Whaaat!!! More than one blog post in the same month? Yes, it’s’ true–just days after my last post I am cranking out another!
This one is more of a status report. I am planning on making a push to finish my Pilates/Dance Conditioning certification from Orange Coast Community College this semester. This means taking another 8 classes, six of which are academic. The other two classes are internships, one requiring 62 hours of observation and the other 62 hours of teaching. It’s good thing I am retired and don’t have to work as well!
The observation hours should be no problem, but the teaching hours are more challenging. I have several places that have reformers that I should be able to use on an occasional basis, but in general finding apparatus to use is a challenge. Last weekend I made a big move to address that challenge by purchasing my very own home reformer.
I purchased it from a gentleman who is going through the Basi Certification program. He purchased it last year to facilitate his own program. He is doing an apprenticeship at a studio close to his home and he has a key to it, so he didn’t really need the reformer and his wife needed the space. The stars were aligned–I checked Craigslist, saw his ad, saw that he was only a couple of miles from my home, contacted him, borrowed a truck, and picked it up.
I think that there may be some history. It was advertised as a Teague reformer, but I could not find any such manufacturer. What I did find was a YouTube video titled “Teague Legacy Gerald Teague of Teague Pilates & Equipment” about a gentleman named Gerald Teague.
The video portrays him as a kind of Renaissance man in the mold of Joseph Pilates, or Julio Horvath (creator of the Gyrotonic Method). One of the segments casts him as an inventor and craftsman, showing him working in a very well-equipped woodshop, and my guess is that he built my reformer. He and his wife have Teague Classical Pilates studios in the Thousand Oaks area, and pictures of the reformers used in their studio have definite similarities to my machine.
There are some design deficiencies, however, and this makes me suspect that mine may have been an early experimental or prototype unit. The main problem is the positioning of the springbar. There are three carriage stops, but when the carriage stop nearest to the footbar is used the springs go slack when the carriage is all the way in (pictured below).
The next picture compares the springbar setup for a reformer in the Teague studio (left) and the setup on my machine. Note that the Teague bracket has three slots, but mine only has two! Aye, there’s the rub! I have a plan for addressing that problem, and that is to use the space between the existing proximal (relative to the footbar) end of the bracket to cut a third slot closer to that end. Now what I need to do is find someone who can cut notches in stainless steel brackets.
I also need to get some longer ropes, and the rope locking mechanism on one side is not working.
You may have noticed that there is a tower, and I believe that was added on by the fellow I bought the reformer from, hoping to use this as a Cadillac. Once he installed it I suspect that only then did he realize that without a surface to lie on the tower is pretty useless. I think that may have what prompted him to purchase the Cadillac that he hung on to. The Allegro reformers are convertible, and have a platform that joins with the carriage (sans shoulder rests). A platform could be easily fashioned, but the shoulder rests are not removable which is a barrier. My plan is to get back on Craigslist to find a light weight portable massage table that I can remove the legs from and then lay on top of the frame with the carriage removed.
I christened my setup this morning by giving my training partner Anna the first of what will be a series of private lessons. Onward and upward. If anyone else would like to get some free Pilates training please contact me!