Pilates comes to Nederland

Babara LawlorPilates comes to Nederland

Local mountain therapists offer many kinds of alternative healing: the relaxing, let-it-happen-to-you massage, the stick-it-to-you acupuncture, laser treatments and multiple Yoga classes. But local therapists have not offered the most popular health trend to hit the streets in many years: Pilates.
Pilates studios are available in almost all cities. It is a body-conditioning routine that builds flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance in the legs, abdomen, arms, hips and back. Clients swear by it. Its health benefits have seduced mountain folks to drive to the flatlands to get their weekly workout.
If only we had Pilates in Nederland, they would wish. Now that wish has come true.
The Flood of 2013 changed many lives. Among them was Pam Harrington, whose 6-week struggle getting to Longmont convinced her to make a decision. Was she a flatlander or was she a mountain woman? She chose to lose the trip down below and bring her Pilates studio to Nederland, where she would see friends and neighbors and get back to her roots.
Two weeks ago, Pam opened her door for therapy above the ReMax Building next to the Nederland Mining Museum. In the first week she had 10 clients and the second week she had 15. She expects the business to grow rapidly.
Pam grew up in the Northwest, moving around during her childhood. The one constant in her life was owning a horse. At the age of five she owned a Lightning and learned how to ride and love horses at that early age. She moved to Colorado to study creative writing at Naropa and found a job at the Sundance Stables. When she graduated from Naropa in 1995, she became the Artist in Residence in Ward, bringing the community in with a poetry project.
Around this time she went to work at the Gold Lake Stables with Moe Paulson, who later decided to close the business. It was the perfect opportunity for Pam. In 2003 she left the Sundance and in 2004, she partnered with Margee Airola, and the two women started the Mountain Mamas with a few horses. They quickly became involved in equine therapy, bringing inner-city kids to the mountains to help them resolve their emotional issues. Over 300 teens a year joined the program.
In 2007, Pam needed back surgery. A lifetime of bad body mechanics had taken its toll. She had ruptured her L4 and L5 disks, herniated her L3 and L4, and had a bulge in L2 and L3. She underwent a discectomy and when it was over, her neurosurgeon said she had to change her livestock or she would soon be back under the knife.
She went into physical therapy, which helped some; but it was when Margee bought her a gift certificate for a Pilates class that Pam began to change. She couldn’t afford both physical therapy and the Pilates so she signed up for six private Pilates lessons and fell in love with it. She was so dedicated that she began to wonder how she could become a Pilates teacher.
Less than a year and 700 hours later she was a teacher-in-training. She learned anatomy, physiology, and classic Pilates methods: somatic respiratory integration. For three months she engaged in one-on-one therapy for her back pain.
“I knew I had to do it for the rest of my life if I wanted to continue to be active. I don’t ever want to doPilates comes to Nederland more surgery. Pilates kept me from being hurt when I was tossed off a horse. Pilates gave me
my life back. I was able to become more athletic.”
Pam says that without Pilates she wouldn’t have been able to lift her daughter, who is now two. When her teacher closed the studio, Pam, using her money from the sale of the stables, was able to invest in Pilates equipment and moved into a tiny studio with two Reformers, the basic Pilates equipment. She ran the studio from 2008 until last year.
By this time she was sick of the drive which took time away from her daughter. When the flood hit, the drive was even longer. She says, “The river made me choose between the mountains and the flatlands. I realized I had gotten out of the loop with my mountain friends and I knew what I had to do. The flood gave me my family back. Since opening I have been overwhelmed with support and I am grateful to be so welcomed.”
Pam is offering a free 30-minute session and says people are saying there is nothing like it. She has come up with prices that are as low as she can make them. A private lesson is $60 an hour and three privates are $130. A drop-in rate for a class is $25, or $200 for a 10-pack and $110 for a five pack. She offers an introductory 10 classes with only three people for $175. She is offering gift certificates now for the holidays, with a 10% discount for the month of December.
She likes her tiny space, the quiet, and her neighbors. She has a birds-eye view of the town and she feels like she is home.
Pam and Lara DuBose, also a Pilates teacher, will share the space. The studio will be open on Monday afternoons and evenings and Tuesday from 2-6 and Wednesday through Friday from 9-5.
For more information call Pam at 303-748-0289.


Pam is a staff reporter for The Mountain-Ear. She covers local political news for the region.

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