About Heroes in Motion


The inspiration for Heroes in Motion can be traced to PMA®-CPT Elizabeth Larkam's studio experience. Her project took root in 2008 when Mike Podlenski (Physical Therapy Assistant, Certified Athletic Trainer, Pilates teacher) invited Elizabeth to mentor him as he began to establish the Pilates program within the Naval Medical Center San Diego’s Comprehensive Combat and Complex Casualty Care (C5) Program. Their collaboration grew to include the work of Pilates teachers Jessie Lee and Jojo Bowman, PMA®-CPTs, who founded a Pilates program for soldiers in Copenhagen, Denmark, under the auspices of the Royal Danish Ballet Foundation. Larkam mentored Lee and Bowman, developing Pilates studio movement sequences for bilateral amputees. In addition, physiotherapist Hadar Schwartz, PT, PMA®-CPT, at work with patients in the Pilates studio of the Zahal (IDF) Disabled Veterans Organization - "Beit Halochem", Tel Aviv, Israel, began a regular communication and sharing of her experience with the group.

In 2012, the Pilates Method Alliance invited this informal international network to make a home within the PMA, and to use the name Heroes in Motion to describe the specific focus on clients with movement challenges due to disease and trauma. Many other Pilates teachers, also at work on similar issues, were able to come together at the PMA’s Annual Meetings at Heroes in Motion Think Tank sessions, to share their experiences, ideas, suggestions and goals. 

The first public announcement of Heroes in Motion was made on November 8, 2012 during the opening General Assembly of the Annual Meeting of the PMA. A composite film narrated by Larkam was shown at the meeting, which included Pilates studio footage from the original collaborators. Danish Lance Corporal Christian Richardson, himself a double amputee, addressed the meeting, reading excerpts from his recently published book written in Danish. Mr. Richardson described how Pilates has transformed his life and inspired him to become a Pilates teacher.

We thank everyone involved for their passion, inspiration, and leadership.