However, in May of 1962 at the age of three months, my son — Russell Scott Whittaker — began his Bonnie Prudden exercises with each diaper change. The Art Linkletter House Party Show was on TV and a lady in tights was demonstrating baby exercises. I was hooked — and Rusty was to graduate from the Bonnie Prudden School 18 years later.
I saw this same lady on TV again, but turned her off when I couldn’t keep up with what I now know was a “hip twist.” Shortly after that I found, bought, and diligently followed the exercise program in her book, How to Keep Slender and Fit After Thirty… I was twenty six.
My background is in Physical Education. I graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1960. That summer I married, and then in the fall went back to teach grades four through twelve at the Oyster River School in Durham, New Hampshire, where I had done my practice teaching. In the summer of 1961 I got pregnant, moved to Maine and had Rusty. A few years later — in 1968 — I moved back to Durham and began teaching figure skating, tennis, fencing, outdoor and indoor fitness, and badminton at UNH. I had been playing badminton since age ten so I also coached the UNH badminton team and began competing in statewide tournaments.
One fall day in 1970, I was in Concord scouting an opponent when a lady went by with a sign announcing that Bonnie Prudden would be giving some workshops there in January of 1971. She said I really should come and see what The Lady did.
None of my badminton playing friends would make the drive with me so I decided to go to the Concord workshop alone and see what The Lady did.
Going alone turned out to be key. Going alone means you aren’t tied to anyone. You are free. Going alone means there is no one who knows who you are or how you normally behave. No one is going to judge you. You can be a new you…or the you that you really are.
Going alone helped change my life.
As I walked into the small gym at the Concord Recreation Center, I was struck by all of the brightly colored equipment: ladders, beams, saw horses, jumping ramps. As I was the first one there, I sat down on the bleachers, took out my pad, started making notes and sketching the equipment.
I’d barely begun when The Lady came in. Her eyes swept the room in seconds. She was slender… standing straight… with curly, short dark hair… her hands were stuck in the pockets of white medical coat… She was wearing blue tights and black ballet slippers…..Oh, God! The Lady was walking over to ME!
“Are you busy?”
“Can you help me?”
In seconds Bonnie had shown me how to spot a child on a beam and explained that I was to be a “bellwether.”
I never took notes again. My life was about to change forever.
That summer I went to a Five Day Bonnie Prudden Fitness Workshop, helped in the workshop store, started my own Fitness is Fun in New Hampshire and never looked back.
And I never stopped helping Bonnie.
For more information about Bonnie Prudden®, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®, workshops, books, self-help tools, DVDs, educational videos, and blogs, visit www.bonnieprudden.com. Or call 520-529-3979 if you have questions or need help.
Enid Whittaker, Managing Director, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy