Today, I had my first real egg cream. The egg cream, for those of you who are not familiar with it, is a New York institution. An egg cream from Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop on 5th is as authentic as it gets. There is nothing like living and eating in New York City. Being from sunny California, I’ve never experienced a city with more history in every block, more life on every street corner. The energy here can either invigorate or flatten you, but living here is never boring. A typical day can start out with a plan. Go here, do this, and suddenly you just might find yourself having your first egg cream at a historical New York joint. Dave, one of the owners of Eisenberg’s, picked up on my California scent right away. “This is your first time here isn’t it?” Busted. Did I look so confused and out of place?
Becoming a New Yorker takes practice and I’d been here almost 3 years now. I’d learned to navigate the subways, found the perfect comfortable shoes for all weather situations, even yelled at someone on the street. I was surely no virgin. But there’s no fooling a master. While I nervously looked on, wondering if I should remind him I wanted a chocolate egg cream not a vanilla, Dave juggled orders, called customers by name, and concocted egg creams all in a New York manner. Lightening speed, unfettered, and with a look of slightly disinterested ease, all from years of practice.
Similarly, I remember the first time I had a Pilates session with my mentor. I was already professional dancer and had been practicing “Pilates” for at least 2 years, I was by no means a virgin, but again, there is no fooling a master. Shari hails form New York, and possesses all the characteristics of a good New Yorker. She is waay honest and sometimes painfully blunt. She’s quick witted with razor sharp intuition. She sussed out my inexperience from the get-go. After an hour of sweating and flailing like a fish out of water, I became fully aware I had a lot to learn.
Although Pilates is a complicated life-long practice, I realized I was ok where I was at….because that’s where I’m at. Shari taught me Pilates is in the details, it’s a technique. Good Pilates technique requires hard work. There’s no avoiding that, but when do we start accepting who we are and where we’re at in this very moment? “Progress not perfection”, I am always telling my clients. I have to learn to listen to my own advice. Learning new things, adapting to new places takes time. Instead of rushing towards our destination we can take our time and enjoy the journey. Yeah right. No seriously, I am proud of my California roots and where I’ve come from makes me who I am today. How do we think masters became masters anyway? Practice my dear, lots of practice.
I’m sure Dave trashed a bunch of egg creams before creating his masterpiece. And I know Shari crashed and burned a teaser or two on her way to becoming my mentor. Mr. Pilates himself was aware of this as well and often said, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. He expected his clients to mearly show up as themselves, work hard, and let his work happen.
At my intimate Pilates studio FORM Pilates in NYC, we teach all levels the joy of Pilates. We love Pilates virgins!!! First timers can get a taste of Joe’s method with our New Client Special. Get more info on how FORM works here!