THE DISASTER: Hurricane Maria
THE TEACHER: Nina Negrón, owner of V de Pilates in San Juan, PR
Negrón did her beginner mat certification at Power Pilates and her comprehensive training with Lolita San Miguel. In March 2017, she opened her studio, V de Pilates. Six months later, in September 2017, Hurricane Maria, a category 5 storm devastated the island, causing in excess of $90 billion in damage.
THE IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH: I was very concerned about losing our equipment or that it would suffer major damage or that we’d have to relocate to another space and start all over again. But it turned out the studio was okay but we were closed for three to four weeks because of safety concerns with the building and the lack of stable power; meanwhile, our students were dealing with their own recovery. As soon as we were able to make outgoing phone calls, send emails and reach out via social media, we let clients know we would reopen and encouraged them to come when they felt ready. Business was actually steady after we reopened, but we did lose students who lived outside of the San Juan area—distance, fuel and safety were big issues at the time. I believe we were back to consistent levels by December.
WHAT KEPT HER GOING: In moments of uncertainty and sadness, my personal Pilates practice helped me breathe, recharge, center and accept. And also teaching—I found tranquility and peace knowing that my students were finding the balan