Story One — Valerie
Valerie Rolf von den Baumen’s GYROTONIC® Story
GYROTONIC® + GYROKINESIS® Trainer
Educated in 2 professions
Fluent in 2 languages
Science advocate and lover
Known for complicating and overthinking things (sometimes)
I remember it well. My first experience with GYROTONIC® training gave me two strong emotions – curiosity and frustration. It was in 2003, at Rheintalklinik in Bad Krozingen, Germany. Many GYROTONIC® ideas are both born and experienced (tasted) there. I was taking my first pre-training course with Paul Horvath, a brother of Juliu Horvath. Paul is a physiotherapist. He was teaching the course at an orthopaedic hospital where the GYROTONIC® method had been used for restoring mobility in post-op patients. I had no idea what I had signed up for.
Background of the story and what sparked my curiosity. I was involved in developing and establishing a new, big and beautiful wellness facility in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Our investor, who was a world known athlete before he got involved in financial affairs, discovered GYROTONIC® therapeutic exercises in his training.
He sent a team of four of us to Germany. He gave us a send off speech, and if I remember correctly, he said, “I am not sure what it is, but it made huge difference for my body, I know it is something absolutely unique, and I want to bring it here.” Years later, I understood what he meant; his athletic body understood it, he felt the changes, but it was an experience that he struggled to put into words. I was, and still am a nerd. I had just spent 6 years in University, studying general medicine and then finished a 3 year PhD program in physiotherapy and sport medicine. I sat a lot, I studied a lot, but I liked the fitness industry and I was a competitive athlete previously in my life. I was curious and excited about this trip and the method. The frustrating part.
I began taking the course. I quickly felt that my spine didn’t make an arch, my curl was horrible, and I was constantly asking questions like, “Are we doing it this way or that way?” “Are we inhaling or exhaling here?” I wanted to make notes about everything and study them later, but Paul wasn’t happy about this. I was told many times to, “just move, your body will take this knowledge. You don’t need your notebook, just move.” I had never felt so disconnected with myself in my life. I was angry, frustrated, and mad, but this all changed after we finished a second week. I remember well, that I was putting on my sandals and I bent forward. Suddenly, I touched the floor with my palm without any effort, no warm up, no stretches. I wasn’t able to do this after a one hour stretching class 2 weeks ago. HOW? What had happened here? We weren’t doing any stretches. I didn’t feel as though the exercises were very hard by any means to begin with, and I wasn’t sure this GYROTONIC® method was such big deal. But still, how? And with that, I became curious once again.
Years later, I believe, I met a genius (Julius Horvath). I had encountered an absolutely phenomenal movement experience and rehabilitation modality. I am proud to be a part of the GYROTONIC® community. Oh, and remember at the beginning of the story – that team of four? – three of them are now GYROTONIC® master trainers, and I am so happy for them.