After two-and-a-half years of trial and error, Core Chaud was born.
Hi Jessica! Would you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?
Sure! I’m Jessica Trauner and I'm the founder and CEO of Core Chaud, the first Pilates grip sock company making socks that are meant to keep your feet warm during your practice! I moved from New York to Berkeley, California where I currently live with my family. I'm a Pilates instructor and am lit up by all things involving health, wellness and fitness.
What is your experience with fitness and having a “regular movement practice” before your Pilates journey began?
I grew up in a sporty competitive family. My sisters and I loved playing softball and were constantly playing. If we weren’t practicing with our own softball teams, we were playing together in our backyard. I loved ballet and took classes five times a week continuing through high school. I was also on the swim team at our swim club for a while... And I played rec soccer.
My greatest love as a child, though, was horseback riding. At one point I even owned a pony, and then a horse. I was completely obsessed with my horses and shows and show jumping. My dream was to be good enough to compete on the US Equestrian Team.
In high school I also ran track for a bit, though I didn’t seriously get into running until the end of college.
When I began law school, I started running daily. I would usually run 6-7 miles, mostly at night through the streets of Brooklyn, NY, and periodically join NY Road Runners races on the weekends. After law school ended, I went back to dancing again, taking ballet and jazz classes in New York. Eventually I joined the Y and got into strength training, HIIT classes, Zumba... and finally Pilates!
What inspired you to start Pilates? And how long you have been practicing?
I started taking Pilates mat classes in 2012 at our local YMCA in Downtown Brooklyn. I was doing a lot of strength HIIT classes at the gym as well as running outside, and my body was starting to hurt. I had my first injury to my back with a disc herniation in L4, and I had to stop exercising and go to physical therapy. Once I got cleared to exercise again, my PT recommended Pilates.
I immediately fell in love with Pilates. I loved the lengthening and lightness feeling Pilates brought to my body. The movements resonated with my former ballet kid. I soon started taking Pilates reformer classes at Ellie Herman studios in Park Slope.
Can you tell us a bit about your journey with being a Pilates instructor?
When I decided I wanted to work in fitness, I started off pursuing a personal training certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) so I could get a well rounded background in exercise science and anatomy. The UC Berkeley Recreation Center offered a 4 month indepth class through NASM that was part classroom and part practical (in the gym). I learned so much, and I loved it. After I got my certification, I began working as a personal trainer at a local gym and also took a job shortly after as an instructor at BodyROK, a studio that offers a Pilates-inspired core workout on their own machine. Around that time, I realized I loved the energy of teaching group fitness classes, so I started teaching more of those, including Barre, aerobics, and HIIT. Barre quickly became one of my favorite classes to teach.
When Ellie Herman was in town offering her own Barre teacher training, I took her course, which, of course, covered a lot of Pilates. It was after that I realized I wanted to learn everything I could about Pilates.
I completed my Pilates teacher training through Stott Pilates at Blue Sparrow in San Francisco (mat), and the remainder of my teacher training on all the equipment through Balanced Body at EHS Studios in San Francisco. I am a comprehensively certified Pilates instructor (NCPT).
Being a busy instructor, how do you find time to fit your personal Pilates practice into your day/week?
It’s not always easy. :-) But I prioritize movement and Pilates, because I need to keep up my health and fitness level for myself as well as my students. With Pilates especially, since I’m getting older, I find I lose mobility and flexibility in my spine if I am not keeping up a regular practice. Also, if I am not moving my body in some way every day, my family will tell you - I am not a sane person and am not fun to be around!
What is it about Pilates (compared to other exercise programs) that has been different for you?
The slowness to it, the deliberate conscious mind-body connection, the anatomical awareness - I feel like it is right. As much as I love other forms of exercise (e.g. running), I don’t always think they are the best for my body.
Pilates also forces me to slow down, to be mindful and focus on control - as someone who has a habit of moving fast and is a Type A person who often is stressed, Pilates is mental therapy for me, as much as it is physical.
Finally, the dancer in me just loves the feeling of Pilates, it’s something I can do all day and every day and feel wonderful.
How do you handle the pressure as a woman to look or act a certain way?
This is a good question and not easy to answer. I think I am like most women and I do feel this pressure, especially as I’m getting older and things are changing and not so easy to maintain anymore!
There is something, though, that is coming with aging that I am starting to see. I understand now what my older clients used to tell me just a few years ago, that the reality is that aging is a part of life and that I will learn to find that I don’t always have to push myself so hard and fast physically. There is some freedom to aging because there’s nothing you can do about it.
And I like to remind myself - aging only happens to those of us who are lucky! So we need to embrace it. When I’m having one of those days and not feeling good, I try to remind myself of that. And moving my body every day in some way is therapy, and it really helps with this kind of pressure.
Who or what inspires you to keep living well?
My mom! She’s the most fit 71 year old you've ever met. She still dances 5 days a week. I hope I have her energy and fitness level in 22 years.
What is your best tip for maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the midst of a busy life?
Balance - I’m not a fan of any kind of diet or restrictive eating plan - I am a pescatarian (for health/environmental reasons). I eat mostly good fresh food, lots of fruits, veggies, legumes, fish and tofu, but I also love to eat snacks. I love potato anything, and french fries are my favorite. I also love coffee and I love dessert. I don’t drink much alcohol - not a big fan of it, and it doesn’t make me feel good.
Exercise - I think I’ve said all about how much I love to move my body everyday. Even if it means on very busy days, I only have time or energy for a long walk/hike around the neighborhood or in the park instead of taking class, I do it! I feel so much better.
Spending time with my family/friends/and my dog - these are the best things in my life and are my #1 priority.
Thank you for your honest and thorough answers Jessica, and thank you for inspiring our continued Pilates practice!