For those of you who follow Pilates Facebook Groups or Instagram accounts you may or may not know, that a few weeks ago accounts went mad. People were feeling insulted and let their annoyance be known. Resulting in a long in depth conversation about the science behind strength training and as teachers it might be worth while considering adding progressive strength training to our tool box.Other groups were making body positivity a major topic to be dealt with, whilst another group had a calling out of being bullied.
I personally find it baffling that people feel they have the right to condemn others however when online it is so easy to get carried away with your own narrative and take that as gospel.
I am a 46 year old woman with scars on my body. I became a Pilates teacher because I fell in love with it. I fell in love with how the movement made me feel. Some exercises -Going Up Front on the Wunda Chair, Snake & Twist on the Reformer, Squirrel on the Cadillac will always be those aggggggggghhhh exercises for me. I admit it, but in doing so implies I am not strong when truth be told I am probably stronger than some of the wonderful Pilates teachers out there. I am 6ft and weigh over 80kgs and can heave my big old body through an advanced Pilates Mat/ Reformer routine at the same speed as someone who is 45kgs. If it were a competition based on athletic terms I would win- I move 40kgs more every goddamn time I workout! Weight just does not matter and if a client feels it does or feels marginalised then there is something wrong in how you are teaching. I have mixed classes with clients varying in age, strength and movement capabilities. I teach the Roll Up, and the Roll Over making modifications for those bodies or indeed simply using the modifications as a warm up and incorporating the full exercise near the end of the routine when bodies are nicely warmed up. For some the Roll Up will always be a challenge. There is no shame in that. I don't feel shame at not being able to do some of the advanced exercises.
What I do feel is empowered after a workout. I feel happy. I feel positive and definitely less achey. Yep I am a creaky arthritic tall bird with CKD( Chronic Kidney Disease)
So to anyone out there with worries and hangups with their body. Take a moment to surround yourself with people that love and accept you. Follow accounts on social media with people who are not necessarily the perfect body. You may actually realise that the parts of your body you hated are beautiful and strong as are all of these fabulous ass kicking men and women.
Some instagram accounts that I follow are