Giving Pilates a chance at 56! – Sandys Success Story

I began Pilates in February 2019 after being told by my doctor that my previous means of working out was breaking down my body.  My previous workouts consisted of boxing until my back gave out on me.  After healing, I did boot camp until, again, my back gave out and I then had back surgery.  After healing from surgery, I did another boot camp style workout and then switched to CrossFit.  I would come home from CrossFit and my body was in such pain (and not good muscle soreness pain).  My body was rejecting this aggressive style of working out.  My back pain and knee pain were horrendous.

In January 2019, at the ripe old age of 56, in an attempt to climb a rope to the ceiling of the CrossFit facility, my hamstring decided it had enough.  With my pulled hamstring, I hobbled home.  Following my doctor’s orders and shortly after the hamstring situation, I then began Yoga, in January of 2019.  I was quite surprised that my body did not care for Yoga.  I would experience pain (again, not a muscle soreness pain).

So, next up was Pilates.

I will be honest; I did not believe Pilates would be a strenuous enough workout for me.  Coming in on February 17, 2019, for the Pilates introductory class, I was very, very skeptical.   To my surprise, I could see how, if I focused on the proper muscles to be used for each specific exercise explained, this type of exercise could be greatly beneficial.  When I was told that many hospitals were adding Pilate’s studios for rehabilitation, I was sold.

I started slow, with only 4 classes per month.  I thought “I am tired of jumping all in, then coming home injured”, so against my normal routine, I started gradually.  My goal has always been to get 5 great workouts in each week.  After attending 4 Pilates classes per month, I realized very quickly it was not enough.  I really wanted more.  I increased to 8 classes per month only because I wanted to ease into this type of workout (this goes against my typical nature of jumping all in, but I knew I needed to change my behavior to avoid injury, to do things safely this time).  However, once again, I quickly realized I wanted more than just 8 classes per month.

I realize Pilates will provide me a safe, effective workout and I knew this is a perfect fit for me.

I love knowing I can do this for the rest of my life, without injuring myself. When not traveling with my husband, I always try to make 5 Pilates classes per week. It is incredible knowing I am doing something to make my body strong without injuring it.  My body is still a mess.  I need both knees replaced.  But what is great, is I do not come home in pain from an injury.  I have wonderful muscle soreness when I focus on the mind/muscle connection and use my body properly.

I guess I have quite a bit of a competitive nature in me.  My previous types of working out were very aggressive and, in my opinion, I felt I was competing against the others in class.  This aggressiveness caused me to push myself to the point of injury.  Pilates is not only great for my body, but it has been great for my mind.  I feel an incredible sense of calm while at each class and not a stressful competition.  I feel more centered, more at peace, therefore, Pilates is providing me literally a whole-body wellness; mind and body.

I never realized how much I needed the calm Pilates provides.

The instructors correct my form on certain exercises (such as squats) and I am shocked to notice the difference when using correct form (eliminating my back pain twinge I would feel from the incorrect form). For example, I have used TRX in the past and always hated it.  It hurt my back so badly.  Once the instructors began correcting my form, emphasizing utilizing my core muscles, did the TRX become something I enjoy! My back no longer hurts while doing TRX exercises.

I am so grateful for giving Pilates a chance.

My goal is to have a strong, flexible body long into old age.  I know Pilates will be my workout of choice until the day I die.  I firmly believe this.  In August while walking in front of my husband, as we were boarding a plane, he complimented my legs and on how they have improved in appearance.  You just can’t beat that! In addition to providing me a calm mindset, I am very excited to create a very strong core.

The instructors at the Naperville South studio are fantastic. Their knowledge and instructions are amazing. They have helped me so very much. I never realized the lack of proper form I had been using in the past until they corrected my form. I am eternally grateful for their knowledge, patience, and positive attitudes.

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