I Define Success: Linda Paden

Linda Paden.pngThe Pilates Author – Ivy Tech alumna pens Idiot’s Guide manual

Linda Paden, a 2004 and 2005 graduate of Ivy Tech Community College Northeast, has a clinical doctorate degree and now a book under her belt. Idiot’s Guide: Pilates came out late last year, and her Ivy Tech Northeast associate degrees helped her get to the point she needed to be considered an expert in the field.

In 2001, Paden began having difficulties while dancing en point in ballet, struggling with balance, flexibility, and strength. Her mother, then a therapeutic massage instructor at Ivy Tech Northeast, used massage to help. “That’s when I was like, ‘Hmm, Mom, there might be something to this.’ She was the one who gave me my first Pilates book,” Paden said.

The next year, Paden started her first classes at Ivy Tech Northeast as a dual credit student. She was a homeschooled high school student, and her mother was a teacher at the College. By 2003, Paden started training to be a Pilates instructor.

At 18, Paden graduated from high school and from the College, with a degree in general studies. She completed her teacher training and began teaching Pilates. “Pilates is really a passion of mine. It’s more than just an exercise regimen: It’s an entire philosophy of movement,” she stated.

Realizing the benefits of massage, Paden continued at Ivy Tech Northeast for another year and graduated with an associate degree in medical assisting with a specialty in therapeutic massage—before massage broke off into its own associate degree. “What I liked about Ivy Tech was I was in a learning environment with people of all ages—young college-age (students), returning adults. I felt that exposure was really good,” Paden said.

After studying at Ivy Tech, Paden received the College’s first Crossroads Scholarship, which provided her with a full-ride to Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies. She received a clinical doctorate at the University of Indianapolis in physical therapy.

By 2011, Paden started working at the National Institute for Fitness in Sport at IUPUI. There, she helped launch a fitness center at a retirement community. The institute knew her expertise from working with Paden. When the book’s publisher asked for author recommendations, the institute’s staff said, “We know your girl.” “The publisher came to me and asked me to send some writing samples. So I did and they asked me to write a book. I had written very big papers for my doctorate, (but) this is my first publication,” Paden says. Her book titled Idiot’s Guide: Pilates came out in 2014.

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