Today I am going to FINALLY share something with you which has made me happier than anything has in a long time. Big call I know, because I feel generally these days I have a lot to be grateful for. This is something that I have done all for me though and honestly, it’s been a long time coming!
So, drumroll please….
I’m training to become a Pilates instructor!!! And I must admit I’m pretty damn chuffed with myself for finally taking the leap!
My Pilates Story
If you follow me on Instagram you might know that I am regular with Reformer Pilates. If you have no clue what I’m talking about then check out this page which will explain it better than I ever could (though hopefully that will change!). Reformer Pilates was actually the first form of pilates I ever did. I was a rower for a number of years through school and I bloody loved it! But it did leave me with two slipped discs in my lower back. I went to see a physiotherapist for treatment and she recommended clinical Pilates to help rehabilitate my back. Clinical Pilates can include a variety of methods but for me it consisted mainly of Reformer Pilates. And honestly, I can say that this has done more for my back than any other form of treatment I’ve had. This includes steroid injections into by back and months of problematic pain medication.
This was probably about 7 years ago now and I haven’t looked back. I gradually built up my strength and skill level in the three years prior to moving to London, and have continued to practice in the near 4 years since I have been here. Pilates is relatively low impact which means I can keep doing it on days when other forms of movement are just not possible. It continues to work and challenge my body in new ways which means I am constantly learning (and appreciating) just how capable my body can be. The absolute biggest bonus for me though? It gives me me time like nothing else. It is my break from life, it provides me with headspace, it is my meditation. I have tried the apps, and I think they are wonderful tools but have just never worked for me.
When I first moved to London in 2014 I took up Mat Pilates. This is mainly because Reformer classes were (and still are) ridiculously expensive. It was a bit of a change and took some adjusting as they were quite different. They were a slower pace, a bit more relaxing and even more gentle on the body than Reformer classes. I would definitely recommend starting here if you’re brand new to Pilates. They would also be great for those of you who aren’t able to move about a lot but would like to incorporate something gentle into your routine.
About a year and a half on in late 2016 I was ready to step things up again. My body was in a good place again and it needed to be challenged. I was also finally able to afford Reformer classes again after being at my job for a while. After a lot of researching I finally took the plunge with Ten Health & Fitness and have never looked back. I love their Dynamic Reformer classes and the trainers have all been wonderful. I first started with the beginner class and worked my way to advanced again which makes me feel so happy. On average I go twice a week and this is works just right for me (and I couldn’t afford any more lol). I still don’t, and never will, have the stereotypical long and lean ‘Pilates body’ and I am a-okay with that. I do not do Pilates to change the way I look, I do it to change the way I feel. The mental health benefits are by far my biggest motivation. The fact that I have gained core strength, and functional strength, are honestly just a bonus.
Why Become A Pilates Instructor?
I want to share all the benefits and positive experiences to be had from Pilates with all of YOU! This is one way I hope to help others suffering from chronic illness, particularly those with women’s health issues. I want to show you another way of working on your mental health which just happens to have some physical benefits too. I know it won’t be right for everyone, but for those that are looking it’s certainly one option to try. As I mentioned earlier, Pilates can be ridiculously expensive. One of my main aims is to make it more accessible and affordable for everyone who would like to give it a go. We already have enough expenses in life, why should something which can help improve our long-term quality of life be so unaffordable?
So there it is. I start the practical component of my course tomorrow and I am insanely excited about sharing this journey with you as I go. There are so many of you out there kicking absolute life goals despite facing many challenges and I find it so inspiring. So, if there is even a trace of a dream mulling away at the back of your mind don’t be afraid of chasing it. The journey there will have it’s ups and downs but that’s just life.