Last week, we launched a program at the studio that I’ve been wanting to offer for a while. I’m still working on a name for this program so for now we’re calling it “10 Week Pilates Intensive”. The program is based on a famous quote by Joseph Pilates in which the client takes 3 One-on-One sessions per week for 10 straight weeks. Before and after measurements and photos are taken, goals are set by the client and the instructors, and we’re on our way to see what measurable changes occur in the client’s body and life! Tina has agreed to take you along on the journey by blogging about her experience throughout this process.
by Tina Paul
Let me first preface this blog by letting you know that I’ve never written a blog before. You may find that I repeat myself, and that may be because my muscles have turned my brain into jelly. Or, it may be because I’m learning a new holistic skill set that is nearly guaranteed to promote my personal growth. Whatever it is that I will acquire from this journey with Valerie and Erin, I hope that you enjoy following along with me over the course of the next ten weeks.
Mr. Joseph Pilates once said, “In ten sessions you’ll feel the difference, in twenty you’ll see the difference, and in thirty you’ll have a new body.” I’ve heard this quote many times since I began practicing “Contrology,” though only recently learned that Mr. Pilates’ theory was designed to be completed within a ten-week time frame. This is slightly intimidating because, while I’ve been practicing Pilates fairly consistently for the past 3 years, I seem to quickly forget every component that I must pay attention to and I start cheating! As I approached the beginning of this journey, I was feeling slightly doubtful that I would be successful in this venture, but also excited for what may come from it.
For those of you that know me, I did not sign myself up for this in an attempt to lose weight. I repeat, I’m not trying to lose weight! I am fortunate to be able to work with a healthy and strong body. And with which I hope to build more strength and muscle tone (think: Erin’s back!), become more flexible, and actually for once follow through with a commitment!
Like I mentioned earlier, I am famous for cheating at Pilates and I am the first to admit it. I have always been a runner and cyclist, and therefore I have strong quad’s. Those quad’s do not like to turn off. I think I’m getting a good core workout during the hundred, when in fact my quad’s are doing the most of the work! Just this week, I’ve really started to hone in and modify the hundred, for instance, to ensure that I’m working the correct muscles.
I’ve gone from practicing Pilates 1-2 times per week, to 5 over this past week. During my first session with Valerie, I left excited, happy and overwhelmed! I felt like I hadn’t done Pilates in at least 6 months! I was tired, sore and my mind was so full with Pilates terminology, I thought: how am I ever going to really get the hang of this? Like for real, like Romana real. I came back to mat class with Erin on Tuesday; again tired, but somehow feeling strong, with a renewed focus and dedication to this commitment I’ve made. My second one-on-one with Erin was… sweaty! She had me begin with the classical reformer series. While she was reminding me to keep my lower back pressing down, my legs zipped up the back, my belly in and up, my arms hugging my body, my neck lengthened, my ribcage pulling in, my shoulders open and my heels lifted high, I was trying not to drop my left hip, turn out my ankles, turn out my elbows or overextend my knees! Ah! How is Pilates even possible? Does it ever get easier?
To round out my first week of this Pilates intensive, I worked again one-on-one with Erin, followed by a mat class (which now I know was a good idea, but I didn’t think so while I was holding that Teaser!). This past one-on-one was very different from any others that I’ve done before. We didn’t do any Reformer work. Rather, Erin had me work primarily on the Cadillac, and a little bit of work on the mat, the Ladder Barrel and the Wunda Chair. We even incorporated some SpringTone, which until now, I’ve never tried. Despite our chattiness (with Valerie too!), we’re starting to move very quickly. The flow and rhythm, or “dance” of classical Pilates, is coming together and I already (or finally, depends on how you look at it), am feeling as though I “get it.”
I feel stronger today than I did Monday. One week down, nine to go – and thoroughly enjoying every minute in the studio!