Ada Wells, DPT, NCPT, is an expert in rotational sports performance and specializes in the use of movement and Pilates based exercise for golf rehabilitation. She is a Level 3 Certified Golf Medical Professional through the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI), a Certified Pilates Teacher through the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA), and an educator for Polestar Pilates International. In addition to owning and operating the ProBalance physical therapy and Pilates center in Alameda, CA, Ada has been a primary contributor to the Celebrity Wellness Team for the nationally televised American Century Golf Championship since 2003 and has been a member of the Wellness Team at the US Open Golf Championships since 2012. Ada has also participated as a guest instructor on the Athletic Training Channel of Balanced Body® Podcasts and for Pilates on Tour®, and established and currently manages the leading LinkedIn discussion groups of Pilates for Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation (11,700+ members) and Pilates for Sports Conditioning and Athletic Performance (7,700+ Members). Ada received degrees from the University of California at Davis (BS, 1993, with Honors) and Chapman University (MPT, 1995,Co-Summa Cum Laude). She received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Temple University December 2015. Ada lives in Alameda, CA with her husband, Stefan, her daughter, Anika, and dog, Dotty. When not in the studio, Ada enjoys sailing, sea kayaking, adventure travel, golf, and running.Ada hosts our Comprehensive Pilates Teacher Training in Alameda, CA.
Polestar: What do you love about teaching?
AW: I love to watch the lightbulb moments with my students, patients, and clients when they realize that they’ve been getting through life ok, but when another door of possibility opens up through movement, they’re blown away by their own potential.
Polestar: Who are your current inspirations?
AW: I am totally inspired by people who beat the odds and do things that aren’t supposed to be possible. In particular, I am drawn towards senior athletes. Many of them didn’t decide to become athletes until well into their second half of life and they thrived beyond expectations.
Polestar: Why Pilates?
AW: I discovered Pilates, and Polestar Pilates in particular, through a colleague in the late 90’s. When she described what she was learning, it just made sense. It was not just teaching exercise, it was experiencing movement…big difference. I think Joseph Pilates was brilliant in the invention of the apparatus which is so versatile in the rehab environment. As a physical therapist, I appreciate that one exercise on one piece of equipment can be set up in a way that is assistive for one person who may need it, but can be challenging for even an elite athlete if set up just slightly different. In essence, he made his method of movement accessible to all, and there’s something very powerful about that.
Polestar: What do you hope to convey in your teaching?
AW: I want my students to realize that there are layers and layers to moving and feeling good. I want them to realize that the mind-body connection isn’t just a bunch of “woo-woo” but that it’s deeply rooted in neuroscience, and my job is to help future Pilates teachers understand how we can harness that science into something that creates a lasting result for our clients and patients.
Polestar: Where would you love to vacation?
AW: I LOVE traveling and am even working on integrating that passion into what I am doing via a “Life Meets Health and Travel” show on YouTube that will be set primarily in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico…one of my favorite spots in the world. If people, particularly those in the second half of their life, can see themselves experiencing adventures, then they’ll be motivated to continue to be more proactive in their own health so they can continue to truly live life to the fullest.
Polestar: What is your favorite quote?
AW: “What got you here, won’t get you there,” by Marshall Goldsmith. This quote kind of hits people in the gut. They think they have all the answers, they are resistant to paying for your services or going through more training, and have all sorts of objections until you pose this question. Doing more of the same is going to produce where you’re at, not where you want to be. In order to go from point A to point B, you need to see yourself at point B and start realizing what that point B person did differently than the point A person. That is there where the magic happens.
Polestar: What is your favorite apparatus?
AW: I LOVE the trapeze table. I feel like this piece has everything that a physical therapist could dream of…it’s like having an extra pair of arms so that you can see and challenge people in a more comprehensive way. When you add an Oov, things get really interesting!
Polestar: What are you learning about?
AW: I love learning about what motivates us and persuades us to do what we do. It is such a valuable tool because so much of our own limitations are more tied up in our brains than our bodies. If you can free up those limiting beliefs that people are holding on to, you start seeing how that can translate into producing positive results through productive behaviors that support who they truly are.