Face Your Doubts: a little kick in the @ss that you may need

I decided not to title this blog “Face Your Fears” mainly because that is such a common phrase that we tend to not even pay a second thought to it (or at least I don’t). But, when I hear “Face Your Doubts” it makes me perk up a bit and want to pay attention.

We have doubts for a reason, mostly because somewhere along the road we decided it was too hard or too much or not going to pan out or etc etc. Now, to be clear I’m not talking about gut instinct or intuition. I am taking about doubts as in something you would want if it turned out to be true. Imagine if all you wanted turned out to be totally possible. Then you got to weigh what you really want. For example; I want a doughnut but I also don’t want the belly ache that comes after it. What do I want more? Honestly, sometimes the belly ache is worth it.

On a grander scale; I want a space where I have control over how I teach and treat clients coming in looking to learn/do Pilates. So, I had to decide that my cozy percentage split location had to dissolve and I needed to find such a space. [Side note: I didn’t dissolve my last location. I found an instructor to take over the place, equipment and continue teaching those that couldn’t travel 45 minutes to me at the new location. I want the best for all].

I had so many doubts throughout this process.

Where do we open?
How large of a space?
How do I find all new clients?
How do I cover the income I currently have and make a huge lease payment?
What if it doesn’t work out?
What if I totally fail?

Turns out what I needed most was to be ok with my doubts. I was willing to try and fail vs. not try and never know. I had my husband and really great people around me helping me along the way. And this is what I would like for you when it comes to trying Pilates. I know so many of you reading this right now and want to try it. I know you have tried so many other exercise programs and physical therapy and nutritional plans and starved yourself only to get extremely hungry. Hungry physically and metaphorically.

I know doubts are what causes a lot of people to sign up for a beginner class and then not show up to it. If you’ve read my bio then you know I have walked the walk. You know that I have the education, experience and dedication to get you the results. But, YOU get to decide that all the doubts are worth trying. Give YOUrself the gift of trying. Do the hard impact exercises, but do Pilates to help level the playing field so to speak. Or, if you’re like many that seek out Pilates- it’s already too late and you’re looking at starting because of multiple injuries that won’t allow you to continue to bind connective tissue ie pain.

Here is what I’m really thinking also; We are so quick to sign our kids up for lessons to better their softball/piano/soccer/dance. But, we hesitate to pay for a system that will better our physical and mental bodies so we can better care for them. Seriously, I understand because I’ve had the same thoughts. I’ll do anything for my kids, I’m willing to pay for them to try singing lessons and continue dance lessons where there is no special equipment and three (many times more than that) the number of people in a session. But, I feel guilty paying my trainer to teach me and guide me to ensure I’m doing the exercises not only in a manner that will be safe but to get the most effectiveness. It’s not selfish to self care, it’s actually being able to care more for others.

For every hour I teach Pilates at least 2 hours is done on the back end in education and accounting. “Pilates is expensive” isn’t a true statement. What you receive is well worth what we charge. I welcome you to experience our way of teaching you how to move.

Oh, and this whole blog started because I just did a 12 minute on air live radio interview. The week leading up to this interview I almost cancelled several times. I actually doubted that I would have the ability to answer when the call came at 9am on Wednesday morning. I had a huge fear of not knowing the correct answer to what I may be asked along with many other doubts/fears. But, I did it! I answered and the supposed to be 9 minute interview turned in to 12 minutes. I am so proud of myself for not only agreeing to do the interview but for answering and following through. Whether it’s Pilates or another doubt I encourage you to follow through.

With love,

What is Pilates, really?

Pilates instructor leading a group Pilates Reformer class in a beautiful Pilates studio in Herriman UT

Pilates is a way of life. It teaches you how to move in a way that when you are on the ground playing with your kids, pushing a heavy cart in the grocery store or loading the dishwasher for example, you move with a newfound ease. You move from the spine in a way that not only protects your back from getting injured but actually starts to make it feel better. The magic bonus is that is also trains your abdominals to flatten out and creates a toned look to your physique. Many people start doing Pilates after becoming injured or while needing to rehabilitate from surgery. I wish more people got started doing Pilates before this so they could prevent injury and possibly surgery as well.

