How many of you have walked into a Pilates class and thought to yourself – well this is going to be lame?
Come on be honest, I know who you are! I can sniff out the non-believers a mile away 🙂
My husband calls me a sniffer dog; I see and hear everything. Let me tell you, it is a blessing and a curse!
How can such slow controlled movements actually tone my body, improve my flexibility and core strength I hear you say?
Well I am glad you asked!
While the non-believers are busy non-believing I am busy noticing (not in a creepy way) the bodies of many of the Pilates instructors they are lean, toned and healthy looking. That surely is a positive endorsement.
As I teach, I observe, not just to check that people are performing the exercises safely and correctly, but watching human behavior during exercise is fascinating.
I see some high school girls rolling their eyes and their heads, giving me a little ‘ this is going to be totes lame look’.
I see you, I was that girl once!
I see you lifting your leg up and down, showing off your mad flexibility cheerleader like skills, I see you roll your eyes when I tell you that you don’t need to move that fast, or lift your leg so high.
I make you slow it down, then I smile as I see the effects of the workout done correctly.
Not so totes lame now is it?
I see you, shy girl in the back row, overweight girl in the corner and I smile at you, quietly plodding along, struggling to keep up but doing it correctly and refusing to give up, I see you shy girls, I see you overweight girls and I salute you!
I remember high school, the competitiveness, the need to fit in, the struggle to be part of a group, yet maintain a little piece of independence, to maintain a little piece of you. I remember the ups and down of teenage years.
I see the cool girl now struggling for composure and I feel for her too (I am a ridiculous softy), but at the end of the day, everyone is fighting their own battles, and sometimes that cool exterior is merely a front for some hidden away fears.
I see the older ladies attending week after week, with their dodgy knees, their bung hips and their sore necks. Their bodies may not be what they used to be, but their pelvic floor is strong and their mind power can blow my mind away.
Whether the occasional fart like sound during crunches is the rubber mat beneath them or an actual fart no body cares.
While they might need a little rest in-between exercises, they always give 100%, they are fit, they are slim and they are strong in body and mind, and I am in awe of each and every one of them. Continuing to move your body as you age, is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself.
I see you strong muscly six-foot tall guy being dragged in by your girlfriend, I see your cynical look even from my five foot small stance and I have to be honest, I see you and I think – game on!
I give you the hardest options, I know you think it won’t be strong enough for you when you look at my petite frame, but when you collapse on the floor and I am the last man (little tiny Pilates instructor with a core of steel standing) I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little smug.
I see my class of predominately non-English speaking people looking up at me, not understanding a word I say, returning week after week and I think how incredibly brave they are.
You see, I see everything and I love what I see.
Those smiling those frowning – smiling through the pain, frowning through the concentration, or frowning at my sometimes non funny – tumbleweed type moment jokes.
I see you holding your breath in, I ask you if you are all breathing, you nod, I know that you’re not breathing properly. I remind you again to breathe, you smile as though as I am crazy – of course I am breathing you think.
Yet I see you concentrating and trying so hard that you hold your breath in, I know this as we finish and I hear the group exhale.
I know this as that large loud exhale fills the room and we all collapse on the floor and laugh.
I see the supersized bodies, the undersized bodies and everything in-between.
I see the looks on your faces as I have suddenly forgotten how to count, I see you leaving with a slight limp as I have got caught up in the moment and have done 12 reps on one side and 25 on the other. during glute exercises.
Joking, or am I? hehe!
At the end of the day I am human, just like you, I have my good days and my bad days and my somewhat ridiculous days. I have days just like you when you just wake up feeling blah. We are all human and we feel how we do and I am here to tell you that its ok.
I see those of you attending Pilates for rehab and I know how difficult it is for you. Those simple movements that are no longer so simple to you. The once effortless movements, requiring more effort than you ever dreamt possible. I see you and my heart swells with a mixture of pride and pain for you.
I see you for the simple fact that you are there. You could have given up, but you didn’t. I see you and I am so grateful to be a part of your healing journey.
I see you ALL, because you are there, you are trying, you are moving, you are trying something new or simply trying to improve, and for that alone you should feel as proud of yourself as I feel of you.
You turned up, you stayed to the end of the class, you stepped outside of your comfort zone for a whole hour and that is not an easy thing to do.
Whatever the end result is, hold on to that, remember that, use that to find the courage to do your next class.