Last year, I had the opportunity to attend the McEntire Pilates Summit in Rochester, Michigan. Trent McEntire is one of my Pilates mentors and an all around good guy. This is his give back to the Pilates community. It’s a chance for Pilates students and teachers to meet, commune, learn, play, grow, and explore. Unlike a traditional workshop with one focus of learning throughout the weekend, the Summit touches many topics and explores movement beyond traditional Pilates. Last year, I learned creative uses of the boxes on the reformer, about osteoporosis and Pilates, dance as therapy, slack-lining, Pilates for golf, and how freeing up the fascia can free up the body. That’s a lot for two days! Not to mention I made several new friends, laughed, hiked, and had fun 🙂
This year when the dates were released, I realized I had a conflict that weekend. I was signed up for a trail race the same weekend early Sunday morning. When I looked at the schedule – ending at 4pm on Saturday – add in about an hour drive to the airport, flight times and so on… best I could do was landing in Nashville around 12:30am on Sunday morning. With a trail race at 7am (wake up call at 5:15am to get to the race on time) that did not seem like a recipe for success. I debated blowing off the race … but I really did not want to do that. Completing the race was a goal of mine. I had two new year’s resolutions riding on the line with this race:
- Showing up for races I signed up to do
- Completing the NRC trail race series of four races this year
During my marriage I lost myself for a while. Dealing with the drama and trauma of that situation, I let go of many of the things that were important to me like racing and running regularly. I was enduring at best and that meant letting go just to get by. After getting divorced, it was time to get back to me and the things that make me me. I’ve been a runner most of my life. It’s been my sanctuary – how I process thoughts and feelings and let off steam. It’s my feel good place. I made a resolution to complete a four race trail series as a step to getting myself back. Putting it on the calendar would commit me and motivate me to work at it.
Getting back in running and racing shape is not fun. Often times you wonder why you do this and if you still even like it! In April I completed the first race in the series. I had fun and I did ok. I knew my training was not there yet and I could do better. I was motivated to improve for the second trail race in July. Which brings us back to going to the Summit and getting four hours of sleep prior to the race … not ideal. I’m not one of those people who functions on a few hours of sleep. This forced a choice between two things I knew would be good for me and I’d enjoy … the Pilates Summit or the Trail race series (you miss one race and you are pretty much out of the running for the whole series, unfortunately).
Initially, I chose the trail series. I’d already committed to that. I was keeping my commitment and honoring my resolution. But I kept seeing posts about the Summit and wishing it was a different weekend. Add to it, one of my best friends lives near the Summit so it presented an opportunity to visit him and a place to stay … if it were only a different weekend.
I think we are often faced with these challenging decisions. Why does it seem the good things often overlap? When we look at our options with the perspective of ‘can’t’ it is easy to draw that conclusion. Can’t be in two places at once, can’t make the flights work, can’t do both … all easy conclusions to draw.
Today, out of curiosity I looked at the schedule for the Summit again. I noticed the majority of what I was interested in was happening in the first day and half. While of course all of the content would be excellent … wouldn’t one and a half days be worth it? Wouldn’t the opportunity to see my friend, take a mini trip, learn, and reconnect with Pilates friends be worth it? I realized in this situation I could do it all. When I opened my eyes to the ‘could’ possibility … I found a way. I found a flight that leaves at 3pm on Saturday and gets me home at a reasonable time. Sure, I’ll miss the last bit of the Summit but I’ll still connect, learn and be a part of most of it.
I’ve seen this ‘could’ approach with Pilates students this time of year. It can get complicated with kids out of school, summer trips, partners not available. What I have noticed is those that want to find a way – find a way. Sometimes that means a private instead of a duet, or a 3o minutes class instead of an hour or bringing a child along as well. Summer time doesn’t have to be a couple months of ‘can’t’ … I’ll work with you to make it the summer of “I did”.