“Patience & persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.” –Joseph Pilates
Unlike many Pilates instructors, I’ve never been a dancer and I did not transition to the field of Pilates from the world of ballet. I never considered myself to be particularly graceful, so the last thing I would have ever predicted eight years ago (when I was first acquainted with Pilates) was that I would end up a complete aficionado of the method – one known for its elegant and fluid dance-like motions. Plus, I was already doing my thing, working in marketing/PR full-time and utilizing my journalism degree to its potential…not at all anticipating taking on another career!
But, that’s life, and I believe I “stumbled” upon Pilates by chance and fortune. My first experience with Pilates was when I decided to spontaneously try a mat class at a nearby rec center. I found the class to be fun, powerfully intense (yet gentle on the body), relaxing, and never monotonous. I was immediately hooked.
Even though I was enjoying Pilates as a form of fitness – and it was the only exercise regimen I’d ever really stuck with regularly – my eyes truly widened when I began using Pilates as a form of rehabilitation a few years later. At a physical therapy clinic, where I had been rehabilitating from major spine surgery, a therapist introduced me to the Pilates reformer and other apparatus (basically modified gymnastics equipment). With diligent practice on these fun, low-impact machines with adjustable spring resistance, my back pain soon decreased and my overall body strength and range of motion increased immensely.
In little time, Pilates became my passion, my sanctuary and my tool to rebuild my health, and this led me to want to learn more. Naturally, I wanted to share my passion with others, and soon embarked on my path toward becoming a certified instructor. During the 1.5 year-long certification process, I realized how much I not only loved studying the Pilates technique, but I also relished learning about anatomy and kinesiology. This zeal that had long lain dormant and undiscovered is now fully awake! 😉
The ceaseless benefits of Pilates continue to greet me, and I am always encouraged by the results. While Pilates is not a panacea for all ailments and conditions, I can attest first-hand that consistent training is conducive to improved health and performance. Whether a person is looking to balance, strengthen or heal their body, he or she will significantly benefit from the life-enhancing gains of Pilates. It is through these gains, and the obstacles I’ve had to overcome to reach these gains, that I am gratified and inspired to live, learn and teach. As my mom once told me, “Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” I couldn’t agree more.