Woman jumping high

Success in the face of adversity

I had planned to write on a different topic this month, but sometimes an inspirational piece comes your way that is too good not to share. This one is relevant on so many levels. It shows that everyone has their personal story, despite how effortless things might look from the outside (worth remembering when we are tempted into comparisons). It illustrates that out of adversity better things can come…but only if you allow them to. Most importantly, it is brilliant example of overcoming the power of the ‘inner voice’, in my opinion the biggest stepping stone to living your very best life.

This is Denise, our pilates instructor’s story, written in her own words:


In November 1998, when I was an dedicated gym bunny, I had a cycling accident on my way for an early morning workout. Being self-employed as a domiciliary chiropodist, my mind was filled with thoughts of cancelled appointments and all the people I’d be letting down in the run up to Christmas. Why didn’t I stay in bed that morning as I had felt like doing?

I lay on the side of the road waiting for the ambulance to arrive, my mind racing with thoughts of how bad my injuries were. An articulated lorry had driven over my right ankle. As it turned out, I was so fortunate that I hadn’t lost my foot. My injuries eventually healed but I was left with constant pain in all the joints down the right side of my body. Not knowing any better, I attempted to work out at the gym longer and harder but to no avail.

In passing, a friend happened to mention that she’d heard Pilates was meant to be excellent for correcting imbalances caused by injuries, surgeries and the like. I’d never heard of it but I was willing to try anything that’d help me to feel normal again.

Needless to say Pilates worked! After 6 weeks I could feel a difference. I had a wonderful, passionate teacher but, after 6 years of teaching Pilates, she decided to relocate to Portugal. I was crushed. What was I going to do without my irreplaceable Michelle?!

After many months of doing my best to adjust to someone new, the little voice that I’d ignored on the morning of my accident, made regular calls at all times of the day and night. It was nudging me to train as a Pilates teacher. The excuses were many, until the little voice transitioned from a whisper to relentless bellows. I could no longer ignore my soul’s calling.

In 2007 at the age of 47, I took the plunge. Not knowing how I was going to fund a £6,500 12 month comprehensive training, I took a leap of faith and signed up for a 0% credit card…I found a way to honour a deep calling inside of me.

I’d be lying if I said it was easy, In fact maintaining a chiropody practice, dedicating time to my marriage, and giving myself the necessary self care to come away with a Pilates qualification with distinction, absolutely came with many challenges. Looking back now, with the comfort of hindsight, the pain was 100% worth the gain. I can say with confidence that…

Anything that takes you to another level of growth will feel uncomfortable


I remind myself in times of wanting to stay small, that we’d never have the joy of witnessing the butterfly if it didn’t break free when it was a caterpillar.

I have loved every moment of being a Pilates teacher. I now get to give back, help and inspire others as Michelle did for me.


I am so grateful to Denise for allowing me to share her inspirational story. It has certainly given me some food for thought.

When we are going through tough times, it is hard to see beyond our predicament. Our minds tend to get stuck in a series of default reactions, thereby limiting our ability to move forward. Yet if we dig a little deeper, the solutions are often there for us, if only we are prepared to open up to them, face our fears and take action.

At the end of this most tumultuous of years, there’s never a better time.


  1. Louise Hyde

    Absolutely blown away by Denise’s story. Thank you so much for sharing. Thank you Lindsay for keeping us going through this mad year with all the classes and inspiring newsletters. Wishing you a great festive season.

    • A pleasure Louise. I think it’s so important for us all to share experiences – there’s always food for thought and things to learn from each other! It’s been a joy to have you around and I do hope that you too have a wonderful Christmas and the best 2021. x

  2. Susanna Dammann

    What an amazing story! And what an amazing year it has been; I think we have all been taken by surprise at how we’ve reacted to the extraordinary drama of these last 11 months. I am so happy to have been a part of MeSpot during this time: Lindsay’s Zoom classes have given a structure to my week, that was sorely needed and the chats beforehand have reminded me of the friendship, warmth and support that I have found through MeSpot, in person on the Common when allowed, as well as online. MeSpot is not just for Covid, it’s for life.

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to comment Susanna. I am so pleased you feel that Me Spot is making such a difference. Your support and commitment means such a lot and it’s a pleasure to have you around. x

  3. Wow! Always found Denise so inspiring but checking her ‘numbers’ has blown my mind ! Well done Denise and thanks to Lindsay and all the MeSpot women who still make me feel so welcome even though I am no longer in Wandsworth xx

  4. Corinne

    Wonderful to hear Denise’s story, and even more wonderful to have her as a Me Spot teacher…she’s amazing! Happy Christmas, and thank you Lindsay for the most unusual but remarkable nine months of our lives…your dedication and commitment to keeping us all healthy and upbeat has been incredible. What a phenomenal group of women you’ve brought together X

  5. Joanne Leck

    Wishing you lots of happiness for Christmas and the New Year!
    See you soon x

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