Archives for category: Exercise

I have a big and not so pleasant anniversary quickly approaching. Monday, the 22nd, will mark the 1 year anniversary of my IBS diagnosis. It has kind of put me in a weird place this last week. You see, the doctor’s only prescribed treatment was to toss a small sheet of paper at me and say “This is a new diet that they are trying out to manage IBS you could try this. There is really little else that can be done” I took it to heart. I drastically altered my life and my diet. It is called “Low FODMAP” I stick to it religiously. I do not eat wheat, dairy, sugar, and an assortment of wonderful fruits and veggies it restricts. These include garlic, onions, nectarines, apples, and many more. The list is constantly changing. I have become exhausted with it. I still wasn’t feeling perfect. Do we ever?

I recently started turning to Eastern medicine for managing my chronic digestive illness. My Western doctor wasn’t overly helpful or caring. I was marked off a list because I tested negative for everything else, so it must be IBS, right? Here is this list they are working on in Australia and it could help. Sigh. I went to my 6th acupuncture appointment yesterday. I love my acupuncturist. She is phenomenal. At my 5th appointment we had a lengthy discussion about how at this one year mark maybe I need to take my digestion and health into my own hands. Since, I said that I still had a lot of digestive woes regardless of following this diet for a year! I thought about it and I decided she is right. I already started with essential oils and acupuncture.

Since starting acupuncture I have noticed a gradual improvement in my digestion. It wasn’t over night. It has however started to slowly improve. Without going into too much detail, I have had more better days than bad days. Especially in the past week. I see her once a week. I have started trying foods again, with caution. But I have allowed myself to cross that threshold. Something I would never do before. I have been researching the crap out of things. My BFF sent me some info about Aloe Vera for IBS. I looked into it, liked the findings, and I tried it. I have a fresh aloe plant that I cut and add the innards to my smoothies. I have noticed even more improvement! That was nowhere on any piece of info my Gastro gave me. When I explained this to my acupuncturist she was so happy that I have started to give myself to freedom to change or at least try.

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Another big thing….running. I was a runner. A daily avid runner and racer. My last race was Mother’s Day 2012. I placed SIXTH in my age group! After this diet restriction I ended up giving it up. I turned strictly to Pilates. Running drained me. At first I had no idea how to fuel myself and maintain my running. I abruptly took all of my pasta and bread away. Yet I was still running 3-3.5 miles on an almost daily basis. After extreme exhaustion that happened after each run, I decided to quit. Last night, I went for a run. My studio has a running group that recently started. I showed up. I ran. I actually ran at the front of the group the whole time. Muscle memory. My master teacher also goes on the runs. She commented to me that I run beautifully. My torso is in a great position, my hips stay square, and my legs just kind of float underneath me. My coworker, who is running this program, is a very seasoned marathoner, a ton of them under her belt. She ran the Boston Marathon this year. It wasn’t her first time running that one. She commented after that I have a really great pace. She wanted me to come run with her again right then. It is a beginner program that the studio is offering. It is building up to a 5k we are sponsoring this fall. It will get harder each week. I was tempted to go. I could have easily ran more. I said no though because little man was sick and my husband had stayed home to take care of him while I worked, went my appointments, went to my running club, etc. Maybe next Wednesday though.

pink  Brooks are back in business

pink Brooks are back in business

I am a runner at heart. Pilates has strengthened my entire body to keep me in running shape without running. I have not felt this amazing in a while. I am getting anxiously happy just writing about last night. I have missed running. More than I even realized. I am not saying I am not a Pilates fanatic. That is still my world. But like my heart for my family, there is room enough for more than one major fitness love of my life.

It is very hard to lead such a restrictive lifestyle. Especially when it is not by choice. I am feeling really positive that I have begun to allow myself some freedoms to take my own health into my hands. I have lived in this terrified state regarding foods and food prep for a year. That is hard. It is hard on me and my family. I am not jumping right in gobbling up everything I see. No, I am taking baby steps. But like my acupuncturist said, the point is that I am trying.