There seems to be a great stigma as to what Pilates is and what it is not:
‘It’s like Yoga.’
‘It’s too easy.’
‘I’ll be able to do it once I lose the extra weight.’
‘It’s just to stretch.’

Those are the top 4 things I hear when people who have never done Pilates inquire about more information. The truth is Pilates is an exercise method created by a German man whose named loosely translates to Joseph Pilates. He called his method Contrology. It wasn’t until after his death and a court battle over who could use the term “Pilates” did it become a household name.

Pronounced :con-tral-ogy: the study of control. Control over your body, your mind and your breath.

Joseph Pilates’ goal was to return everyone to optimal health by moving from the spine. As we all know, the spinal column is where everything originates from. Joseph was sickly as a child suffering from rickets, asthma and rheumatic fever. He dedicated his life to overcoming his sickness by developing and practicing his method. In fact, the Allegro Reformer apparatus that we use in the studio originated from a hospital bed. His patent for the machine is nearly a century old. Imagine what a century-old proven method can do for your body!

Misconception 1. “Pilates is like Yoga”

Not really.

It does requires you to connect your breath with the movement and be present in your physical body while moving so in a sense that they both require mindfulness they are alike. Pilates has several different types of apparatus to use for those not able to get down and up off the ground such as the reformer, the Wunda Chair and the Cadillac.

These apparatus’ also have added resistance so you can create feedback in the muscle from nervous system to stimulate and grow. We also can create movement that provides gentle impact which is necessary for joint health and bone growth. The padded foot plate is an accessory to the reformer that we place at the end and can ‘jump’ (again with far less resistance than jumping on the group with full body weight) while lying supine, sitting upright, etc.

Misconception 2. “Pilates is too easy”

I suppose the old ‘you get out what you put into it’ can be applied here. Pilates is a way of movement unlike any other workouts.

As a personal trainer as well, Pilates is the only method I know of that requires not only breath and mind to be present but the consciousness of where the spine is relative to space. This means no matter the movement, the deepest layer of the abdominal wall, which is the transverse abdominals are engaged the entire time. It’s not easy. If you are looking for an easy workout, this is not for you.

Misconception 3. “I’ll be able to do Pilates once I lose the extra weight.”

Honestly, this breaks my heart to hear.

Pilates is so gentle on your bones and joints, I can’t think of a better workout if you do have extra weight to lose. Sometimes I wonder if it’s the stereotype that only super skinny and/or already fit (because it’s not the same thing) people do Pilates. It’s just not true.

One of the reasons we offer an introductory package of 3 Pilates sessionsis so people can get a sense that we really are encouraging and supportive of each other. And, if there is a fitness model in class, not only are the ones that vibe with A Beautiful SurpriZe completely down to earth and lovable, but you may not recognize them without the makeup and fancy lighting. 😉

Misconception 4. “Pilates is just to stretch.”

Ummmm, no.

The stretch is actually built into the movement. This is what I meant by ‘Pilates is a way of life.’ Executing a complete movement fully means not only are you working and activating the smaller muscles that shape and tone your body but you are also getting an amazing stretch at the same time. So, it’s not just to stretch. It’s to get an amazing workout and if done properly, you will also get a stretch. That is also where having an instructor to watch your movements is advantageous. We max our “Flow” classes at 6 people so you not only receive verbal cueing the entire class time but also physical ones when necessary.
Pilates is more than an exercise class you attend for an hour a few times per week. It really is a way of consistently learning how to move and better yourself each and every session. Plus, you’ll meet some really cool new friends. I’ve been lucky enough to know this method for 16 years now and I am still learning and still meeting really awesome new friends.