“After 10 sessions you’ll feel better. After 20 sessions you’ll look better. After 30 sessions you will have a new body.” That quote from Joseph Pilates is full of promise and for me curiosity. It has been lingering in my head for years. I am not sure why, especially considering I have always been in good health thanks to eating well and daily gym workouts. But after a decade I found there is only so much morning news, stationary biking, body builders and locker room nudity one can endure. After two children and a continuing career my mind and body were craving something I could no longer find at the gym.
After the gym and I broke up, I continued to stay in shape by running, climbing stadium stairs or working out in my home gym. However, for the first time in my life I felt weak and bored during my workouts. My back hurt and body ached. I decided it was time to find out what Joseph Pilates was talking about.
Two weeks ago, I invited my good sport husband on the adventure and we walked into our first Pilates studio, Canyon Cove Pilates, and began our first Pilates session. We spent an hour on a sliding table with tension springs and straps called “The Reformer”. Pressing, stretching and lengthening in ways we did not know possible and loving every minute of it. I learned quickly that I had a lot of gym habits to break, like hearing the springs click together is ok as it means you have moved through the entire range of motion for that particular exercise. Doing multiple sets of the same exercise on the same muscle until “burnout” is a no no. Your mouth is only for eating; breathing should be done entirely through your nose. All these new experiences could have been very intimidating but Eveline our instructor was sincerely patient and encouraging. My husband who prior to our session questioned if he would actually feel like he worked out, was dripping with sweat. As for me, I was beaming with enlightenment!
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My “Ah ha” moment came toward the end of my third session. I was slightly arched laying on my back on the reformer with my head back holding one leg up and out like a cheerleader. In that moment I felt both a sense of release and strength. That was it. That was what I was looking for; a way to let go of expectations and fear and by doing so finding strength. In that moment I realized I was capable of doing more than I ever thought possible. The reassurance of that has carried over from the studio to daily life and kind of makes me believe the late Joseph Pilates.
Now that I am a believer, I will look for the results. “After 30 sessions you will have a new body”. Six sessions down and 24 more to go.