On pilates and goals:
I came upon the practice of Pilates at age 19 as a laborador retriever comes upon a tennis ball: quite naturally and with enthusiasm. As a former gymnast, collegiate volleyball player, and runner, Pilates was the perfect combination of exercise that emphasized strength, flexibility, and body awareness. As I studied, ran, and worked my way through both college and graduate school, Pilates provided me with a well balanced workout routine that kept me well rounded.
One year after finishing my doctorate degree in physical therapy, I became certified in Stott Pilates as a way of further developing my proficiency in the exercise form for both personal and professional reasons. I find that movements fit perfectly into the rehabilitative programs that I create for my physical therapy patients.
Interestingly, during my certification process, I came across some written work of Pilates founder Joseph Pilates. The book Pilates’ Return to Life Through Contrology is the essential creation of the Pilates exercise movement, and was written in 1945. A little back story on Mr. Pilates is that he was a German prisoner of WWI, and created the exercises as a means of maintaining strength and distract from the harrowing living conditions around him. Upon release he eventually moved to the United States and published this book and created the exercise movement that is so popular today.
Most astonishingly though, is how pertinent his 1945 writings are to our lives today. Here are some quotes from his writings:
…”physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure”.
Is this not what we are all seeking? The ability to use our bodies and minds do our numerous and at times daunting tasks with “zest and pleasure”. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise most days for physical wellbeing. While we may bend this to fit our busy schedules, we really must care for ourselves in order to care for our families, friends, careers, and the myriad of other things that we do.
He goes on to say:
“admittedly, it is rather difficult to gain ideal physical fitness under the handicap of daily breathing the soot-saturated air of our crowded and noisy cities. On the other hand, we can more quickly realize this ambition if we are privileged to breathe the pure and fresh of the country and forests without the accompaniment of the traffic roar which constantly tends to keep our nerves strung taut.
Amazingly, numerous studies currently show that getting into nature is good for our physical and mental wellbeing. You all know this, I need not tell you how calming it is to be perched up on a mountain with trees below and utter quiet all around.
One final remark:
“Remember too, that Rome was not built in a day” and that Patience and Persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor”.
My friends, I find this to be an important reminder. In order for us to be proficient in our daily lives, we must be kind to ourselves, and remember that wellness and goal attainment is a process.
Whatever your exercise of choice is, keep moving, make goals, and be persistent!
Make your day great,