"A Whole New Body"

Joseph Pilates

Playing the piano destroys my body. Sometimes, I can’t believe I used to do that for 4 hours a day, 5 to 6 days a week, and am still alive to tell the tale.

I’ve been playing everyday for camp for the past 3 weeks. And my body pays a price every time. My low back compresses. My shoulders slide up and forward. (When I first started Pilates, my teacher used to call me “The Shrimp”. I’m 5’10”, but my upper body was so rounded, it deserved that nickname.) I sit more on left hip than my right. My right ankle is in almost constant flexion.

Add all of that to the fact that I haven’ t had a Pilates lesson in the 3 weeks I’ve been playing everyday for camp, and you’ve got an incredibly crooked and sore Nicole. Of course, because I now have better body awareness, I’m able to catch and correct myself quite often. But not enough. It’s hard to undo 20 years of habit. And I’m a certified instructor

That’s something people often don’t get about Pilates. They are looking for a quick fix to trim their waistlines, better their posture, get out of pain, etc. But, Pilates is almost completely opposite from everything we’ve done in our everyday life. It’s a bit much to expect 1 hour a week to undo a lifetime of habit and muscle memory.

Something is better than nothing. And we can retrain on muscles and break our bad habits. But it will take work. And dedication. There is no such thing as a magic pill or quick fix here. There is work. (That’s what Mr. Pilates called it- “the work”.) Learning about your body and learning to control your body. I know that learning process is worth the time and money because my body is better because of Pilates. And not just the looks. That’s not nearly as important as health. I have a healthier body because of Pilates.

My only regret is that I didn’t start earlier in life. I might have had less to un-learn. But it’s never too late. We can always learn. We can always make ourselves better. The quote I used as the title is from Mr. Pilates- "In 10 sesions you'll feel better. In 20 sessions you'll look better. In 30 sessions you'll have a whole new body."