I have begun to lose faith in the Low FODMAP concept. It hasn’t exactly served me very well over the past year. I do know there are foods on the list that bother me but there are many that don’t. They say you should only eat 1 cup of berries at a time. I can eat berries, especially blueberries until my heart is content. The list is always changing. They used to say Tahini was okay, and then suddenly halfway through my year of this, they took that back. Well I had been eating Tahini often, as an alternative for other dips etc. So I haven’t had a bite of it since then. Sweet potatoes were A-ok when I first got the list. Then they changed it to only a small amount at a time. I stopped eating them as frequently after I read that. One more restrictive thing. It gets in my head that it will harm me and then I freak out, afraid to try it. Or suddenly I feel a little off because I did try something on the said no list. Last night I made baked sweet potato fries with dinner. I gobbled them up. Not counting or measuring. I feel perfectly fine today. I felt perfectly fine after. In fact, I ate frozen grapes after. Without counting. They limit those to about 8 grapes at a time, or so I read at one time. So I think, from this point on, I am not going to be checking for updates. I am going to take my time trying foods here and there. I am going to continue to do my  research of alternative methods. I am going to continue to tailor my digestive needs specifically to me, and not to some list created by well meaning scientists in Australia. Healing is not a one size fits all program. That is why I am falling in love with Eastern methods. It centers around the person specifically. It has been making a positive change in my life. I am feeling happier than I have in a while. I am feeling in charge.

I have been itching to start a bit of a series on here. I want to share my favorite moves and pieces of equipment/accessories. I have been putting it off for various reasons. First it was that we were in the middle of a move. Then I was busy unpacking and starting my summer hours at the studio. NOW my husband has begun remodeling my Pilates room/in home studio. Despite the fact that my Pilates stuff is currently shoved into a small space in our guest bedroom that has a queen bed, rocking chair, a desk, a dip station, and a weight bench, I am going to give this a shot. I figured I could start with one that I photographed while living in our previous home. Sigh, it is not the gorgeous in home Pilates studio that is being created right now, but it will do. I am hoping that after my room is done these posts will get a little more photo heavy.

So that brings us to this first move I want to talk about. It is a favorite of mine. I do it on a daily basis. The High Bridge.

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You can see how old this photo is by my charming decor in the background! Anyway, I love it. Why? It opens everything up. I initially started doing it for digestion. I was looking for moves that specifically help with digestion and this was one of them. I found that it took me time to be able to hold it higher and longer.

How do I get into a high bridge?

  1. I always warm up. I never start out trying to just go into this position. You can and likely will hurt your back. You also may not find the flexibility you are looking for. Roll downs, regular bridging, swan on the chair, jackknife, and  shoulder stand are just a few of the things I do to warm up. I usually wait until the end of my work out to go into this. So my entire body is nice and warm.
  2. I will always do a few Mat or Chair Bridges immediately before extending up.  If I am doing a Mat Bridge, I lay flat on my back. Feet in hook laying position (flat on the floor) Arms are long at my side. I inhale to prepare and on my exhale I curl my hipbones toward my belly button as I articulate up one vertebrae at a time, stopping at about my bra line-ish area. I will pull my belly deep towards my spine, inhale, exhale and articulate back down. I will do several of those. Sometimes I will do variations, pulses at the top, lower/lift one leg. The point being, my spine is being warmed up for the grand finale.
  3. When I am ready to open myself to this position I take a few deep breaths. Melting my shoulders away from my ears. Feet are still flat on the floor. Sometimes I will scooch them in closer to my butt. I inhale and exhale starting to curl up, I bend my arms and place my palms near the side of my head. I continue to curl up, striving to place even weight on my hands and feet. I take it slow. Seeing how my back is moving. On a great day I get nice and high. At this point in my practice, it is likely higher than this photo above.
  4. I am focusing on breathing, pulling my belly deep towards my spine, keeping my weight even between hands and feet, and letting my heart and front of my body really open and elongate in this position. I squeeze deep into my hamstrings and glutes. My arms are engaged while getting a stretch. I relax my head and neck, trying to avoid drawing tension into them.
  5. By now I have been able to add some variations. I can come into a high toe, so heels lifted. I can also extend one leg up at a time. That takes tremendous core strength and pelvic stability. It is something you have to build on as you master this position.
  6. To get out, I take in a deep breath and on my exhale I slowly start to articulate down, being mindful that the tension is not in my neck. Shoulders come down first, my arms slowly release their strength and as my spine articulates down I bring my arms back towards my sides. I melt into the mat. I will always cross my legs and hug them close to my chest. Letting my spine settle and taking a moment to enjoy the end of my favorite pose.

