My Pure Pilates Story: Kellie Beaton on re-discovering Pilates during cancer treatments and how she practices throughout her travels

Kellie Beaton travels often but always finds time for her Pilates practice.

What started as a weekly reprieve in the midst of ongoing cancer treatments became a practice Kim Beaton continues to this day.

“I started Pilates at the cancer center in 2018 — a friend who knew [Pure Pilates instructor] Kim Marian had told me about it,” says Beaton, who had taken Pilates many years prior. “I wanted to take advantage of it during my treatments and I never missed a Tuesday! I kept going after my treatments were done because it helped so much.”

Kim remembers how the connection made between Kellie and herself at the Cowell Family Cancer Center Health & Wellness Suite grew to become a strong, long-standing instructor-client relationship.

“In 2020, thanks to the pandemic, Cowell shuttered the center and Kellie joined one of my online mat groups at Pure Pilates,” Kim says. “Truth be told, I created my first online mat group for Kellie and others from Cowell to continue their practice and socialize a bit during those isolated times. She is one of the mainstays in my Tuesday morning online mat group and will Zoom in from far-flung destinations such as Greece, Mexico, and New York City. She travels quite a bit thanks to her husband’s work and has shared some lovely views with us!

Kellie Beaton and her husband in Paris.

The Pure Pilates difference

The benefits of practicing Pilates are numerous, Kellie says.

“Before I started taking Pilates, when I tried to touch the ground from a standing position, I was a good 12 inches from reaching the floor,” she recalls. “I can now do that with ease — most mornings — because of my added flexibility. And if I can’t, I just do a few moves and it gets things loosened up and going!” 

Following a regular routine proved especially meaningful during her cancer treatments.

“I loved it during treatment. It always made me feel balanced and normal — not like a patient,” she  says. “I consider it an essential part of my healing. The techniques that Kim has taught me about posture and releasing tension have been super helpful.”

“When my mom died four years ago and my siblings gathered for a week in our childhood home, I remember texting Kim and asking for some simple moves that we could do to chill out,” she adds. “So I led them all in some tension-relieving movements, and they said that it really helped them. After they made fun of me of course!”

And yet another benefit: relief for her chronic back pain.

“I have had low-back issues for 30 years. Kim has really helped open up the space in my low back and tailoring exercises to help with that flexibility,” she says. “It has been so much better since I started doing Pilates. Also, with the amount of travel that I do riding in a car or flying in a plane, knowing how to open up my hip flexors for example is so helpful. 

Pilates from anywhere, thanks to Pure Pilates

Kellie, 60, divides her time between Duck Lake near Traverse City, and South Haven, a few hours drive south. 

“I travel with my husband quite a bit, and I try to fit in Pilates wherever I am in the world,” she says. “I’m so thankful for the Pure Pilates Zoom classes!”

A big reason Kellie strives to stay on top of her health and follow a regular Pilates practice with Pure Pilates: she’s the proud grandmother of a 2-year-old grandson. 

“He lives in New York City and I visit once a month,” she says. “I really want to continue with Pilates so I can keep up with him. When I am there, it is part of our morning routine to do a little Pilates together. It is adorable! He loves rolling like a ball with me!” 

When Kellie is in northern Michigan and it works with her schedule, she’ll opt for in-studio classes to complement her online sessions.

“I do enjoy it when I do go,” she says. “It is a peaceful setting and I like all the equipment that is available. If I were in TC more regularly, I would take advantage of it even more!” 

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