Say Yes to Life – Pilates in Paradise

No, you can’t keep playing your favorite sport. No, you can’t keep up with your children. No, you can’t get back to where you were before the accident. No, you can’t… or can you?

Christi Allen Franchini and Michelle Pope believe you can because they have done it themselves. Despite injuries, aging, and accidents, they have found a way to still say yes to life, even into their fifties.

“People always ask us what our secret sauce is,” Christi Allen says, “but it’s really not a secret. Pilates is the foundation of our health and our recoveries. Pilates is what enables us to say yes.”

Christi has had her share of physical obstacles. She’s been in two serious accidents, had knee surgery, and suffered serious neck and spine damage when a heavy object fell on her head two years ago. She only recently underwent vertebrae fusion surgery, and Pilates is what helped her maintain her balance and manage her pain in the meantime. She is confident that Pilates will help her post-surgery to restore her active lifestyle.

Her confidence is well-founded. As the owner of Pilates in Paradise, she and her team have helped hundreds of clients strengthen, repair, and restore their bodies and lifestyles for more than twenty years.

“Pilates is unique because it repairs your body as it exercises it,” Christi explains. “You always feel better after a session, because YOU ARE physically better. It’s not just exercise endorphins, but real improvement.”

Michelle Pope is one of the many clients Christi has helped over the years, starting all the way back in 2003. Michelle was so impressed by how effective Pilates is that she became a certified instructor of Romana Pilates, which is considered the truest form of Pilates. Like Christi, Michelle studied under Romana Kryzanowska herself, traveling back and forth to New York City to receive the best training.

(Left) Christi Allen Franchini, (Right) Michelle Pope

Michelle loved teaching Pilates, both at Pilates in Paradise and then on her own, but life eventually pulled her into a different career. Yet, the desire to return remained. Ultimately, it was subsequent ankle injuries that drove her back to the mat. She returned as a client to Pilates in Paradise and was enamored once again.

Driven by the same passion, Michelle rejoined the Pilates in Paradise team and immediately felt the same fulfillment as she did before. She had let “no” pull her away from Pilates in the past, and she was now determined to say yes to it for good. Michelle told Christi that if she was ever interested in gaining a business partner, she was her gal.

Shortly after this casual offer, the heavy object fell on Christi’s head, forcing her to pull back from teaching and making excessive administrative work difficult. These past two years opened Christi’s eyes to how valuable a good team truly is and to how valuable a good business partner could be. She asked Michelle if the offer still stood, and Michelle replied with an enthusiastic YES. They are now officially co-owners of Pilates in Paradise.

Christi looks back at her injury and laughs, “That injury was like the Universe knocking me upside my head, telling me I needed to say yes to help.”

Pilates in Paradise clients say yes to help every time they come to a session. And by saying yes to Pilates, they can say yes to so many other things in their lives. They can say yes to becoming a better athlete, yes to recovering from an injury, yes to aging with grace, and yes to living well.

To say yes, visit, call (305)942-0808, or email

–Jerrica Mah is a writer, Army wife, and freelance book editor, who loves to travel with her family.


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