Part 1: Nicole
Welcome to my blog! Let me start off by saying this blog isn’t all about thoracic extension! I’m a Pilates Teacher, with three children, a husband and a spaniel and I co-own a Pilates studio with my Mum in Sutton Coldfield.
Today I’m travelling to London for an annual two- day conference with Body Control Pilates - the organisation I’ve done all my Pilates training with. Preparing for the conference last night, I emptied the laundry of the mountain of clean clothes, played with the boys outside for a bit, packed my bag and I suddenly started to think SHIT I’m going to be judged for my lack of thoracic extension! I was built to walk like a baby elephant, I did ballet at three for my knock knees, and as an adult spent 10 years at a desk job. Today I still catch myself walking and standing badly despite my mums words ringing in my ears “lift your breastbone Bobba”.
I’ve spent eight years working on my own body as well as my teaching and I know I’ve come a long way. My body is in better shape now than in my 20’s. I’m stronger and fitter, but I long for the natural flexibility that I see all over Pilates Instagram posts and YouTube. The spinal extension, the hip extension, the hamstring flexibility and overall suppleness.
I love Nicole Scherzinger but I also hate her a little bit! A photo of her doing the splits upside down (exercise called walkover) on the Cadillac (a large piece of Pilates studio equipment) is haunting me! Because I know that I will NEVER be able to do what Nicole can! It’s not a matter of training and practice; I’m just not built like that. I know that many of the Instagramers doing back bends on the reformer are ex dancers. And most dancers are born not made. But I cannot help comparing myself with these people all the same! So if I’m making completely irrational and ridiculous comparisons between me and insanely naturally flexible people. Are my clients doing the same?
I think the answer is no... well I hope it is. Unhealthy comparisons of myself with others is one of my flaws and at 42 it’s difficult to shake! I really hope the people I teach are inspired not disheartened when they see beautiful movement in the studio. That they appreciate it for what it is. Just a lovely movement, not something to live up to. At the school Harvest service yesterday my eldest son read a prayer to the congregation. It ended... “help us build a brighter world where each of us can become the best that we can be.” I think that says it all. I am trying to be the best that I can be. What else is there?