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Pilates x Boards? Let's meet Charly...

I always like to highlight the importance and contribution that Pilates can have on sportspeople's bodies. Through the course of my life as a Pilates instructor I was fortunate to come across a variety of people who took sports in a serious way, either professionally or recreational, but either way giving their best on it. By just helping with body conditioning or body awareness or by preventing or rehabbing injuries, Pilates plays a big role on helping athletes all around the globe!

I would like to invite you to meet one of them.

His name is Charly Porta, a french guy, who's passion is Skateboard, Snowboard and Surf and who joined our Studio last October until August this year, when he went to Australia, Indonesia and France with different tools on his bag to improve his practice and his health, allowing him to express his love for the boards at his best capcities.

Here is his Profile:

PORTA Charly

DOB : 15/10/1993 in Hyeres, FRANCE.

Hobbies I live for : Skateboard / Snowboard / Surfing

Here are his own words:

" I've been doing Pilates since October 2021.

I started with 1 session a week and quickly realized how much good it was doing to my body and then started to do twice a week for about 8 months.

I subscribed to the 10 session mat class for a start and kept on going up until I left. Learning the use of the leg and arm springs, reformer, cadillac, and other pilates gear along the way depending on how crowded the class was. Thanks a lot for the upgrade by the way ! But all of the basics were learned on the mat. And once comfortable on those basic series many variations can be executed on different Pilates equipment.

My previous injuries include: a broken cervical C5, a broken Femur on my right leg, broken Jaw lower and upper, snapped ACL and snap external meniscus on my right knee, multiple ankles Sprain on both sides, a broken thumb on the right hand and broken collarbone on my left side (x2).

So here's a bit of my story and how and why I got into Pilates and how much good it did to me.

Between the years 2011 and 2015 ( ages 17 - 22 ) I had a pretty rough few years for my body ( broke my neck C5 / broken femur / broken jaw both Upper n Lower / Snap ACL / Outer meniscus popped out / I had surgery for all of those injury except the collarbone ) I guess it all happened because I was too eager to get back on my boards / rockstar lifestyle that I did all my recovery process up to 80%. Which led me from one injury to the other. Strong enough to skate/ snowboard or surf but pain had become part of my everyday life. And I guess I just accepted it up until last year and was telling myself I was lucky enough to still be doing what I love the most. Being on a board whether it's on concrete, snow or water.

In 2017 after a couple years without major injury I felt like it was time to go away and have a bit of a reset. It's the best decision I ever made for myself. I felt like I was free again. No more medical appointments, no X-rays, no surgery, no hospital holiday. Just me, my boards and the world as my canvas.

It was time to start Living THE life.

Few years went by and I travelled through Indonesia several times surfing some of the finest waves on earth. Lived in Australia for 16 months and finally made it to New Zealand in February 2020 just before the border shut down pre COVID. I have been living in New Zealand for two and a half years as of now.

This has definitely been the best years of my life so far after such a long struggle at the start of my adult life due to my medical issues.

Although I had been having a whole lot of fun I was not listening to my body. And I was in more and more pain due to my previous injuries.

At the start of spring 2021 I got the opportunity to join the Concrete building team for the renovation of the Gisborne skatepark as a labourer. I picked up Mat classes at Authentic Pilates Studio about 4 weeks into the job. Which has been a great decision. As much as the work at the skatepark was very hard and the hours long I felt like the mat sessions at the studio with Thomaz were really helping me and I quickly realized how out of alignment I was. After a few sessions I noticed that my neck, which has three bones tied together, was feeling a lot more flexible and had a bigger range of movement. Range I thought I had lost forever since my surgery. So I told myself I had to keep going at all costs no matter how sore I am. Because Inside of me I knew it was the right thing to do for my own wellbeing.

As the months went by and fatigue was accumulating still I was feeling improvement in my flexibility and strength. All of that while spraying concrete at the skatepark on a daily basis (which is farkkkking BRUTAL on the body). I started to surf/skate better, harder and longer than ever before while discovering my powerhouse and how much room for improvement I had inside of my own body. Which I thought was broken forever.

I realised nothing is ever set in stone.

And all of that was due to dedication and consistency in having morning stretching routine (the Tibetan rites) before work for about 20-30min every day 6 days a week and 2 mat sessions a week at the studio with Thomaz. I just kept working hard both on the job and on the mat.

Hard work always pays off.

My goal back in October 2021 was to hold that routine until the Christmas break. Which I achieved. And then I thought : How long can I keep that up for? And I kept doing it a day at a time all the way until I jumped on the plane on August 15th 2022 after 10.5 months of hard work. As I write those words I'm in Bali at the start of a three months journey between Indonesia, Australia and heading home to France for the first time in three years to see my family for Christmas feeling stronger than I've ever been and with more savings than ever before.

All of that in less than a year.

I can't thank enough the legends Thomaz and Fabio from Authentic Pilates Gisborne for their knowledge and guidance through that whole year learning Pilates alongside them.

Pilates clearly changed my life for the better!!!

It's all got to do with consistency and hard work and anyone willing to put in the time and effort can be surprised by how much they can achieve both on and off the board.

Impossible is NOTHING. Believe in YOU. Keep working HARD.

Much love and appreciation to Thomaz, Fabio and Reyna at Authentic Pilates Studio.

You guys rule!

See you when I'm looking at you !

Charly Porta"

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