I really dislike lifting weights—I borderline HATE it! I don’t like going to a gym where there are 40 treadmills, 40 elliptical trainers and any number of 25 year olds in spin classes with their $150.00 lululemon outfits.
You know, everyone wears spandex now. I even wear it so I can at least try to fit in. Lord. What happened to wearing baggy sweat pants that are tight around the ankles? At least spandex tube socks are popular now, taking me back to the 80s.
All this being said, I prefer to be outside in the fresh air walking, riding my bike and doing a little yard work.
However, due to the nature of my neck, back and pelvis healing process, I had to do something to support my core. I said “Core not Coors”, and believe me I have had plenty of that in my life. I have always wanted to try Pilates. To me, Pilates was something hard “Core” fitness people practiced. I mean if you were training for a marathon, wrestling, or on a roller derby team, you would do Pilates because it made you tougher. Pilates wasn't for the meek and weak: it was for the strong!
I was wrong- Pilates takes you from weak to strong, and I am here to testify.
So one day I said to Dr. Neal, “in order to heal faster I am trying Pilates.” I told him the trainer was a physical therapist, and he agreed it was good to try. I had criteria. I wanted a personal instructor to teach me the correct methods. I wanted that person to be a Doctor of Physical Therapy and I wanted them to be certified in Pilates. At end of the day, I am giant wuss. I was afraid that a studio who didn’t have a Physical Therapist wouldn’t understand my condition. I found a studio not but ten minutes from my house with exactly what I wanted. The name of the place is Stability. Go figure, right?
Here’s the deal ya’ll: a guy named Joseph Pilates born in Germany in 1883 suffered from all kinds of illness and ailments. Joe’s drive to overcome all this had him searching for physical fitness techniques. He became a circus performer, self-defense instructor and a boxer. During WWI, he was an orderly in a hospital who worked with people unable to walk. He used bed springs to support the patient’s limbs in an effort to rehabilitate them.
Joe came with his wife Clara to NYC in 1926 and opened a gym. They call his technique “Contrology”. After his death in 1967 it became known as the Pilates method.
Read more about the origins of Pilates HERE:
It's actually interesting.
"If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old. If it is completely flexible at 60, you are young." - Joseph Pilates
Check out my plank on the Reformer machine (Pilates has unique machines for its technique, but also mat exercises).
Here is what you need to know: Pilates core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony. This leads to better balance and stability in daily activities.
Many people who train focus on muscle groups individually. Pilates focuses on the core pieces working together to create a better more united way to move in the world. Not only does it help you become more flexible, but also much stronger and more stable. It stabilized my neck and back like nothing I have ever done before in the exercise arena.
It’s been six weeks of training for me. I go twice per week working with my Physical Therapist including daily home exercises. I walk taller, I feel taller and my emotions are more level and even keeled. My posture in greatly improved. I feel better. I feel stronger and have gained all my weight back in a healthy manner. Gained it back and some!
Here I am doing a one legged Bridge:
Above is my Physical Therapist Jenna Cooper. She is a trainer at Stability in Sandy Springs. Her expertise, good nature and enthusiasm for Pilates is very helpful to me. Also the fact that she puts up with me at all is saying a lot! I am not counting the minutes until the hour is up, sometimes I am wishing it lasted a little longer.
That’s how much I like Pilates. That’s how much Pilates has helped me get well. I love everything about it: the reformers of several kinds, the wall boards, the balls, the gizmo’s we use and hanging upside down on the big boy reformer. I love it.
Here is Stability’s contact info. Ask for Jenna if you are interested in training.
Stability Pilates and Physical Therapy
Physical Therapist, Jenna Cooper
Address: 5975 Roswell Rd, Sandy Springs, GA 30328
Phone: (404) 303-9153
I would encourage anyone to consider Pilates regardless of your age. Especially those of us 50+, those who need to get in shape, get rid of nagging health issues and may have special needs (like me). You will thank me for leading you down this path.
Hey, it sure doesn’t hurt that I am getting a “six pack” and have visible little triceps now! More importantly, I feel more balanced in my mind and body. That is something you cannot put a price on.
Until next time,