Many times when I meet new clients, interested in joining I get asked how I got into Pilates. I love the question because I wholeheartedly believe in it as a practice and what I’ve chosen my path in life to be.
As a teenager I was a competitive figure skater and had fantastic ballet teachers as part of my training regiment. They discovered Pilates and began to teach it and recommended that I add it to my weekly training. I was so in love with my sport I would’ve stood on my head for 15 minutes a day every day if I thought it would make me a better skater! So of course I jumped at it and luckily have very understanding parents who went along with it. With all the activity I was doing you'd think I would have been in the best shape of my life, and certainly I was strong and very healthy but my back was (not so slowly) deteriorating and at 16 years old I spent many a night crying myself to sleep over the sheer pain I felt in my lower back. Athletic Therapy, Osteopathy and many other treatments were tried but nothing made the pain completely go. So, I trucked on, kept training and worked through it. Stopped doing specific movements or only did them in competition but the pain didn't go. Turns out, I had really bad posture. Years of dance and skating had given me too much arch to my lower back, made my muscles imbalanced, my poor body was talking to me and I didn't know what it was saying.
So how did I figure it out? After I decided to hang my skates up, the one thing I kept from all my training was the enjoyment I was getting from Pilates. To be honest, I look back now and realize I really didn't completely understand what Pilates was all about, I just knew I liked it. Those same ballet teachers that got me doing Pilates suggested I become an instructor. It took a while for me to follow their suggestion but eventually I did. Pilates school meant Pilates everyday. Seven days a week, many hours a day and low and behold my back stopped hurting. No more pain, no more crying- improved posture. To this day, I still do a regiment of it every week and if I have a week where I slack off, my back tells me! Pain got me believing in Pilates and it's adaptability has kept me believing in it.
I got pregnant with my son- Pilates kept me exercising to the day he came out. Got diagnosed with costochondritis- Pilates along with Osteopathy and Massage Therapy means I can keep it at bay. Got pregnant with my daughter- once again Pilates kept me exercising and has been amazing at limiting the "lovely" after effects two babies does to a body! 11 months ago my world got rocked when my son and I were plowed into by another car driving back from his summer camp. A major concussion and severe whiplash sidelined every activity in my life for many a month. But Pilates was one of the few things I was able to get back to. Nowhere near the workouts I used to do but what it did for me both physically and mentally was crucial.
I have no doubt there are more moments in my life that will come and I have complete faith that Pilates will continue to adapt with my physical and mental needs. Potential clients tell me I am "so passionate" about what I do. I truly am. I could fill 100 blogs with the client's I've seen Pilates help- physically, mentally, emotionally. Every story is different, every result individual. But the results are there, the proof is in the pudding. Pilates works. It's worked for me. Let it work for you!