I don’t like to use the word “struggle” as I feel it has a negative connotation. Challenge feels more positive and I always like to keep things on a positive note. That’s not to say I don’t feel the turmoil in my body from time to time, but when I remind myself that this is MY challenge and something I will learn from, it somehow feels very different.
I embarked on my journey as a Pilates instructor about 10 years ago, not really sure at the time where it would take me. I knew I really enjoyed doing Pilates and felt so good afterward but didn’t put much thought into my future regarding Pilates. I started out thinking I would just do it for me — to strengthen and lengthen my body and to gain a more flexible spine that would be a good thing for me as I age. Little did I know, I would be teaching Pilates in a group setting, take weekly private lessons, give privates and absolutely love doing it on a daily basis. Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep because I’m doing the movements in my head over and over!!
Pilates has taught me that “slowing down” and connecting my mind with my body is the ultimate challenge. There are so many things to remember when performing one exercise that one can literally forget to engage the most important muscle. Being present is crucial. That’s one of the reasons I love to have a Pilates practice daily. All I need to think about is what I’m doing at the moment — and trying to do the best I can do.
I used to think it was a struggle to do the exercises perfectly and I would have such unrealistic expectations. I remember the frustration from time to time because I just couldn’t master something. I have grown to understand and appreciate the challenge of concentrating and focusing to the point where I know my body is doing exactly what I’m telling it to do. I am also aware that classical Pilates is a “method” and that the method must be honored and practiced and refined — that when we think we have mastered it, we are only at a different place on the journey. I know I will never master it as my body is constantly changing and with that comes more refining and more challenges. For me, that’s the beauty of Pilates. The never-ending exercise method that keeps me challenged each and every day.
What is your form of exercise?