A few months back (long before COVID-19 entered into our world), I taught a class that I called the “we can do hard things class”. I started class talking to my crew of Pilates Mat students and told them about how I really believe that having a physical movement practice where you push yourself is so empowering in your life.
When you commit to working out on a regular basis, when you commit to doing something because it’s good for your health even when you don’t really want to do it, when you do the last rep or two even though your body really is tired and wants to skip it….you remind yourself that you can do hard things. You remind yourself that even though your mind is telling you that you can’t possible do one more…you actually can! You remind yourself that you always have a little more to give when it feels like you don’t. I reminded everyone that doing hard things never means we do something that could injure or hurt us, we always want to be safe in our body…but it does mean that you push yourself when your mind is telling you it would be ok to stop or not give it your all!
Wondering what hard things we did in class that day? We simply did Pilates. We practiced the entire Pilates mat sequences of exercises from start to end. We practiced transitioning on each exercise, we practiced not giving ourselves rest in between exercises even when we really wanted to rest, and I reminded everyone (a lot) about giving it their all throughout every repetition and every transition.
If you had been in the room you would have seen and felt a kind of amazing energy in the room as people pushed themselves and practiced hard things. It was my hope that their workout was more than just a physical workout. My hope was the next time that they had to do something hard in life, they would remember how strong they were. They would remember they always have a little more to give. They would remember they could do hard things.
This past week we had that class again, yet we weren’t together in a room. It was a virtual class and we were all at home simply connected by an internet connection. Based on what had been going on in the world, it felt like a good time to be reminded of the value of taking care of your body, the value of doing the things that are important for your health even if you don’t really want to, the value of reminding yourself you can do hard things.
For those in class that day that had already taken the “we can do hard things” class with me..I knew I wouldn’t need to say a lot for them to have an appreciation of their movement practice in their life. I knew I wouldn’t need to overly remind them of the value of pushing themselves in their movement practice. I knew that every single person in class had gone through hard things since I had seen them last. It had been a hard week for everybody and there was probably not a person who had not been affected by COVID-19.
So once again.. I reminded everyone of how important I think a physical movement practice is in empowering us in our life. I reminded them that I couldn’t see if they took a rest during class or decided to do a few less repetitions.. but I hoped that they would remind themselves…that they are stronger than they think and they can do hard things. I can’t say for sure…but I’m pretty sure my class pushed themselves that day, maybe even more than if they were at the studio, even more than if I could see their every move.
If you are taking virtual classes…I know it’s not quite the same as being in the room with an instructor. I know it’s easy to take extra breaks and not push yourself as hard. Maybe when you take class next you’ll remember this blog and remind yourself…there is so much value for you and your life when you do the hard things. Not only will your physical body be stronger but you’ll be more prepared to tackle any of the hard things that come at you in life just a little bit better!