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Reason #47 Why I love Pilates


It’s not often I feel graceful when moving about during my day. I’ve always been athletic, graceful… not so much. Twice daily I bash my leg into the foot bar of the reformer. I don’t fall frequently, but there are a lot of near misses. I often drop things, especially things that

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shatter or scatter or both, crackers, pretzels, cereal, powdery items of any kind, and a particularly lucky day a glass, plate or bowl. Time is closing in on our tenth wedding anniversary, only three plates remain from the twelve place settings we received as gifts. We can host a cereal party of eight without raiding the cabinet of Tupperware. How my kids survived infancy without a head injury is beyond me. I can’t even speak gracefully, mix up rights/lefts, don’t count. I went to college for a long time. A loooong time. I’ll pause while my siblings crack the usual “those who go to college for seven years…” jabs. Okay, moving on. During those long undergraduate and graduate years, I learned a lot. PT school failed me in two areas, one was learning right from left and the other was the ability to count past two. Sometimes I just stop talking mid-sentence or trail off. I’m really selling my teaching abilities here. Despite all that, my clients seem to understand what I want from them and keep coming back.

When I’m finished dropping things and tripping over my feet and words, and get a chance to hop on the reformer or roll out a mat, the clumsiness floats away. A more graceful Jamie

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emerges. I feel my inner ballerina surface from her deep hiding place. That ballerina takes control of my limbs and kicks robot Jamie to the curb for a brief while. Ahhhhh, this bod does possess the ability to move in a way that doesn’t resemble Elaine dancing on Seinfeld.

Last week, I exited my little Pilates room and took off for a jog. I headed west on Nifong and before I reached Bethel, I rolled my right ankle for absolutely no reason. No pine cones, rocks, cracks in the shoulder of the road, animal carcasses, stray sandwiches. Ankle just gave out. This happens from time to time. I sprained that ankle quite a few times playing soccer in college and I’m pretty sure the ligaments on the outside are torn or so stretched that they cease to provide any stability whatsoever. So no pain, no injury to the ankle. However, the rest of me overcompensated and I went down. Ballerina Jamie took over with a shoulder roll to my left and I popped right back up, kept on running. I did a systems check to see if anything hurt, little scan to see if I tore any clothing, and a head swivel hoping no one noticed. Well at least two people saw it because each pulled over to see if I was all right. I assured them I was fine and went on to finish a 5 mile jaunt.

Clearly Pilates hasn’t cured my klutziness, although I haven’t taken a spill running since a

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softball game seven years ago shortly after the second kid was born. (That was a good one, too. Tried to leg out a double and my legs couldn’t keep up with my torso. Tagged out in the dirt between first and second base). Typically the movement patterns I’ve learned in Pilates

help me recoup before keeling over. It didn’t this time, but I attribute the graceful shoulder roll, intact ribs, and popping right back up to standing to endless mat/reformer hours. Still feeling good still several days later.

I decided shortly there after that this week’s classes would center on ankle stability.

#pilatesballerinagracestability

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