On my belly, army crawling in complete darkness other than the lone beam of light coming from my head and I hear Tyler say, “Mom I think I found gold!” Lots of thoughts were going through my head at that moment…like:
Can I really fit through there? What if the cave collapses? I hope I don’t smash my phone that is in my front jean pocket. I wonder if anyone every gets stuck? I wonder how many spiders are around me that I can’t see.. I bet I’m going to have a lot of random bruises tomorrow… How do I keep moving forward without smashing my head on the cave ceiling…I hope the batteries don’t die in this headlamp…I wonder what I’m actually grabbing as I pull myself forward?…good thing I have gloves on…
I was trying to ignore all the things going through my head and just asked,” so you were able to sit up eventually?” Ty answers with an excited “yes there’s lots of room back here!” So I keep going and eventually come to a small opening where I could sit up. I wouldn’t have said there was lots of room, but there was enough room for 3 of us to sit and shine our lights on the intricate cave walls that had some beautiful gold color in them. We chatted about how amazingly cool it was and how great it felt to just sit for a moment. Tyler was beaming and so excited…this was his idea of a perfect day…cave exploring with his mom and dad! If you are a parent you know…moments like these are priceless.
The way out of that first cave (we explored 13 different caves that day!) was just as challenging as going in, maybe a little more so because I had crawled out head first and then had to figure out how to maneuver my body near the entrance so that my feet could lead me out. There was a 3 or4 foot climb to get back to solid ground still and of course there were some people standing there watching at the entrance. I found myself saying in my head so many times…it’s a good thing I do Pilates!! As we spent the day hiking and splelunking there were so many moments when I knew that my body was able to do the things it did, I was able to have the moments with my son…because of my Pilates practice!
All this cave exploring had me reflecting on how grateful I am that I found Pilates as a way to train my body for life! In my younger years I worked out because I liked a challenge, because I was part of a team, because I wanted to fit into a certain size or shape, or because I wanted to lose weight. These days I workout simply because I want to have energy, strength, flexibility and mobility in my body that allows me to live my life to the fullest. I want to enjoy doing things with my kids, I want to get outside and enjoy things like hiking and exploring and I want to feel good in my body no matter what I’m doing!
Here’s just a few ways that Pilates has prepared me for spelunking and anything else my body wants to do:
- Pilates has taught me how to engage muscles and move my body in ways that keep me safe and I don’t get injured. Things like simply knowing how to engage my core muscles, keeping good alignment throughout various movements and coordinating breath to help me move better..all come in handy when you are doing new movements in life or even in situations where you could potentially hurt yourself if you weren’t paying attention to how you moved.
- Pilates gives me confidence that my body has the flexibility, mobility and strength to do things in life…like crawl through caves! Pilates exercises move your body in a variety of ways (side bending, twisting, arching, etc.) and since I know my body can do that stuff when I’m practicing Pilates I am confident that I can put myself in a different environment (like crawling through a cave!) and safely do those same movements!
- Pilates has taught me how to pay attention to my body and do things “my way”. I know that that different bodies move in different ways and instead of trying to do an exercise so I look like someone else, the best thing to do is to do it in a way that is appropriate for my body. It has taught me how to create my own movement strategies! When I was cave exploring this gave me the confidence to trust my body and climb and move in a way that felt right for my body and not just look at my 13 year old son and copy what he was doing (because his strategies might not have been the best for my body!)
Looking for an exercise practice that helps you live life better and helps you prepare for whatever fun adventures you want to take? We would love to introduce you to Pilates! Contact us today to learn more about scheduling a complimentary private Pilates session to see if Pilates is a good fit for your life!