Getting chosen last in the sports team…
I spent most of my adult life badly co-ordinated with chronic back pain, but Pilates helped me to change.
I’m writing this blog post as a beacon of hope – if you are the person whose back goes every time you try to get fit, I am here to tell you that you can change. It’ll take time, but greater change is possible than you realise. If I can change, you can too.
Here’s my story.
I was the kid who got chosen last for the sports team at school. I would stand there as everyone else was chosen. “Not Maureen” I would hear my classmates say. I was more of a liability than an asset as I just had no idea how to move. I was also late in learning to swim and took what felt like forever to learn to tie my shoelaces. As I started writing this, I felt a tightness of shame in my stomach and almost didn’t share it. It’s interesting how these things stick with us in such a visceral way.
Before I started teaching Pilates, I was reasonably fit, but still badly co-ordinated and I had chronic back pain. I was in a senior corporate job working long hours and carrying laptops on and off aeroplanes. This work pattern left me with a body that was inflexible and not responsive to learning.
I started Pilates to help my bad back. Pilates has been shown to be one of the most effective techniques for helping with chronic back pain. I did a little Pilates from which I fell in love with the technique and, with not much knowledge and lots of naivety, I signed up for one of the hardest teacher training courses I could find. Because of my lack of co-ordination and body awareness, my tutors had to go right back to basics for me and they had to go over things again and again. It was really hard.
But, I got there. By learning Pilates from first principles, I changed my confidence in movement and sport and rid myself of 20 years of back pain. As I approach my 50th birthday, I’ve just completed my first ultra marathon. I never could have believed this was possible of the kid that got chosen last in the sports team.
I am so proud of myself for taking this huge step. And I now get the pleasure of helping others like me to change their relationship with movement and their body.
Thanks for reading and please do share this story with anyone who you think could benefit. I truly believe that many more people could rid themselves of back pain if they truly understood how much change is possible with the right well qualified Pilates support.