“Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.” ~Joseph Pilates, Return to Life Through Contrology
After I put my 8yo son to bed last night and emerged from his room around 9:00pm, I remembered how many times I have read or heard how important an at-home practice is to sticking with the Pilates (or any) Method. Rather than putting on Netflix to fold the mountain of clean laundry, I decided to step into the office and focus on my Pilates studies instead.
This past weekend my family and I went to a store called Five Below for the first time. As it turns out, it’s similar to a dollar store, but with a $5 limit instead of $1. Needless to say, when I walked in and first saw their fitness display, I was in love! They had yoga/Pilates mats, magic circles (!!), foam rollers, resistance bands, gliders, medicine balls and even weights. I filled my basket with a bunch of inexpensive fitness items and left ridiculously excited to begin my at-home practice.
Patience and Persistence
For me, financials have proven to be a major barrier for me to both begin my certification process and attend classes at various facilities around town. I had signed up to begin my certification last fall, but with scheduling issues and then our family car breaking down, I had to practice my patience and keep the goal in mind.
Patience has never been a strong suit of mine, and since becoming a mother and wife of a full time artist, I have had my patience tested daily.
One of the best things about Pilates is that all you need is carpet, a towel or a mat and there are endless online videos to help you improve your practice. This is where persistence comes into play. If you don’t practice, then you will not improve. If you are not patient with yourself during that practice, you will not improve. Learning to be kind and patient with myself through this process so far has been humbling.
I created my Instagram feed (@BlueStarPilates) to keep myself accountable and have a sacred space dedicated just to Pilates/fitness since my personal account runs the gamut of bands, comedians, dogs and randomness. The accounts I have found so far have been incredibly inspiring and have helped me stay focused on my studies. I have also discovered some fun Pilates challenges like #MagicCircleMonday, #TeaserTuesday and #FoamRollerFriday.
With my new Magic Circle, I set out to try to make my first video last night to post on my feed for #MagicCircleMonday. Apparently though, the lighting in our office is not made for iPhone videos, so I scrapped that idea and decided instead to simply practice my beginner mat course workout instead. I’m glad I did.
While listening and following along to the beginner mat class, I remembered a discussion that I heard on the Thinking Pilates podcast about the classical order and finding a freedom in sticking with the traditional order of the exercises. Chantill and her guest mentioned that the benefit of working within a set order is that you learn what is expected within each exercise and then you can focus on perfecting different aspects each time. You can come to a greater mastery if you work within a certain framework because instead of focusing on learning a brand new move, you zero in on the minor details to perfect it, with persistence.
The best way that I know how to relieve my anxiety about my first upcoming certification weekend is to be as prepared in advance as I am able. I am confident that I will have the list all memorized by the first day and I know that I will emerge from that weekend a changed person, and I can’t wait!
Tell me Stars, what have you enjoyed about practicing your patience and persistence?
Until next time,