I love this position because it is a challenge. It takes practice and strength to do it. You have to be open in your mind and body in order to achieve the height and openness you are looking for. There are days where I barely get up at all. I can feel how tight my body, spine, and in many instances my mind, are that day at that moment. I have to clear my head, I have to allow myself to relax. When I am in the pose and I want to stay nice and lifted I have to surrender myself to the position. I have to think about my breath and where I am feeling the weight and stretch of my body. I cannot be thinking about anything else that is bothering me. If I do, I will not find the work I want to find in this position. Sometimes I count. I want to eventually be able to hold it for a minute. I can currently get to 30.  It feels amazing to melt back down into the mat. There is a sort of high that comes with this position. When I melt down and let my back settle, rocking side to side, knees close to my chest, I just get that moment of relaxation. I always turn to this position when my digestion is bothering me. That usually means I take 10-20 minutes to do a mini workout, even if I worked out earlier. Since I am so focused on warming up my spine for this challenging position.

I hope that if you are working on your high bridge that you find the joy in it that I do. If you haven’t tried this yet be open to the idea of it. Take your time. Warm up and build on this position one step at a time. Remember, if you are not a certified Pilates or fitness instructor it is a good idea to work with one before attempting advanced and challenging moves. We will help you better understand the movement and we will help to keep you safe.

As the 3rd week of summer session comes to a close I have been doing a lot of reflecting. I started my journey to become an instructor last September. Up until that point I had strictly been a stay at home mom. I thought that was what I had always wanted. My husband and I had decided on that well before we had a child. I went into that experience with an open mind and open arms.

I had never experienced being a working mom at all. My whole world revolved around my son. Everything I did 24/7 was about him. I never knew anything different. That was fine. I was happy and content. Or at least that is what I thought. Then I started my training. After the classroom portion was over I started my training hours. That was time consuming, but it still wasn’t “working” in my book. I went according to my own schedule, when I could fit it in. I mostly did evenings and weekends when my husband was home. An hour or two at a time. I was busier and out and about a bit more than the previous two years. Still, I didn’t really know the different feeling until 3 weeks ago.

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This morning I started thinking about how I have been feeling. Which has been great. I am super busy. Always busy. I should be cleaning the kitchen right now, but decided to take a few moments this afternoon for myself. I am constantly back and forth to the studio. There in the morning and even coming back in the evenings at times. Working 5-6 days a week. They are not 8 hours in a row days, but like I said I am back and forth. The thing is, I am less stressed now that I was before I started working. How is that possible? I think because I have this thing that is uniquely mine in my world. I am doing what I love.

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He is my Pilates protege!

I find that the time I DO have with Jack, I cherish it more. I spend that time more engaged with him. Playing, coloring, laughing, etc. Not that we didn’t play before. But honestly sometimes you just want a break and you have to veg out and let them do the same. Or you are multi tasking and they aren’t getting your attention. I am sure these moments still happen, but I feel they have been less. I find I miss him, so when I do see him I want to soak it up. I have more patience for him in general. I do not feel totally burnt out at the end of each day. I get this adult connection. Sure, I talk about my son and husband  A LOT in my classes and with my clients. They still are my world and own the biggest piece of my heart, but I am speaking to other adults. I am sharing stories, listening to their stories, spending time outside of the home.

