There have been many men and a few women throughout history that have pushed us to embrace physical fitness and exercise in one form or another. The reasons for exercising are as numerous as there are people. The Pilates method addresses these reasons; aesthetic beauty, preparedness and self-defense, mental control, disease prevention and management, and good health to live an optimal life. This places big expectations on what the Pilates method of exercise can do for any individual. Joseph Pilates had high expectations for himself and others. He was demanding, uncompromising, and had unbridled enthusiasm and belief in his work. Here is his personal story to bring an understanding of the man behind the method.