This month I’ve been trying to shake things up. I gained, ahem, a little weight over these winter months and I was having trouble taking it off. My normal routine (of eating whatever I wanted and only working out when I felt like it) was just not cutting it so it was time to make a change. I don’t know about you, but the older I get the more I abhor change. When I was younger it wasn’t such a bad thing, new place to live, new school, new boyfriend. I could roll with it. After my last big change of moving to NYC, I was done with big changes, at least for now. Unfortunately, I hardly get to pick my changes and somehow they seem to find me wherever I go. I had changed into this pudgy Pilates instructor and it was time to change! But how?
First off I asked a good friend of mine, Erin, a fantastic personal trainer to whip me into shape. I have to admit this was a humbling step for me. I am not a very sports oriented person. I spent my youth in ballet class- a separate world from all the kids playing softball or soccer. The first session with Erin was tough. The sobering intake of all of my measurements, weight, and fat percentage was enough to drive me to drink, or eat, or both! Then came the push-ups, the squats, the heart pumping out of my head, and the reps, the TONS of reps! Pilates had prepared me for some of this, so I was attentive to form. I had strength, especially in my abs, (she said I do the best ab exercises she’s ever seen!) and although I recognize so many Pilates like exercises working out with Erin, the endurance was what I was lacking. Erin is the best though, and she encouraged me every step of the way I started to get stronger (I’m happy to say I can do 3 sets of 15 pushups on my knees, but still, 3 whole sets!)
In my work as a Pilates instructor I am constantly helping clients cross train for activities from skiing to triathlons. I can see clearly how Pilates can help increase core connection and flexibility, increase time in a race, or prevent injury, but I had never thought of working out in the gym as a supplement to my Pilates. Not only is Pilates feeling easier, my confidence is increasing (I’m athletic now!) but my endurance has gone through the roof. It also really helps me with my clients. I know what exercises they need to get ready for ski season or to reduce the lactic acid in their muscles from their training. Mr. Pilates himself was a gymnast and a boxer. He studied martial arts and was active daily. “Civilization Impairs Physical Fitness. (It is) Physical Fitness that is the first requisite of happiness.” It’s movement that heals, any movement. So get moving!