Well I have hung up my ballet shoes for 12 days, after the last ballet barre class of 2014!
I'll still be inhaling and exhaling for one more day doing my Pilates personal training with private clients keen to hone their bodies on Christmas Eve, as well as those who I have been working with remedially this year.
What a year. I have seen some astounding recoveries through my private work, and nothing is more rewarding than when someone who has had suffered hip, shoulder or back pain for years walk into the studio with a big smile on their face and say,
‘I wanted you to know I've had no pain this week, thank you!'
We’ve a funny attitude to exercise in the UK, while I have lots of Pilates enthusiasts in my regular classes, many people come to Pilates because they think they should, or have been told they should, and some even come in the door saying,
“I don’t really want to do this but I’ve been told I should.’
The first thing I ask myself is where’s the joy? Movement is such a wonderful thing, it frees not just the body but the mind also; it can relieve stress, express emotion as well as help to make your body feel great.
I’ve loved movement all my life, since my first ballet class at age 3, and cannot imagine a life without music and movement. Adding Pilates into the mix as I’ve got older has helped me stay fit, flexible and healthy at a time when I see many people starting to struggle with the stress of high pressured jobs and not enough time for their health and fitness.
It brings to mind one of my favourite quotes by American businessman, author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn,
‘Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live’
Taking a long-term approach to health and wellbeing is- for me -the only way. Why wait until something goes wrong with your body to start looking after it? Surely it’s better to maintain it with regular exercise and healthy eating. I say to clients ‘think of your body as a sports car, would you really drive it everyday and never check the oil level, tyre pressure or whether it has enough water in the radiator?’ Our bodies are no different; they need care, attention and listening too. And in return they will reward you with great performance even when they get a little rusty!
That said, now is the time to relax, recharge and take time out to really enjoy what you have.
I wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year. Here's to an even healthier, happier and fitter 2015.
A final word, may I say a BIG thank you for all your support in 2014, you've been tremendous!