Teaching him to rock climb

Teaching him to rock climb

I never knew that being a working mom would feel this good. I do not think I was miserable as a stay at home mom, but I definitely reached the end of my rope a lot quicker each week and sometimes each day. I feel as if my life has more balance now, even if I am busier than ever. I know that if I ever lose my mind and decide to have a second child I will not go back to being a stay at home mom. No, I will take some sort of maternity leave and then be back at it. I love the place we send Jack for school, which also has day care for the littles. I would continue at this place. It really helps that I am so happy with the school we chose for Jack. He loves it. That also helps. He talks about his teacher constantly. We kept him home the other day, due to a terrible storm and flooding. He was mad when he woke up and found out that he wasn’t going to school that day. That makes a difference. He loves where he is, I love where I am. I would also miss teaching after too long. I guess for me it is easier to feel this way because my work is my passion in life. My wonderful boss did not let me tip toe into work. She threw me in the deep end right away. Which is nice. I have been getting private clients and covering shifts for other instructors when needed. I don’t dread the extra hours. Actually, they fly by rather quickly.

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Life is good. I am happy. I LOVE being a working mom. I feel like I fit right into where I am supposed to be in my life. I feel like maybe I should have done this sooner. It didn’t work out that way because I needed to find this studio and attend classes there. Then I needed to get that email about teacher training. I just know now, that despite what I thought, I wasn’t meant to always and only be a stay at home mom. No, I was meant to be a working mom. Working at the career I love and truly am obsessed with. Teaching Pilates has been the best decision I have made as a mother. I truly believe that.

It is a big day for me. I am crossing the finish line. Today, at 3pm I will have completed all of my student/practice teaching hours for Reformer. To top it off, tonight at 7pm, I will teach my first client after crossing that threshold. I will actually be training my mom at 7pm. Which makes that session even more fun.

There were many times I wasn’t even sure this moment would come. I have been done with the training classes since February and now we are in June. It took a while, that happens when you have a life, a family, a husband, a child, and such.

I have had a lot of great moments on this journey. I have also had a lot of tough ones. Moments where I was not sure I was even making the right decision. I have been constantly encouraged by those around me. My husband, my mom, my best friend, and my master teacher, they all told me I can do this and I should do this. Where would we be without our support system? This may be my accomplishment, but I would not have gotten here without the ones I love telling me to keep on trucking.

I assume I will have many wonderful classes after this point. I also assume there will be days where the class just didn’t click or something wasn’t awesome. I am aware not everything will be sunshine and butterflies merely because I finished teaching hours. But I can look back knowing that I did this work. I know the work. I busted my butt to become a Pilates teacher (wow, that feels good to say!) I am a Pilates teacher!!!!

My biggest challenge has been confidence in myself. It has been hard to overcome it. In some ways I am still slightly less than confident in myself. Why? I am not sure. I think it is partly my nature. I have been told repeatedly that I know the work. I know what I am teaching and what I am talking about and I need to remember that as I am in front of each and every class. My master teacher and other instructors have said these words to me. Monday night was a turning point for me. Last Tuesday, over a week ago, I had a rough class. One thing after the other went wrong. It was awkward. I was discouraged. I had a long talk with my master teacher on Friday. I went in to work on  more hours and we also discussed where I was. I was a bit frustrated as I left on Friday. Very mad at myself. I had Saturday and Sunday to get it together in my brain. I had all of Monday to feel that confidence. I went back to teach Monday night. I nailed it. I left my home telling myself I could and would do this. She was very pleased with how confident I was. I was pleased with myself. So that is what it feels like! She told me time and time again, that I know the work. I spent countless hours in class learning. I spent countless hours outside of class studying, teaching, prepping, practicing, and thinking about Pilates. I have to walk into that room and have that in the back of my mind. I did. It worked.

