Pilates for Winter Wellness

Pilates Illustration by Bree Reetz

Pilates is an exercise routine that uses deceptively minimal movements with natural resistance to tone your muscles and build your body’s core strength. I took a semester of Pilates in college and when I began I was disgusted by how hard repetitions of simple movements initially were. Most people giggled through the class but a shy and adorable older woman who had retained her workout clothing from the 80’s (including leg warmers) and myself were determined to get better. And behold, by the end of that semester we were no longer struggling. We were confidently winging our way through the routines by the time the class was over. The strength I gained while taking this class stayed with me for years. This simple effective exercise taught me how to activate my core and fortified my muscles. But on my own I lacked the motivation to push myself further. As you might imagine, in my daily routine most of my heavy lifting happens in my head with pencil in hand. And so until recently my fitness had been on the back burner while my creative endeavors were (and still are) set to boil. However it’s always in bad taste to neglect yourself and so lately I’ve been making consistent efforts to jump back in. During the fall a friend and I took up jogging just in time for it to get cold. And now that the snow has started to fly and temperatures are dipping into single digits – exercise now happens in front of the fire place. My husband and I are doing Pilates together. It burns but it’s a good burn. I’m looking forward to toning my muscles. Each session I feel stronger than the session before. This winter I’m investing in my wellness.

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Bree Reetz Featured In The HPR

BreeReetzFeaturedinHPR

 

A big thanks to Diane Miller, the editor at the HPR for writing a very flattering article about me and my work as an illustrator. It was great to pick up this week’s issue and find my poster design for the Fargo Film Festival on the front cover along with elements of my illustration throughout! If you’d like to read the article about me and don’t have access to the physical copy, you can read it online here! 

Fargo Film Festival 2014

Fargo Film Festival Poster created by Bree Reetz

Take a moment and let me share with you, my inspiration in the creation of this piece.

This american life did a tribute episode for their friend and contributor,
David Rakoff. Since he’d appeared on the show no less than 25 times,
I was familiar with and fond of his audio presence.

But what moved me to tears, was a powerful quote from his book
“Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish” that he finished
recorded less than two weeks before he died of cancer. And I’d
encourage you to listen to that episode because the quality of his voice as
it rasps through a weary body makes this quote even more poignant
(if that’s possible)…

It was sadness that gripped him, far more than the fear

That, if facing the truth he had maybe a year.

When poetic phrases like “eyes, look your last”

Become true, all you want is to stay, to hold fast.

A new, fierce attachment to all of his world

Now pierced him, it stabbed like a diety-hurled

Lightning bolt lancing him, sent from above,

Left him giddy and tearful. It felt like young love.

He’d thought of himself as uniquely proficient

At seeing, but now that sense felt insufficient.

He wanted to grab, to posses, to devour

To eat with his eyes, how he needed that power.”

And this quote, heard on the last breaths of a dying
man really speak to me about life.

And the powerful beauty of participating in
life and the world around us.

And I felt like creating this poster for
the film festival was a great chance
to celebrate this idea,

He wanted to grab, to posses, to devour

To eat with his eyes, how he needed that power.”

This idea is important not only to artists who area creating work
that reflects their experience and perception, but to the viewers who get
to devour a look at the world through another person’s eyes as well.

 

blue eyed indians

This post is for my best friend. We’ve been friends for somewhere around 12 years, this makes us something closer to sisters. And sometimes instead of having conversations we read each other’s minds. Anyway, back when we were about ten we had a real passion for Native American culture. We romped around in the woods from early spring till late fall playing Indians. We checked out stacks of books from the library in order to learn how to sew ourselves moccasins so that we wouldn’t make a sound tromping through dry leaves in the woods. We used herbs to make tea. One year my grandma sewed us both Indian costumes. Though we knew they were far from authentic we still wore them out all the time, sticking feathers in our hair and spinning fantastic adventures between the two of us as
two blue eyed Indians.

Inspiration has many faces

He lurked in the shadows near the tracks
decades stacked upon his shoulders
like old books in reaching shelves
and eyes darted past him like scattered birds
restless under his unblinking watch
“peace,” was the sentiment he uttered
low and smokey
as I nodded briefly to him out of habit
noting his overgrown hedge of a beard
his stained white shirt and dull grey eyes
inspiration has many faces