Julian Grainger, Pilates Teacher

  • 8 Jan 2019 4:17 PM
Julian Grainger, Pilates Teacher
In my mid 30's I hit the middle aged wall where stress increases, the stomach drops and the back constantly hurts. Suddenly I couldn't do things so easily like ski or hike. My wife introduced me to Pilates and quickly the stress dropped, the stomach firmed and the back felt great.

I was only practising once a week at the time! I left a 20 year career and trained with some of the UK's 1st and 2nd generation Pilates teachers because I wanted to share this. I qualified at Body Control and practised in London.

I'm starting mBody Pilates in Budapest where I'd like my clients to share in the physical possibilities Pilates provides as they get older. At 46 I'm as fit as I was in my late 20's and early 30's when I ran long distance trails each weekend. I offer group mat classes and individual classes on the reformer. 

1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?
Just arrived. My wife is from Budapest and the pull to come back here was very strong for her. We visited a lot from London and spent a lot of time here over the last few years. Eventually we realised Hungary held a lot of what we need in our lives like Pöttyös Túró Rudi and long summers. We started moving in May, using the summer for travelling and working ; and settled here in October. 

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
All my life, it helped to form me. I'm from New Zealand but I was an expat brat living in Scotland and Papua New Guinea. I've since added England, Australia and now Hungary. My time in PNG was formative at a school with over 50 nationalities. You learn how to listen and communicate. 

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
It's similarities to NZ. An outdoors life; people who love their sport, and like great food and boutique wines. How people summer in Lake Balaton reminds me of lake holidays in NZ at Taupo and Rotorua. We had the old style holiday homes (batches) back then too. As kids we used to spend the day in the water and the evenings playing scrabble and annoying our parents until they took us for ice cream. I love how it still exists here. I'm glad we didn't have Lángos in NZ though. It would have deep fried kiwi fruit or honeycomb flavours!

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do? 
A long soak in the baths. Simple pleasures are the best even if you look like a prune afterward.

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?
I'm still working my way through all the dishes. It will take a while and several attempts of each to arrive at a choice. I have to be fair to all the dishes.

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?
Kefir. My wife is a nutritionist, and she makes sure our gut remains healthy. It works, I rarely get sick.

7.What is your favourite Hungarian word?
Szegedi! I like the rhythm of it. Hungarian seems very musical to me. Szegedi Busz was one of the first phrases I learned. I've never used it.

8. What do you miss most from home? 
Familiar friends and long sandy beaches. Proper vowel sounds.

 9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
This is my second career, I used to work in advertising so Pilates is the final destination. I love the variety in teaching Pilates and I love the fact that I get to see the Pilates effect on my clients first hand. I get to see smiling clients at the end of each class so why would I change that?

10. What's a job you would definitely never want?
It's hard to say. I don't like discounting things I've never experienced myself. Especially when you can see other people taking joy from tasks that strike you as menial. So it would have to be something I don't believe in. So let's say Zumba. I don't want to be a Zumba teacher.

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
Florida Keys. I have family there so we visit as often as we can. It's hot, relaxing, beautiful and with my favourite people.

12. Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
Hiking I hope. I like the air and the views. It's most likely to be the Alps - the Julian Alps of course ;) I need to get into the mountains at least once a year whether it's skiing or hiking. Last year was Snowdonia in Wales which was stunning. 

13. Apart of temptation what can't you resist?
A glass of good wine, 11 months of the year.

14. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
Band: Crowded House. Film: Point Break. Hobby: Surfing. A typical kiwi answer from a typical kiwi kid. 

15. Red wine or white?
Yes please

16. Book or movie?
Movie. Netflix and chill is the standard way to relax. Otherwise it's board games - Carcassonne is a favourite. 

17. Morning person or night person?
Neither. If I get my 8 hours sleep I'm good to go.

18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
The environment. Clean air, clean food and clean water is a right for those alive now and for future generations. 

19. Buda or Pest side?
Buda wins but only just because of the hills. Pest is still a great place to live though.

20. What would you say is your personal motto?
"I like to move it, move it" by King Julian of Madagascar. We have common interests.

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