I am young. 28. The studio is not a young crowd. A lot of women and men who could even be my mom and dad. I think that is part of my own personal hurdle. I had/have to get past that feeling. I cannot care if they think I am young. If I bring it, they will know I mean business. I am aware of that now.

On that same note, the very fact that I am 28 and completing this journey means that I have a very long career in Pilates ahead of me. To think, when I am only 38, I will have been at this for 10 years. 10 years of teaching Pilates under my belt before I am 40. That is an exciting thought! I started my Pilates journey in high school with Mat work. When I was about 16 or 17. I was instantly drawn to it. I have always thought it was the bees knees and way better than Yoga. Yoga just always bores me. I have tried a lot. But after that 1st Pilates class my mom took me to, I was in love. So there we are. My mom took me to my 1st Mat class and I will be instructing her for my very first Reformer class after finished my student teaching hours. Full circle in some ways.

Here is to a new adventure and a long career doing what I love. A long career that is my total passion.

It finally happened! Last week we closed on our home and moved in the following day. We have been here since Friday. It is lovely. I am so happy it is ridiculous. This has been a lengthy process and both my husband and I feel this tremendous weight that has been lifted. It is truly our dream home. So much so that I find myself not actually wanting to walk out of the door. I could just stay in it all day every day.

Jack has adjusted phenomenally. The first night he woke up once and then fell back asleep without us having to go in there. Since then, nights have been fine. He already calls it home when we pull in the driveway. He has made himself rather comfortable with everything around the house. We have it easy with him. Transitions for him have always been a piece of cake. He just seems to do really well going from one step to the other.

I have my very own Pilates room. I have big plans for it over time. Adding a Reformer, a large mirror, and maybe a barre. But for now it is my own little place of solitude and I am content with that.

Workout organization

Workout organization

Pilates Room

Pilates Room

I still have unpacking to do, but we have knocked out a major portion of it. This room below is so peaceful and truly one of my favorite in the house. My mom helped me finish unpacking it this weekend. I also took a trip to Crate and Barrel for extra accent pieces. Even Jack (and our cat as you can see) loves being in this room.

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I have tons of photos of the home already. I won’t bog this post down with them though. That is what my personal facebook has been for. I am just so excited and in love I can barely contain myself from posting things constantly. I didn’t write about the whole experience but it was quite an ordeal. When your attorney tells you this is the most complicated home sale he has ever done, you know that things are crazy! Our attorney isn’t 27 or anything either. He could be our parent. So, being closed, done, and homeowners of our total dream home feels amazing. It makes us both so happy. It has reduced so much stress in our daily lives. I don’t even think I realized HOW much this had been stressing us both out. Now we can enjoy our home, our little family, and our lives together for many many MANY years here.

 

I have a ton to write about. I have a ton of updates in my life. Our internet has been screwy. One reason I cannot wait to move. There is not much you can do about that when you are renting. When you own, well my husband can hunt and hunt until he finds the problem. He thinks the issue is at the source of the connection. I have my iPad and iPhone, but I don’t like trying to write out a post on those. I do not type quite as quickly as I do on a good old fashioned keyboard.

So what has been going on?

My obsession with the Wunda Chair grows each day. This morning, I cannot recall the last time I took a day off of working out. I think that means I should skip today. We shall see.

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Jack started preschool last week! TWO days a week. It was a crazy feeling. I was so excited for him to learn. I was a bit excited to have some time to get things done. I was sad that he is growing. I felt so guilty. My guilt increased when he cried both mornings and begged me not to leave him. BUT both days, after I left, he calmed down and had a great time. Both days when I picked him up he said “GREAT DAY!” On the first day, I bawled when I got into the parking lot and on the phone with my husband. I felt so awful seeing him so upset. I have been feeling VERY guilty for sending him in the first place. I feel like a crap mom.

