The Day I Discovered Mindful Exercise

DSCN0397A Student Story:

My name is Becky Monroe, and I’m a student at Rivercity Pilates.   I’m also a blogger in my work and personal life.     Carey offered me a free class card for some Pilates Student Blogs, and I jumped at the chance.   I have been practicing Pilates since March 2014.   I’m not sure when my trips to RCP transitioned from workout to “a practice”, but I am starting to feel like I am practicing Pilates.   I generally take my private sessions and my classes in the early morning, before anything in my life can get in the way of my workout.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a really bad day at work.   There was one of those “let’s talk it out” calls, and the conversation seemed to focus on me not doing anything right.   No doubt part of what was said was true, as I realize there are two sides to everything, but I left that conversation feeling hurt and betrayed.    I choked back my tears, and tried to keep on keepin’ on.   I tried to keep busy after work, but the tears were always right there, right under the surface.    I didn’t sleep well, in fact I was awake until early morning.   I finally fell asleep just a couple of hours before my alarm went off for 6:30 sunrise class.   I considered going back to sleep, but I knew that sleep was unlikely.  I got up and got ready, and got back in the car.    Right then, all the feelings from the day before came rushing back.

When I drove into the parking lot at RCP, I couldn’t hold the tears in.   I considered driving to another parking lot and just sitting there to cry it out.   Yes, I know I take things too personally, but I think that also contributes to some of the good things I do.   I walked in, and got on my reformer, mostly without looking around.    As we started to do footwork, my brain was racing.

I’ve never tried to do a reformer workout when I was emotional.   Would I be able to do it?    I considered walking out, but I had the reformer in the back, and I didn’t want to walk by everyone.   My brain wasn’t even clear enough for me to remember that there was a back door.   Ok, concentrate.   Footwork.    Push out, pull in.   Don’t move your hips.    Breathe.   Inhale on the way out.   Exhale on the way in.   Do another one.    Ok.    Birds on a perch.    Wrap the toes and heals around the bar.   Out and in.  Stretch those heals.   Curl around the bar.   Inhale, exhale.   I didn’t want any thoughts to invade my head or my heart from outside the room.   Heals on the bar.   In and out.   Inhale, Exhale. Tendon Stretch.   Inhale. Exhale.  Maybe I can make it through.  

It was time for hundreds.   OH MY!    Can I make it?    As soon as I curled up — my ability to breath went away!  I read somewhere that you should try to inhale and fill the bottom of your lungs and then up.    My lungs felt like they were tiny, like baby sized lungs.   Focus.    I put my head down for a couple of breaths.    That helped a little.    Back up.   Baby lungs were still here.   What would I have to do to feel better?  

Short Spine was next.    Turns out, that short spine was the answer.    The first one I did — I must have looked like Gumby — and I’m sure Carey was wondering what was going on with me.   She didn’t say anything, and she let me work it thru, and I did that whole class, one breath at a time.   By the end of short spine, I was feeling like the tears had gone back into my tear ducts, and I could face the rest of the class.  When we got to the long box/short box — I had to concentrate — because I didn’t want to fall off the box, and I struggle with all those exercises on a good day.

When I got back into the car after class, I did feel the stress of the workday in front of me.   The stress hadn’t disappeared, but I wasn’t replaying that conversation in my mind over and over like a broken record.   Mindful exercise brought me past that “let’s talk it out” conference call, and brought me to the present moment.   To be perfectly honest, when people had talked about mindful exercise — I may have rolled my eyes and thought they just wanted to be teacher’s pet…….until I felt it myself.   I truly hope that you all will be able to feel that focus, without having a “let’s talk it out call”.      See you in class.   Come in the AM.   We have fun during mindful exercise!


in Motivation and Inspiration, Pilates Student Stories, What's so great about Pilates?

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