Tonight I taught a mat pilates class to a group of ladies, who were mostly aged 50+. These women were all recreational ballroom dancers. The dance studio was their little social club. They go there to dance, to enjoy the company of other women with similar interests, and to enjoy dancing with a young dance instructor. Isn’t it wonderful?
Isn’t it wonderful that they are not sitting at home with stiffness in their limbs, unable to walk much or to pick up the dropped fork from the floor, or to wince when they have to turn their head round to look at something?
Isn’t it wonderful that they have a place to go, kinda like the bar Cheers, where everybody knows their name?
Isn’t it wonderful that they are actually moving?
I’ve seen people age, where more often than not they are hindered by the stiffness in joints, spine, knees, hip. They can’t move well, they can’t play with grandkids, they can’t enjoy life. I’d hate to grow old and wish that I had done something differently that would have helped me with my ‘aches and pains’.
So while I’m a huge advocate of pilates, let’s just get moving. And I don’t mean pounding the pavements, or just doing your bicep curls in the gym. Let’s rotate the torso, hips, and neck. We need movement in all planes, all directions, as that’s what we need to do daily. Flexing our body to the side, leaning back, leaning over, turning our head as we drive.
And yes, pilates makes you move in all these planes of motion, in all directions. At the end of the class today (and not a single one of these women had done pilates before), there were smiles, there were shoulders moving freely, they felt that they had been challenged but boy, how good did their bodies feel? I aim for all my clients to feel great after pilates. It’s not about how sore your muscles are the next day. Pilates is tough, sure, but it should make your body scream a huge THANK YOU for not neglecting it.
When I’m 80, I want to still be doing pilates, teaching and more importantly, playing “tag” with my grandkids. And to dance dance dance.