Sharing the Love" is this week's Fun Monday topic. Our host is Jill over at Life is Not Bubble Wrapped . Her assignment: describe something nice someone had done for you, an act of kindness you witnessed someone perform, something that touched your heart. Well Jill, last Friday I got these lovely valentines from little Lily and Ryan when they spent a snow day at my weekly pilates class with their mother Julie, my gentle teacher. That makes a share the love twofer!
For over three years my friend Sally and I have been taking a pilates duo class with Julie at the Core Pilates Studio. We were total novices and well on the way to joining the senior citizen ranks when we started the class. Sally and I have always been fitness partners and, at this stage in our lives, we wanted to do everything we could to stay strong and healthy in our 60s and beyond.
This is Julie demonstrating a barrel pilates flexibility and core strengthening exercise. For the record, I have worked on this contraption, but never achieved Julie's example of form! And that's alright with Julie. She constantly reminds us to not measure ourselves against others.
Julie was a registered nurse before earning her certification as a pilates instructor. So she is really tuned into a first do no harm philosophy of exercise. She watches Sally and me like a hawk as we work because each of us has some physical issues that limit what we can do. My spine has a limited range of motion and my head threatens to explode (from high BP, probably) if it isn't elevated when I lie on my back. We have this running joke that if the exercises get too strenuous, I'll just look pained or whimper and Julie will cut us some slack! As I said, she's our gentle teacher. If we injure ourselves outside of class she customizes our practice, as in the time I tried to play tree trimming Paul Bunyan and fell off a ladder injuring my shoulder and elbow.
Julie is tuned into us physically but, more importantly, she is very intuitive about our mental and emotional state. She understands that we may have performance, body image or stress issues that we bring to class. I, for example, hate working in front of the wall mirrors because I feel like a beached whale. Julie stresses that each of us is beautiful in our way and that we should be proud of making the effort to be healthy. Often we bring stress from our lives to class and she helps us calm down and deal with the issues that cause us problems. Julie is also very spiritual and is on her own path of discovery. We have many interesting discussions. And, did I fail to mention--the three of us love each others' company and we laugh a lot?
I often think that, in these shaky economic times when the personal budget may need to be cut, pilates would be the last thing I'd give up. There are just too many positives to keeping with the weekly program. And having Julie as a teacher is the main reason. No danger of her ever being replaced by a Pilates for Dummies video!
I'll for sure be around to check out the other Fun Monday "share the love" stories today or tomorrow.
(Photo Credit for Julie: Core Pilates Studio)
- Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.