What a Difference a Week Makes

pilates boost 07-13-13

WEEKLY STATS  Weight:  153  Waist:  33″  Hips:  41″  Thighs:  23 1/2″

I did it!  I am underway and feeling a sense of accomplishment for that simple fact.  While I did experience a touch of weariness in the midst of my last workout for the week (starting a new exercise regimen is a different sort of endeavor when one is sleep deprived and overloaded with adult responsibilities), but I’m so glad to be doing this because already I feel a shift in my body.

Overall, my body feels good.  I’m being more proactive about addressing my ongoing physical ailments with this regimen and the benefits are already apparent.

I feel more slender, although it’s difficult to know if its simply a result of improved posture from doing more challenging workouts, or if my body has already started to shed unnecessary weight.  But the experience of feeling slimmer and more attractive is compelling and one of the cool things about Pilates.  The form is so lovely that it infuses how we move in every moment.  I love this about the work.  Good Pilates means looking good.  And that’s all around good!

Martha Graham (a frequent client in the Pilates’ studio) is on record as saying:  “It takes ten years, usually, to make a dancer. It takes ten years of handling the instrument, handling the material with which you are dealing, for you to know it completely.”

More recently Malcolm Gladwell thoroughly explored the idea.  One of my teachers makes the point with respect to Pilates.  It’s a good thing to keep in mind because we tend to be focused on much shorter term projects, at least that’s what we’re telling ourselves all the time.  But those of us who are involved in any sort of ongoing endeavor – and I’d be willing to venture that almost everyone is doing something that fits the bill – know that to feel a real sense of knowledge coupled with demonstrable confidence takes time.  About 10,000 hours, or ten years.  With Pilates, we are not only learning something new, we are unlearning and undoing the movement patterns and muscle coordinations that are not optimal.  This takes time.  Things like injuries, childbearing, and life changes of all kinds, all bring something to bear on the slow and steady process of building a Pilates body.  If we think of it as a long-haul venture, we can not only weather the changes that life deals us, but make the most of them.  Every experience provides us with an opportunity to deepen our practice.

While my size is bigger than it once was, I can say with complete certainty that I am further along in the process of building my Pilates body than when I was a slender young thing.  This is a good thing to remember when I’m feeling downtrodden because I have exactly one pair of pants that actually fits me.  Sometimes, the most important work is happening on the inside and the outside form doesn’t always reflect all of what that work entails.  In looking at my first set of exercise frames, I see that my form is actually pretty good.  I’ll take that as a sign that in the midst of caring for another, I’ve been doing a good job of caring for myself.  Of course improvements are always there to be made and I’m sure that were my teachers to analyze my form, they’d have plenty to correct.  That is the beauty of having a lifelong practice, and having really good teachers.  But for now, I’m my own teacher.  At present I’m staying close to home and my baby boy.  The work of these days is most decidedly inward.  And there is plenty to keep myself busy.

Now that this inward journey has begun, I’m eager to see what is waiting to be revealed as the “exterior extras” melt away.

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