How Callan Pinckney, Creator of Callanetics, Inspired Me

By Lauren Pinckney Epperson

Callan PinckneyDo you ever wonder how some people have the physical and mental strength to accomplish what you may consider an extremely difficult task? I did when I was a little girl.

Callan Pinckney, World Traveler

I was in awe of how my Aunt Callan did all the amazing things she did. To me, Aunt Callan was this magical person who traveled all over the world and would send me exotic gifts. Once in a while, she would visit. I was so nervous to see her and talk with her. She was a movie star to me.

At a young age, I couldn’t imagine how she had the strength and courage to travel all alone––always globetrotting to yet another adventure, working unbelievable odd jobs and sometimes not knowing what she was doing in certain instances in order to survive. Yet, somehow she always did. She was literally fearless and an absolute mystical being to me.

When I became a little older, my aunt inspired me to travel, and I did. With her encouragement, I left my ‘southern Savannah, GA life’ behind to become a more worldly being. I’m not as spontaneous as she, so my trips were mostly planned and with groups of friends. My adventures were wonderful but quite different from Aunt Callan’s adventures. The important thing, however, is that I went with her inspiration always in my mind––almost as if she sat on my shoulder guiding me to fully discover my true being through my adventures! Traveling opened my ees to other cultures and experiences I couldn’t have even imagined as it constantly challenged my naiveté about how other’s lived. And with each new journey, I began to understand what drew her to explore and immerse herself in other customs and meet amazing people—definitely different than those growing up in Georgia!

Callanetics in New York

As time went by, I finally decided I really wanted to get to know my Aunt Callan. She was living in New York by now and had opened her Callanetics Studio. I traveled to New York several times to stay with her, take her classes, and also do Callanetics, with just the two of us. My favorite memories of her are talking to her for hours, shopping in Flea Markets, learning the art of negotiation, wandering the streets of NY, and being spontaneous––which was not a characteristic habit of mine at that time.

However, I felt safe and as brave as my Aunt Callan in those days, bustling on the streets of New York with her. It felt wonderful to meet the whimsical me for the first time. I also understood her better now. While I was still in awe of her, watching her in New York reminded me of how I viewed her as a child. My respect for her grew.

Callan was also very creative and resourceful. She could take almost anything and make it beautiful. I learned so much from her. She always knew what she wanted and how she wanted things done. So, I would sometimes get yelled at because I didn’t do something the way she wanted it done. We would then laugh and laugh about it. She would send me out in New York to do errands for her. Sometimes, I wasn’t sure if I would make it back. But, that’s a whole other story!

I always had so much fun with her. I actually had more true adventures in New York visiting Aunt Callan than I ever had with all my other travels to other countries! Eventually, she moved back to Savannah, and I was with her all the time. I do really miss her.

Callanetics for Your Back

My Aunt Callan, who would not accept back surgery as an option after injury to her back, created her own exercise routine instead!  She named this specialized workout routine ‘Callanetics’ to make her body strong and whole again. Then, she shared it with the world to help others like herself.

When the publisher basically considered her Callanetics book a flop, my aunt, like the headstrong woman she was, decided to spend every last dime to promote her book herself because she knew her exercise routine was so powerful and life-changing. When everything was against her, she never ever gave up. She never allowed anyone to extinguish her flame.

Passion and Belief Built Callanetics

Callan was passionate about everything she attempted––even when it was a struggle. She believed in everything she fought for. When you feel so strongly about something, you can find that strength within you and accomplish anything!

I learned so much about Callan, but what I learned most is how she never gave up. My aunt could have thrown in the towel plenty of times when she was traveling or trying to build a business in New York alone. She sometimes didn’t know how she was going to get her next bite of food. She could have called home, and Granddaddy would have helped her in a heartbeat.

But because she didn’t, Callan taught me to never give up on something I truly believe in. She taught me to never let roadblocks get in my way or anyone discourage me or dampen my spirit. I learned I could be my planned, organized self and at the same time, indulge in spontaneity. My biggest lesson was if one way doesn’t work, then figure out another way, but don’t ever give up on yourself or your dreams! If you’d like to try a workout with my Aunt Callan, CLICK HERE.

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