A few days ago I wrote a post about my experience with pilates and how it has changed my body. My insecurities took over and I decided not to publish it. I didn't think anyone would want to read about my process of strengthening. That same day Cara published a blog post about her journey of working out at the Bar Method and how much it has helped strengthen her inside and out. Her story was mesmerizing, not only because it resonated with my experience, but, also, because she is one of the many people who encouraged me during my quest.
By the time I put in 8 hours at the office the only thing I really want to do is head home, have something to eat, then relax through the evening. But, this past July I decided I needed to find something to get me off my butt and into some form of exercise. I was a skinny weakling with too much back pain.
In fact, my back was killing me, hurting all the time, and the doctor told me the only thing to do was strengthen the muscles that support the spine. I had no muscle mass and I knew he was right. PT turned out to be either too much of one thing that would aggravate my pain and/or proved to be slow to bring on the results I needed (now!). In truth, I hated it. Not the therapist, who was good (if cautious), but every single one of the exercises was a big fat bore. I quit.
I knew the next step was up to me and, as it turned out, I met up with a friend who was having heart surgery and needed some advice and assurance. We had dinner and she picked my brain and I picked hers. She has had more issues with her back than any one person should have to endure. She told me about reformer pilates and how it had changed her life, diminished her pain, and strengthened her body more than any other exercise she'd tried. Hearing her accolades strengthened my resolve. I called the gym the next day.
Fortunately my first class had only two other participants and the instructor was able to help me throughout the class. I was hooked and immediately bought a package of 18 classes. I bought 18 more when that was done and 18 more after that. I've made it to class 2 to 3 times a week for the last 8 months and my body has changed. I have muscles. Muscles that know how to fire, know how to support me and hold me upright, which feels amazing.
As the doctor told me 2 years ago, it IS up to me to make the decision and I feel very fortunate to know my choice of exercise has worked out to be the best one for me. (Sorry I don't have pictures as beautiful as Cara's to go with my post.) If you've stuck with me through this whole post, I thank you. The encouragement I've had from you, my friends, has been invaluable.