This week we chat with Meredith Coffin, owner of Springboard Pilates – a TPC Host Advisor Studio in Portland, Maine. Meredith first discovered Pilates in the early 2000s and completed The Pilates Center Boulder’s Advanced Teacher Training Program in 2012. Meredith is TPC Host Advisor and has proudly helped six students graduate from TPC’s rigorous training program.
Hi Meredith, how are you today?
Great! Enjoying a beautiful summer day after a long stretch of very high humidity in the northeast.
Where are you and what are you up to right now?
I’m in my sunny kitchen. My almost-two-year-old just went down for a nap and I can still hear his shusher lulling him into dreamland! After we chat, I plan to take a walk in the woods.
Are you working at a studio?
Now, I own Springboard Pilates (in Portland, Maine), which is a Host Studio for TPC. To date, I’ve proudly helped 6 people earn TPC diplomas and I currently host 3 trainees. Mentoring trainees is truly one of the highlights of my professional life. I enjoy it so much!
How did you first discover Pilates?
In the early 2000’s I took a few private lessons, coaxed by Springboard’s previous owner to try it. I had a movement background and I’m a people person by nature, so I think she was plotting to groom someone to take over when she would soon start her family. And there I was. It was fate. I didn’t REALLY know what Pilates was and had never tried it before she encouraged me. Once she saw I loved it, she helped me go through my initial comprehensive training with Peak Pilates in Massachusetts and the rest, as they say, is herstory.
How did you find out about TPC?
I travelled to Boulder very early on in my Pilates life, when I had only just started my training with Peak, for a workshop at the original TPC studio.
I remember feeling like they (TPC teachers) were definitely speaking another language, but I was intrigued. I knew it was only the beginning of a connection that would last forever.
What was your reason for choosing to train with TPC?
After my Peak training, which I loved, I took a few years to get into the groove of teaching. I needed more hours of watching and working with bodies under my belt, practicing what I’d learned before taking on any new information.
In the meantime, I quit my day jobs, shifted gears from pursuing a career for which I’d gone to graduate school, and got married! In 2012, I started TPC’s Bridge Other program, ready to dig in much deeper to the work, my own intuition, and my instincts. TPC really thrives at guiding you to find your own personal teaching style and eye while staying true to the Method. I was never told what exactly to say, but instead asked, “What do you see?” It was totally different and allowed me to trust myself as a teacher, which I think makes it possible for my clients to trust me.
Why do you think TPC is the best option for people wanting to become Pilates teachers?
It’s basically a Master’s Program. It will take lots of time and work and self-reflection. TPC doesn’t just produce Pilates teachers, it is a program through which you will face yourself fully. You will confront any baggage, untruths, self-loathing (you name it!) that you have, because it is a personal journey. Just as I believe people do Pilates exactly as they move through the world, you will get from this program exactly what you need. Does that make sense? Like the “work-horse” type of person in life who pushes through challenges and plugs away even when it’s painful, often ignoring internal cues to slow down likely physically has a strong, muscular body and asks for more springs or reps, wanting to “get through the workout” even though that’s the opposite of what she needs. That’s just a theoretical example. I have also seen the opposite and lots of examples in between.
What was / is your favourite things about TPC’s teacher training programme?
Well, I touched upon that in talking about having to “face your own stuff,” because I think it is one of the greatest gifts of TPC’s style, but I would also say that the community of people really makes it special. I remember being intimidated the first time I went to a lecture weekend, thinking it would be very competitive like: who has all the answers or can do every exercise perfectly (and yes, of course there’s usually one of those in every group!), but most everyone was humble, open to learning, and asked great questions. I think part of it is that many people are there having done trainings elsewhere first and have finally come around to doing TPC, especially now that it can be done from anywhere in the world whereas you used to have to relocate to Boulder. So, there are lots of different ages represented, different personalities and various body types. I think the TPC community is open and receptive and teaches from a place of love for the work rather than a place of fear that we must hold on tightly or else it will get into the “wrong hands.” I just don’t see that protectionism at TPC. If you love it, set it free, right?!
What do you think your experience at TPC has given you most?
It is hard to separate out what TPC has given me versus what I have become in life with age, experience, maturity, a happy home life, and stuff like that. But I can say with certainty it has given me a profession that I am 100% proud of. I go to work every day knowing I am part of team that makes my city a better place to live. We help people to believe in their own abilities, to stand taller, breathe more freely, think more clearly, to smile more! What a gift to give. It is a joy to do this work.
What would you say to someone who is considering training with TPC?
I always say that you have to be ready for a life shift. This is an intense and wonderful experience and you will be different afterward in ways we cannot predict right now. So, if you are excited or intrigued by that you’re ready and this is the place for you! If that intimidates you or isn’t what you’re looking for in a Pilates program you might consider looking elsewhere. Honestly, this isn’t the program for everyone, and that’s totally ok. But man, I hope for every person considering it, that they do it because it’s just indescribable!