I have been a stay at home mom for going on 2 1/2 years. I dedicate myself entirely to this boy. Now that I am ready to embark on my career (I even have SIX classes on the summer schedule), I needed to find some time during the day to work. As parents, we decided together Jack was ready for socialization with his peers, so we picked an early preschool program instead of an in home nanny. Yet, I still feel like I am doing him a disservice because for a couple hours a week I let him go learn and play with others. I know it makes no sense, but it is how I feel. It does help to hear about his day through him when I pick him up. He even made me a Mother’s Day gift at school! It was the best gift ever! This school gives us daily updates, emails, photos, and progress reports. Even what times his diaper was changed, how he ate, how his mood was. It keeps me involved without actually being there. Jack is super attached to me. Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and I still had to change every single diaper because he flips out if I am around and my husband tries to do it. He is a momma’s boy. So this has been a transition for the both of us. I think it will prove to be great, I already see sparkles of that after 2 days. It is just a matter of me getting my irrational guilt in check.

Check out some photos from his first 2 days!

Jacky's very 1st day!

Jacky’s very 1st day!

 

Cooking some food on his 1st day

Cooking some food on his 1st day

 

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After his 1st day was over. Too cool for school 😉

 

Making some art on his 2nd day

Making some art on his 2nd day

 

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My Mother’s Day gift!

We close on our new home on Thursday. Yes, as in 3 days from this post! That has been a big contributor to the insanity in our lives. We are swamped. Plus our landlord has listed our current place for rent, so we have had showings. While packing I also have to keep the house pristine and in showing conditions! Last week we stopped by the house for some quotes on some repairs on the pool.

We took some time to take a couple photos of the new place. We are so excited for this adventure to come to a close (pun intended) this week.

In our backyard

In our backyard

 

Making himself at home by our pool

Making himself at home by our pool

The only reason I have time to write all of this today is because I am taking a day off of working out. I do have to take Jack to swim lessons this morning. Tonight I am teaching 2 Reformer classes. I have to prep a bit for those, even though I am pretty sure I know what I am doing anyway. I should clean up the living room too because it is a disaster after a Mother’s Day lego session yesterday. This was my 3rd Mother’s Day. It feels crazy to say that! I can’t believe I have 3 under my belt already!

Mother's Day 2013

Mother’s Day 2013

This might be the last post for a while. We plan to move everything Friday if we can. Which means we will probably have our first somewhat settled night in the house on Saturday. AH! Craziness. June is going to be nuts for us. We always have a lot to do. Our wedding anniversary, my husband always has a conference in the beginning of June so he is gone for a few days, plus there are always tons of family parties and/or weddings. My summer session begins June 9th. I will try to update though, especially about the new pad.

I hope everyone is doing well. I hope Mother’s Day was great!

 

Happy Pilates Day!!!!! Yes, if you didn’t know, today is Pilates Day. Yesterday I hit up Lululemon with all my gifts cards and birthday cash. My birthday was April 30th. I was showered with Lulu items and gift cards, plus some cash. I also get a discount because I am an instructor. I made out like a bandit. I had to exchange a run skirt my parents got me for a different size. I got that, 2 pairs of crops, and 2 tanks.

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not my new Lulu gear 😉 I just don’t have a current photo of myself in some Pilates position

Jacky picked out one of the tanks. We were browsing the tank wall. He grabbed this gorgeous blue tank and said “this one” I tried it on and I loved it. I will forever think of my little man when I wear it. I love that little boy.

So today I will wear my new Lulu gear and do a chair workout. Since my husband is home I plan to get in a longer workout. I have to truly celebrate the day, right?

I am not teaching today. Oh well. I thought I would get in there today, but it didn’t workout. Thankfully I was able to get in to teach earlier in the week. I only have 8 hours of Reformer left! WOOO HOOOOO!!!!!! I am also celebrating because I will be getting my very own clients soon. The studio is doing a Living Social for private sessions. I am going to be one of those instructors. Which means, hopefully, I will begin building my very own client base.

