In my childhood I used to constantly do gymnastics of any kind. I was either on my hands upside down or hanging from a tree somewhere in the woods and always running or cart wheeling.
At the age of about 12 whilst training for a gymnastic competition I fell off a vaulting horse and landing flat on my coccyx and cracked it. I managed to continue my sports through school but always suffered from back pain.
I started working in my late teens and found the delights of high heels (wrong thing to wear with a bad back, I now know). Although I didn’t realise it at the time, these heels pushed my pelvis forward even more than the gymnastics had. It wasn’t long before I started to stoop and put even more pressure on my lower back.
I have always been very sporty and enjoyed going to the gym at least 4 nights a week, swimming afterwards, cycling at weekends and Yoga to name a few. With this disciplined routine came injuries but so determined was I to keep fit, I ignored all the warning signs.
It was when I was in my mid twenties when I prolapsed a disc in my lumbar.
The pain was excruciating and very debilitating. It took months to recover but only with the aid of an osteopath, kinesiologist and a physiotherapist.
It was the osteopath that recommended Pilates to me. Saying that he could continue to ‘fix’ me but without good core muscles I would probably hurt myself badly again. I knew nothing of Pilates then.
After the pain started to subside I decided to explore this Pilates word and found that it wasn’t so new after all and that thousands of people had managed to improve their back problems from taking up this exercise. Among other injuries and complaints they had rebuilt a body they could rely on again.
It only took a few sessions to get me hooked and realised very quickly that all the gym work that I had done over the years really didn’t suit my body anymore. I stopped going gym... it did take a little time to re-educate my mind to tell my body it didn’t need all that adrenaline to make it fit. I swim now to keep up my cardio fitness.
I had been doing Pilates for about one year and decided to look into training to become a teacher. After some research I chose Body Control Pilates as they have a very good safety record and high standard. I had already experienced the quality of their teachers so I signed up for the course.
Even though the training was thorough and hard work back in 2005, you never stop learning. My own development has lead me to the large equipment designed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920's/30's. These provide fundemental movements to any routine increasing to advance. This equipment is accessible to anyone with some Pilates knowledge and can vastly improve your strength and mobility.