A recent discussion on the Pilates Forum, "Why are so many Pilates teachers out of shape" got me thinking about my own Pilates body.
Do I have six-pack on my abs? Do I have very strong definition of muscle? Do I have a body like a female fitness model on a health magazine? Am I in the best shape of my life? The answer to all these questions, an astounding No!!!
I am just 31 years old, and I had that stunning body; which people stared at me if I wore tight jeans, in my early 20's. My body continues to change and with that comes adjustments I must make to stay fit.
After, I began to assess my physical activity: Have I stopped working out? While I get lazy sometimes; I have a steady routine. Am I active? Yes, I live in New York City, walking is the cheapest and healthiest option. The two most important questions to answer are, do I have injuries? Can I move? The answer to both is Absolutely! I have a herniated disc, imbalanced shoulder causing shoulder pain occasionally, I get a burning sensation in my hip when I overuse my glutes. My clients are so impressed with how I move. I often hear how elegant I move. And Yes, my movement surprises them when they hear I never trained as a dancer.
After answering those questions, I approached the last question "Am I not professional then?" I am very dedicated to my job and my clients. I love to continue learning new theories or skill to hone my skill. I am hardly late or cancel sessions- I am a human, I get sick or MTA traps me underground without warning. People are impressed by my knowledge of Pilates or body. However, according to the author, I might not be professional enough because I am not in my best shape of my life. Right?
After starting to live in NYC, without no financial support, I had to push myself working crazy hours. I always subbed someone's class if I had a day-off. I taught 9-10 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. I tried my best to keep up with a workout routine, but I always lied in bed with food I bought from street. Fortunately, my job made me move more than most of people. However, I needed to put financial security and the needs of my clients ahead of my workout. And it was at this point I turned 30, Damn slowing metabolic system!!!!!
I confess now that I judged other instructors who I thought were not in shape when I worked at a corporate gym. They advertised their brand as only beautiful people workout and only when you look amazing can you call it your work place. Often people would make assumptions about my ability. Yet would be surprised when I could do things young “fit” college guys could not. That is how I became to be referred as Pilates General. .
People can be impressed by how instructors look. I can not deny that the body is a great marketing tool for Pilates professionals. However, it is not the most important fact for people to choose their instructor, at least in my experience. The knowledge of body, caring of clients need, warmth, humor and fun; these are what keeps clients coming back
In the end, I am a woman, I am human and I deal with all the same issues. I am a Pilates Instructors not Wonder Woman, like some would like you to believe.
To share your thoughts read the article, "Why are so many Pilates teachers out of shape" at the following link: https://medium.com/@JonathanMedros/why-are-so-many-pilates-teachers-out-of-shape-6f40952208c#.5ikn8kcat