Happy Pilates Day!!! Will you be celebrating?

I passed the halfway point of my Reformer student teaching hours. I have been in the studio every Saturday morning teaching at least one class. I am really excited to have reached this point. I have 9 hours left! That really is not that much. I could do it very quickly if I wanted to get it all done in one week. It is no secret that my full time job is still a stay at home mom. Until we have him in his preschool program, Saturdays are my time to teach. I have to make a decision by today regarding preschool. I will know by the end of the day about how much longer this will take.

As each class ends I feel more confident in my teaching, authority of the subject matter, and myself. I have had a few bumps. Clients who are not happy that the newbie has been teaching. It is what it is. It hurts me, because I am about as hard as a cloud. I keep on keeping on though. I mostly vent to my mom, husband, and bff about it. They listen unconditionally and encourage me to brush it off. They know I am a sensitive soul.

All I do is make sure that I am giving my best when I am in front of those clients. If I leave and I know I did that, then their responses really can’t bother me too much. If I just was standing around doing nothing, not trying, and not giving my all, then well that really would be on me.

I have received a lot of positive feedback though too. I have started to learn about the different clients we have in the building. Their needs, wants, physical abilities, personalities, and restrictions. This past Saturday was my 3rd time teaching a specific class. I was asked to come up with a whole new class since this was week 3. Weeks 1 and 2 were different but I decided to really change my focus. I came up with some challenging moves. I walked in the building and the Reformers were filled with new students! You can switch around if you have to, and this class happened to have that happen. There were a few of the regulars that I have had, but there were about 3  new ladies. I spoke to another instructor and quickly adapted my plans. I used some of the things I had planned. I winged others. I did it. I think it went well. The lady who loves hard work and extra spring load had to get up to take off her hoodie at one point. I took that as a good sign. If she was hot and sweaty, then I was doing my job.

I am excited to continue. I am excited because I have been offered a lot of opportunities. As soon as I know my schedule my boss/master teacher will be giving me regular classes and privates! I will have my own clients to work with weekly. I won’t be subbing jumping into an already established class that is used to someone else. I am looking forward to that. It is making this preschool guilt a little easier. Just a smidgen though.

I flew over a huge hurdle yesterday! I had been asked to sub for another Pilates instructor. Three Reformer classes needed to be covered. 8:30, 9:30, and 10:30 in the morning. A Saturday morning. Saturdays are busy at my studio. I said yes. I decided to just go ahead and do it. I knew my master teacher would be in the building. I just wouldn’t have another instructor sitting by free to help or answer my questions. I have always had that crutch to lean on. Also, I have never taught three classes in a row. I considered all of this after I had been asked. My parents happened to be over. I discussed it with them and my husband. The consensus was that I needed to do this. I was capable of doing this. I am meant to do this. “Rip the band aid off” is my husband’s favorite phrase. He told me to do just that.

I am SO glad I did. It went really well. There were no major issues or hiccups. I got a lot of positive feedback. From my master teacher/boss and from the clients. I love the Mermaid. I love it on the Mat, Reformer, and Chair. There is rarely a day that goes by where I don’t do some version of the Mermaid. I included it in my classes yesterday. I had a few clients rave about it. Saying they had never done it before. They LOVED it. I explained my passion for the position. They replied that they think it needs to be in every class they take. Well, I think it is safe to say I have found my signature move at this studio. “If you take a class with Nicole, you will more than likely do the Mermaid in some way!”

frontsplits

Me!

