I prefer personal training or, as we call it in Pilates – private lessons. Why? Because I like a lot of attention! But it’s not an ego thing. I simply benefit more from a training program designed specifically for me and what my body needs in order to advance my practice – safely, effectively, and strategically. Private lessons ensure that I’m being challenged appropriately and getting direct feedback and modifications whenever necessary. Plus one-on-one lessons are an opportunity for me to ask all of my burning Pilates questions and work on specific exercises or movement patterns that challenge me the most. I can’t do that in the context of a group class because I have to play nice and share my teacher’s attention.
Setting fitness goals is important to me because it’s hard to create any type of lifestyle habit without a compelling reason for it. I prioritize exercise because mobility and longevity are important to me and I want to be as active as I can, for as long as possible. If I forget my “why?” there are a gazillion other things that can overrun my schedule and take priority; even a Netflix binge.
My primary fitness goal is to simply keep moving and feeling comfortable in my body. For me, comfortable means “athletic”; constantly challenging what I’m physically capable of. Plus, exercise energizes me, inspires my creativity, sparks my productivity and puts me in a much better mood. And it makes me a more confident and better version of myself. That alone is #goals
I know I’ve had a good Pilates workout when the 55min fly by, I feel crazy energized and my mood shifts from #FML to “anything is possible”. I suddenly feel super-productive; as if I can check everything off of my to-do list. And my body…? It feels about ten years younger. The creaking from decades of wear and tear compounded by our new Zoom culture evaporates with the sweat. My joints feel like they’ve got space to move freely and easily, as my mood thrives on all the feel-good hormones pumping through my system.
I need a Pilates teacher who can give it to me straight, with no chaser. I happen to prefer my Pilates authentic. I also need a teacher who can look at me and see possibility versus limitation. I may be in my 50s and 10yrs deep into my dance retirement with residual “stuff” going on in my body; but I still have the mind of an athlete that likes to push and challenge myself. So I tend to thrive with teachers who are adept at teaching students, like me, who want to do more than just workout, sweat, and check it off my to-do list. I don’t wanna pay to plateau. I wanna train!
You’d never know it by current life but my favorite way to exercise is to dance. Albert Einstein said “dancers are the athletes of god” and I wholeheartedly agree. Dance is a full-body workout that requires skill, technique, strength, flexibility, grace, imagination, and vulnerability. And while it requires extreme athleticism, it somehow doesn’t feel like a “workout” because it’s also creative self-expression.