worlds – rehabilitation, fitness, and inspirational coaching. It seems like pure Providence to be able to combine interests that feel so natural to me. For this bliss, I’m grateful.

My business operates in the form of a private practice which involves a diverse array of physical modalities, consulting, and motivational speaking.

And whenever possible, I embrace opportunities for community outreach.

Along my journey, I was confronted with the profound teachings of a man named JOSEPH PILATES.

His methodologies are clinical, complex, and now a century-old. Originally called CONTROLOGY, Mr. Pilates touted that we must first train the brain, as it’s the mind itself which builds the body. My initial impression was that this is a miraculous missing link for every imaginable physical condition. I immediately acted upon this recognition. I received certification and began implementing the Pilates Principles into every facet of my work. As time went on, I had the revelation that this is a missing link to so much more of what ails us. This is why I refer to it as inspired integration for the whole being. It fact, it was defined, by the creator and founder himself, as complete coordination of the mind, body, and the spirit. Many do not know that THE PILATES METHOD not only builds the body, but has a methodology for the mind, and a philosophy for life. It was these fundamental components that established the field of rehabilitation that we use today, and has virtually revolutionized the entire world of fitness.

Even all of this doesn’t do Joe justice. He had such high hopes and aspirations for us. And I really want you to know Joe! You may say I’m obsessed. Many have teased me for my exuberance. I mention Joe so frequently that I’m accused of having an imaginary friend – which is true, in all actuality.

Mentors are magical like that. They show up in our lives at different times, in various forms. Some living, some gone, some we’ve known, others not. They are everywhere – crossing our path, hovering above, contending with us, lingering. Occasionally, they are waiting for us to accept the call to take the torch, as in a relay race with the passing of the baton.

Inspiration can be a mysterious matter. But, perhaps if we attune our eyes to see and our ears to hear, we may then bear witness to this wondrous whirling world. Surely, we shall wave our arms, jump and shout for the amazing grace, which is all about!

In the words of Van Morrison’s song, Ballerina, “Grab it, catch it! Fly it, try it! Come’on, sigh it!”

Japanese Haiku: (author unknown)

Mentors inspire 

Such as the dragonflies do 

Hope whispered so true 

As it goes with all of us, the culmination of our life experiences are actually the production of us in the making.

So, Ta-Da, meet Laura Burdo / The Pilates Preacher!

I aspire to inspire you!


“Every moment of our lives can be the beginning of great things.” Joseph Pilates


“Top Ten Tips – From Top Sports Psychologists” written by Laura Burdo.

Want to know how you can use sports psychology and mental training to reach your health, fitness and sports goals faster, easier, and get the results you want?

Here is a compilation of some top mindset tips to help you build new motivation, confidence and major breakthroughs in your fitness, your training and in your life.

10. Positive Images: When your are exercising, use your positive mental images throughout your workout to create feelings of speed and power. (e.g., If you’re walking or running and you come to an unexpected hill visualize a magnet pulling you effortlessly to the top). Use visualization before, during and after your training to build confidence and new motivation.

9. Power Words: Make positive self-statements continually. Negative thinking is common; everyone has an inner critic. Become aware of these thoughts early on. Don’t fight with them; simply acknowledge their presence, and then substitute positive power words. (e.g., When you’re thinking: “This hurts too much, I want to lay down and die”; say to yourself: “This feeling is connected with getting healthier and doing my absolute best.”)

8. Present Focus: Practice being in the present moment. Remind yourself to stay in the here and now. Instead of replaying past mistakes, or worrying about the future, let past and future events fade into the background. Be right on, right here, right now.

7. Advantage: Use everything in your workout to your advantage. For example, if another person passes you, tuck in behind and go with his or her energy for as long as possible. You may catch a “second wind” and be carried on to a personal record.

6. Chunking Goals: Focus on your immediate target. Break your training goals down into small, manageable pieces and begin to focus only on the first portion, not the entire workout (e.g., Say to yourself: “I’m just relaxing and getting my rhythm during the first part, or the first workout session”).

5. Body Scan: Pay close attention to your tension level and training form. Do a body scan while working out and relax your tight muscles frequently. Ask yourself: “Are my shoulders and neck relaxed; how does this pace feel; how much energy is left in my legs?”

4. Pain as Effort: If you have “good pain,” the pain of effort, that is not seriously damaging your body, just shift attention to your breathing or cadence of movement, and let the discomfort fade into the background. You can also use the pain as feedback. Register it not as pain but as effort level. Say: “Now I know exactly how hard I’m working. I know how this pace feels. My body is doing what it should be doing.”

3. Detach From Outcome: Look only at what you need to do right now (e.g., your pace, your breathing, your concentration); your final time, place, or score will take care of itself.

2. Focused Attention: Be aware of distractions. Breathe out unwanted thoughts with your next exhale and re-focus your attention instantly on what is important right now, at this moment.

1. Celebration: Enjoy and appreciate your fitness and strength. When you exercise, relax and let your body do what you’ve trained it to do. Remember that your goals are to be realistic, so all you need do is to perform up to your capabilities.


“Lovingkindness” written by Laura Burdo.


When a ship sails ’round the bend

It’s not gone, it’s only out of sight

When a bird takes flight

It’s not gone, it’s out flying in the light

When the sun sets and out comes the moon

It’s not gone, it’s returning soon

When joy ebbs and weeping flows

It’s not gone, for Lovingkindness knows

“Steadfast love and it’s mercies are fresh every morning.” Lamentations 3:22

“Remember to judge your success by what you had to give up to acheive it.” Dalai Lama

“The bird does not take flight until it lets go of the branch.”