I feel so empowered. I know that practicing Pilates can empower you. I have been empowered by it. I am empowered by it. Teaching Pilates can also empower you. Being able to help people. Seeing them find the work. Listening to them tell you how great that move felt on their body. Lately, every time I leave the studio after teaching a class I am riding on this high. I feel so great, happy, energetic. I am not even working out. I am just working. I am doing what I was born to do. I left after my last class and drove home. I thought along the way, this is clearly what I was born to do. This is my career. I have never been so sure of that in my life. Besides being a mom. I always knew I wanted to get married and have a family. Other than that I  have never quite made up my mind. Nothing made me feel this way. Nothing until I started teaching Pilates. I am about halfway through my Reformer teaching hours for certification. Chair will likely be conquered in the fall when my boss adds more chairs and then adds some chair classes. I love Chair. I own one and I practice on it pretty much daily. I know a lot of people loathe it but I feel that is because it is intimidating. It doesn’t have to be. It can be so tailored to a client that gradual increase in strength can be achieved  I also have a potential offer from my boss to teach at Lulu on Saturday mornings. If it does happen it is supposed to start in early May. It is not 100% yet but I am excited that she even thought of me to do that. I will bring the same passion I just wrote about along with me to the store. I will turn people on to the love of Pilates. I will hopefully be able to convince new people to walk into the studio that is my home.

It feels good to find your place in the world. I have found mine. I am Nicole. I am a mom, a wife, and a Pilates instructor.

What/who are you?

I did a really great thing for myself yesterday. I got back into the swing of things with Pilates. Not practicing Pilates on my own. I haven’t missed a beat with that. No, I am talking about student teaching to get all of my hours for my certification. I had been on a break of sorts. I was just dealing with so much in my personal life that something had to give. With the home buying nonsense, my grandpa passing away, having a toddler, my IBS flaring up from all the stress, and injuring my neck, I was constantly spent.

The last thing I wanted to do was stand up in front of a room of people, not feeling confident at all, and try to safely guide them through physically demanding moves. No. I was not up for that. I spent all day giving my best to my son. I couldn’t put him on the back burner. No matter how depressed I was over my grandpa, I couldn’t mope around all day not caring for my child. So, by the time my husband got home at night I was just exhausted. There was nothing left to give.

I started to feel better last week, slowly but surely. Then, the weather started to warm up. We went to the park about 3 times in a week’s time! Ah, glorious sunshine and fresh air will do anyone some good. I went back in yesterday to student teach a private session with my amazing teacher. It felt ah-maze-ing to get in there and do this. I felt so great afterward. I am ready to get back into this. I am ready to finish what I started. I am ready for life to continue on.

I needed my mourning period. I am by no means over it. I never will be. Grandpa randomly crosses my mind regularly. I will be doing the most simple thing and suddenly some memory will flood back. I also got very attached to being around Jack. I have barely let him out of my sight since this time last month, actually. Other than one sleepover at my mom’s home. I think she needed that as much as I needed to take a break from student teaching. Clinging to this life that I created just felt right and safe. Looking at his cute little toddler feet, watching the way he plays with his toys, listening to his HUGE vocabulary, and just taking in his face, were the places I wanted and needed to be. The thought of being away from him several nights a week was just not something I wanted to actually go through with. Even if some days I felt like he was driving me crazy. I just didn’t want to miss a thing.

Death is a funny thing. Dealing with it and trying to put your own life back together can be tricky. I have been to a good share of wakes and funerals. This was by no means my first. But they were always more distant relatives. Not what I consider an immediate relative. It was different this time. It has been hard. Bottom line. How long should one mourn? There is no definitive answer to that. I cringe at the thought that if I ever have another child my grandpa will not have met that baby or even know about his/her existence. I hate that. A baby is not a big priority on my list, but I have thought about that scenario. Does that mean if I actually decide to have a 2nd that I shouldn’t? No. Because life does go on. The living have to keep living. Keep loving the loved ones we have with us while remembering the ones we have lost. I just squeeze my little man a little tighter and rub his hair a little more and kiss his toes just one more time.

It was time to get back to my life that I worked really hard to achieve. I put so much time and effort into training to teach and to be derailed much longer would just be a waste. My grandpa would not have wanted me to waste my talents. That much I know.