Pilates improved my running and reshaped my body
I’m a very active person and considered myself to be ‘in shape’. I’ve been running and doing indoor cycling for years but a low back/hip injury in early 2013 severely side-lined me from my true athletic passion (running) for a significant amount of time. Time off helped but I still felt there was something I could do to truly help me get back to running so I decided to try Pilates. When I first started, I was shocked at how weak my core strength was. I was also interested in increasing my flexibility (something I knew I was lacking).
I like to challenge myself and Pilates has taught me new ways to challenge both my body and mind. Initially, I had a hard time making the mind-body connection but I’m now having a much easier time with it. I’m so much more aware of my body and my posture than ever before. My core strength has improved drastically and I think I’m almost able to do a decent teaser! I want to continue to challenge myself with more advanced moves and work on perfecting my form, especially when it comes to my lack of flexibility.
The combination of both private and class sessions has helped transform my body and mind. Starting with private sessions gave me the confidence to attend classes. I feel that my muscles are lengthening and I’ve become more lean. As a runner, I’ve always had larger calves… tall boots are always tricky for me but now I notice my old boots fit me better. Same goes for my quads/thighs… I’ve definitely seen improvement there as well. I also discovered some discrepancies in left/right side stability and I’m continually working to remedy (especially in privates). Flexibility is slow going but I know it will come. I enjoy privates and class differently. Privates are great for really focusing on my specific areas of concern while classes are great for a full body workout.
I feel fortunate that I figured out early in life that committing to staying healthy is important. It’s not always easy but I truly believe it’s the best thing you can do for yourself on so many levels. Life can be hectic and busy for all of us but it’s much easier to deal with when you are both physically and mentally healthy and for me, exercise is the key to that. Starting small and setting goals are the first steps and in the end it’s all about finding the balance that works for you.
Since starting Pilates, my running has gotten much stronger. I’ve been able to increase my mileage without setback and feel much more confident about my form based on the mind body connection I’ve made in Pilates. When I feel myself struggling on a run, I take a moment and refocus on my posture and gait based on what I’ve learned and it’s helped tremendously. I recently completed my first 10K in more years than I’d like to admit and had one of my better times at that distance. I’m planning on doing a half marathon in 2015 and feel that without Pilates, that would not be possible.