Over the weekend I had the opportunity to take Pilates classes at two different studios in Cincinnati while I was home for the holiday. The first class was a mixed equipment class. We used the exo chair, the mat and also the reformer. I enjoyed the workout and felt physically strong enough and capable enough for everything this instructor had to offer in class. I left feeling good, recharged, and successful.
The second day I took a mat class. I struggled. It was a challenging workout and seemed to be hitting on many of the elements I have difficulty doing even on my best day. It is easy to be discouraged in these situations. Especially when you look to your left or right and see other students are succeeding while you struggle. It is easy to become negative and judge your body. Maybe that abdominal surgery I had means this is just not going to be a possibility for me …ever. Maybe I made a mistake coming here. Maybe I should not do this again? Lot’s of negative self talk can creep in.
I was thinking about this on the drive back to Nashville and I was reminded of what one of my mentors Cara Reeser had said in a workshop. She encouraged us to silence the negative self talk and consider “Maybe today is the day I can be one millimeter better or hold one second longer.” I believe we tend to evaluate our progress towards goals or success as either we did or we didn’t reach the goal or have success. Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate the goal and redefine success.
When I thought about that I was reminded of the mat classes I used to take from this same instructor 7 years ago. They were so hard and some times even brutal. I did improve though! And yesterday in class – I was stronger than I had been the last time I took one of her classes. So there is the success. I’m not finished improving. It may not have been pretty but I’m moving in the right direction. Why would I quit or walk away when I am making progress? I have been reminded of what I need to work on. Maybe next time I go home I’ll take another class and be just a little bit better than I was yesterday. That is the goal.
It was a good reminder to myself to celebrate where I have come from, where I am and where I’d like to still go with my Pilates practice.