Our August 2022 Member of the Month's Pilates Journey began back in August 2016 when a girlfriend asked her to try a Pilates Mat class with her at the Maui Family YMCA. “My first response was that Pilates would be way too hard. I didn’t think I was in good enough shape to do the class. Even though I questioned my ability, I decided to take a chance and try it. It just so happened that Or Sagi-Woodson would be the teacher that day. From that point on, I’ve been hooked." We want to offer a big Ho’omaika’i ‘ana (congratulations) to Joni Todd, our August 2022 Member of the Month!
Even though she started Pilates at the Maui Family YMCA, Joni would become a Maui Pilates Studio member in June 2019. “I feel much stronger, toned, and flexible ever since my Pilates Journey began in 2016. My dad, who is currently 95 and still lives in his own house, has always told me how important it is to exercise and stay in shape. As a matter of fact, I have longevity on both sides of my family, so it is very important for me to keep moving, stretching, and strengthening my body as I get older. Pilates is my fountain of youth!"
Joni first came to Maui in the 70's to attend a good friend's wedding and ended up staying on Maui for 7 years! Eventually she moved back to the mainland to finish her college degree and had planned to move back to Maui once she graduated. “Well, it took more than a few decades before I finally moved back to Maui almost 7 years ago. I feel so lucky and grateful to be living in such a magical beautiful place once again!”
Joni lives upcountry with her husband and 2 dogs: Winston, a 5 1/2 year-old, and Lily, who is only 7 months old. Joni admits, “I have a special place in my heart for westies! ” Joni is talking about her west highland terriers. Joni walks her two sweet "furkids" twice a day. “They give me accountability, as they always make it clear that going on a walk is a must! I also have a vegetable garden that I'm working on to grow some of my own food. I call it my Zen garden because it gives me such a sense of presence and mindfulness when I’m tending to my plants. It’s really fun to walk out to my garden and pick something to use for our next meal.“
Winston and Lily make her accountable for their exercise, dad stresses the importance of exercise, and her garden gives her a sense of presence and mindfulness, but Joni finds her inspiration from her sister Diana. “She has been through a lot, but she is always very upbeat and positive. She is my voice of reason and keeps me grounded.”
We asked Joni what the future looks like for her, and here is what she shared with us: “I would like to go on more travel adventures in the future. There are so many places I would love to visit in the world. I’d like to stay as healthy and active as long as I possibly can, and Pilates can help me do that. I see Pilates as a natural part of my future. Pilates makes me feel good, and it keeps me motivated to eagerly continue practicing Pilates. It is still a challenge for me at times, but I feel successful after every class I attend. I really like what Or says: It doesn’t get easier, but you will get better.”