29 Nov As Long as I’m Living, Pilates it will be
I have been practicing pilates for about 15 years and have been a certified STOTT instructor for over 10. I first started trying classes when I was training for an IRONMAN triathlon after I graduated from university, mainly for injury prevention. I knew with the rigourous training schedule I would have to be extra diligent if I did not want to get injured so I committed to Pilates three times a week during my 10 months of tri training. I have to say I was very diligent with this and I did end up completing the race injury free, which I still credit in large part to this Pilates practice. I’ll be honest, outside of these classes, I never stretched and these classes held me to it.
After the triathlon I fell off the Pilates wagon for a couple of years but then found I became plagued with chronic back pain. I remember being 26 and thinking I was going to have to give up running because it was just becoming too painful. This was devastating to me because running was such a huge part of my life and my go to for fitness and stress release. As a last resort, I thought I would try Pilates again to see if it would help, and I was amazed at the difference. Not only did it help elevate my back pain but it actually improved my running performance. I even reduced the amount of runs I did per week and found I still got stronger and faster. I remember distinctly running my first half marathon after consistently practicing Pilates for over a year and feeling amazed during the last few km’s at my ability to maintain my posture. In the past as my body tired near the end, I had always finished a long run slumped forward having long lost my proper running form. I had never had that strong powerhouse (core) before that and it felt incredibly different to run tired, and still be able to stand up straight. All Pilates.
The following year I decided to pursue my STOTT certification and become a Pilates instructor. Now fast forward 11 years and I have taught hundreds of classes AND bonus- I’m still running. Pilates has become the greatest compliment to some of the more rigorous forms of exercise that I love to do. It has improved my balance and mobility incredibly, improved my posture, increased my body awareness and helped my body rebound after delivering four babies in 6 years. As long as my body is able to move, I will continue to practice Pilates and I’m confident I will move better and longer because of it.