Do you have a motto? 'Yes! One which I say when doing a job I don’t really want to do. I clearly say it pretty often as my family had a shirt made for me with the motto on it'. - "Lets do this so we can stop doing this”.
"The Pilates Alliance Australasia would like to present another amazing instructor in focus! We love acknowledging our established instructors, as well as introducing emerging instructors on a regular basis - so today, let's get to know Penny Hundy, from Bathurst, NSW."-
What originally motivated you to try Pilates and then go on to train as an instructor?
After herniating my L4/L5 disc, I turned to Pilates in hope it could help me with lingering symptoms I had many years after my initial injury. Even though by this stage the acute symptoms had mostly resolved, it wouldn’t take much for me to suffer a flare up which would involve pain creeping down my left leg. The main trigger for this would be when I would drive up the paddock on rough terrain, which was often. The jarring to my lower back would sometimes take me weeks, or even months to get over. It always felt like I was just getting back to normal when another flare up would hit. It was a vicious cycle which only Pilates would break. My back now feels as good as it did before my injury.
My first class was with Simmone from Pilates 44 many years ago. I was fascinated by the movements, how such seemingly small movements could have such a big impact on the body. I would stay back after class and pester Simmone, asking lots of questions about the class, not to challenge her but out of genuine interest (I have always been a ‘but why’ kind of person). She was very patient with me, lent me her books, I borrowed more from the local library, before she suggested I study Pilates.
Although I originally began studying Pilates for personal reasons, to understand more about my own body, I now teach others and love it! I currently teach mat and reformer Pilates two days per week, during school hours on days when our kids have afterschool activities. Since we live an hour from town, this works out perfectly for our family.
What do you appreciate most about your body?
That it communicates with me. It’s what I both love and loathe about it.
What was the most unexpected part of your training?
The people I would meet. I have met life long friends during my Pilates training. People who I live nowhere near (I live 4 hours from Sydney), yet people I know will be in my life forever. Someone I met on my very first day of training at Polestar during my mat course is spending Christmas this year with my family and I at our farm…..and I can’t wait!
In one word, describe your first Pilates teaching/apprentice teaching experience?
What’s the most challenging aspect of learning to teach?
Definitely the public speaking aspect of teaching. I remember the first time I taught at Polestar during my mat training and I was absolutely terrified! They say some people fear public speaking more than death. That was me back then, but no so much now.
What impact has the recent COVID-19 virus had on your world?
Covid impact as a part time Pilates teacher – teaching moved from face to face to online zoom. Although some contact is better than none, I really did miss the personal interaction that face to face allows.
Covid impact as a parent – I found Pilates teaching over zoom challenging with kids in the house. Keeping up to date with school work allocated during the learning from home phase was solid! We were lucky our kids had understanding teachers which would allow us to submit lots of work for days at a time and then submit very little when we were busy on the farm, eg during shearing or lamb marking.
Covid impact as a farmer – the day to day operations weren’t greatly affected as we run a family sheep and cattle farming enterprise. However, the sale of our products were impacted as a result of local abattoir and overseas wool mill shutdowns. Commodity prices were greatly affected as supply chains couldn’t be maintained.
How have you handled your Pilates teaching or training with COVID-19?
I was very lucky to escape any real Covid impacts to my training. I studied mat Pilates in 2020, shortly before all major Covid restriction were in place. All intensive weekends continued face to face as planned. Two years later when I decided to study reformer in 2022, it was at the tail end of the pandemic when the majority of restrictions had eased, therefore all training was able to be completed face to face, which I love.
The best advice you’ve ever had?
“You cannot always control a situation, but you can control how you respond to it”.
An indulgence you can’t live without?
A wood fire in winter……although it’s November and it’s still going!
Who is your Pilates idol or would love to meet, and why?
I’m lucky enough to have met them both!
Simmone Cser-Pratzky – Pilates 44. Simmone taught me my very first Pilates class, she was very patient with me, inspired me to learn more, mentored me throughout my Pilates training and continues to mentor me today.
Cat Giannitto – Polestar Pilates. Cat was my Pilates educator whilst training with Polestar. Cat has this natural ability at creating an enjoyable and relaxed environment for learning all that is Pilates. An absolute wealth of knowledge.
Photo credit: Pilates 44 Studio