On October 25, 2018, Houston lost a pillar in the Pilates community when John Gossett passed away after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. The Texas Pilates Association had the honor of visiting his studio, Pilates Concepts of Houston, met with fellow instructors and devoted clients, and we learned the number of people who were touched by his life's work is incalculable. As a Pilates Instructor with the Houston Ballet, through his studio ownership in Houston, John's friendships and professional relationships grew and blossomed in the same way his plants did - organically.
John's studio was founded on the principles of open-concept. Independent (and those learning to be independent) clients worked out along-side private clients, inspiring and motivating each other over the many years. In addition to John’s - and other instructor’s - private work schedules of 8-10 clients, the studio saw 10-20 open studio clients daily, cultivating the community that inevitably blossoms through shared time and space. When Oprah mentioned Pilates in the early 2000s, John's studio had a three-month wait. His drive and commitment to his craft helped build a studio that was in operation for nearly 30 years, seeing clients as old at 103! He was a Registered Massage Therapist and studied Pilates with Alan Herdman, Fran Lehen, Eve Gentry, Romana Kryzanowska, and Ron Fletcher, later becoming a certifying studio for the Physicalmind Institute and helped to shape the training syllabus for their Teacher Training Program.
Colleague Sarah Mifsud shared with us this personal story:
"I used to tease him that he could do 'drive-by' teaching...a client is sitting on the reformer or the mat ready for the next exercise... John could breeze by and clearly enunciate four detailed instructions for body placement, movement sequence and cogent qualities in about 3 seconds. He could also stop and correct someone who was in the middle of doing something incorrectly until they found their way to the proper movement. He had a good eye, and he did not expect everyone to move perfectly or the same way."
When we met with Sarah and other instructors and clients in the studio, we were deeply touched by the devoted community that John had cultivated, and the plants surrounding the studio were a visual reminder of John's approach to life. Recently we came across this insight from writer Joan Moran that resonated with us:
"The idea of leaving a legacy is the need or the desire to be remembered for what you have contributed to the world. In some cases, that contribution can be so special that the universe is unalterably changed. However, for most mere mortals walking this earth, most will leave a more modest legacy that doesn't necessarily change the world but does leave a lasting footprint that will be remembered by those whose lives you touched. “
It was very clear to us that John touched many lives, and his legacy lives on through those that had the pleasure of knowing him, his sense of humor, and his personal style of Pilates. In that respect, we wish to recognize John Gossett for his impact on helping to plant the seed of Pilates in Houston and tending to its steady growth for three decades - leaving a lasting footprint that undoubtedly changed this world. It is our honor to announce that the first Texas Pilates Association Bi-annual Scholarship is given in John’s name.
And the winner is...
The Texas Pilates Association is proud to announce the first TPA Scholarship has been awarded to Houston resident, Jennifer Jaramillo. Jennifer is currently enrolled in the Pure Body Teacher Training program and is a mom to two small children. We were impressed with Jennifer's passion for Pilates, her desire to deepen her understanding of The Method, and her enthusiasm for supporting the Texas Pilates Community. Congratulations, Jennifer!