If you have been following my progress with the beautiful Katherine Wolf, you know what a tenacious and brave woman she is. Since our work together last February, she has gained mobility in her hips and legs, developed rock-hard abs to support her center, and a greater ability to control her movements, especially on her right side which was most affected by her stroke.

In July of this year, Katherine, her husband Jay, and son James flew home to Georgia for a family vacation. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, while there she temporaraly lost balance while standing, fell to the floor, and shattered her right tibia. She was rushed to the hospital and emergency surgery was performed the very next day, putting a steel rod in her leg that will remain forever. That could have been enough to throw the covers over your face and go to bed forever.

“I’m not gonna lie, this is rough, and it is a hard pill to swallow…even for an eternal optimist. Months to go in this boot? Violent pain every morning? Stomach problems and many unmentionable issues resulting from prolonged use of heavy duty narcotics I have to be on? That is the worst catch 22 ever,” says Katherine on her Hope Heals website. ”It has been easy to feel like this is a strange and unfair nightmare. A sad turn of events. A cruel joke.”

So when Katherine emailed her sad news, I wrote back and offered to come to her home when she returned for a visit. ”I’m coming into the studio first thing when I return to LA! We can work on upper body and abs. I’ve come too far to stop now!”

risa sheppard private pilates instruction with katherine wolf

And so, I call her my Steel Magnolia. My hat is off to a lady who doesn’t quit, no matter what. Let that be a lesson for all of us when we let a snivel keep us from doing our Pilates. Here we are working just one month after her fall, in her boot: Doing Pilates, working her center, once again taking charge of her life!


Risa Sheppard