Yesterday I was working out in the studio and following along to a Pilates video from Pilates Anytime taught by Mari Winsor. You may recognize that name – she’s the one credited with bringing Pilates to the masses. She’s also responsible for the most successful fitness informercial ever!! If you are familiar with Pilates without having taken a class, you probably have Mari Winsor to thank!
It was fun for me to ‘train’ with Mari by way of video. She has ALS now but is still doing Pilates and doing what she can. I may not get a chance to take a class with her in person so videos are my next best thing. This class was more advanced. Her cues were wonderful and she had us moving through the workout at a steady pace. I was challenged and enjoying it!
And then we got to Teaser on the long box facing the front of the reformer. Ugh. I remember the first time this exercise was introduced to me before I became an instructor. I could not do it … at …all. I could not even comprehend how I was supposed to do it. I was stuck and need a pull or shove to get my body up and into position. Staying in position at that point – not an option! My body was not ready for this exercise. I also wondered with my past abdominal surgery if this one was just not going to work for me period.
Once I become an instructor this exercise reared it’s ugly head again. Still no success. Now, however, if I cheated a bit and rolled down into position I could hold the teaser with a little bit of wobbling. Forget rolling up into the teaser – I remained stuck and needing that shove or pull!
Recently I purchased a Tower for our studio and have been challenging myself in new ways with the Tower. I’ve seen some progress in some areas and have felt a lengthening in my body like never before. I’ve been loving what I am experiencing. But like most I’ve avoided the one thing that gives me the most trouble – Teaser facing front on the long box. I’d written it off as not possible for me.
Now Mari was asking me to do the Teaser facing forward on the long box! How could I let her down? I already knew I couldn’t do it. Why even bother? I could do some pulling straps through this part of the video or fast forwarded I reasoned. No point in proving once again what I knew – I could not do it. Begrudgingly I decide to try it… I think mostly just to confirm that I could not do it. I got in position, had the straps in my hands and my legs extended and began to roll up/lift up just waiting to hit that “stuck point”. I lifted my head and shoulders and lifted my legs and something amazing happened … I lifted right into the teaser!!! For the first time ever …after many years of failed attempts. Thinking it was a fluke I tried it again … success again! Was it perfect and fluid – no but I was up and holding. I still have work to do but I have made serious progress!
I share this with you as a good reminder that we don’t always know our own potential. The odds may be stacked against you (hello hernia and abdominal surgery!) but you should not write yourself off just yet. Don’t be discouraged. Some times success takes longer than we think it should. A couple days later I tried again and struggled. A couple days after that I tried again and succeeded. Not every day is your day. Don’t throw in the towel just yet … maybe you can.