written by Carol Crincoli, Pure Pilates Director

The definition of Support. It’s a verb meaning “hold up” or “give assistance to.”  A noun meaning “a thing that bears the weight of something.” In Pilates, the springs on the Reformer or Cadillac support a student. The tension of the springs can be adjusted to allow the proper amount of assistance that may be needed in any given exercise. For me, as a student and a teacher of the method, understanding what is needed for my client or myself to feel supported in movement is more important than the exercise itself. To achieve the connection of the mind and body, I believe that you need to be present and it’s difficult to be truly present when you are not feeling supported. 

A wise woman reminded me a long time ago that in order to support others, I needed to support myself. So simple in theory; not so easy in practice. Lately, I have felt pretty good about how I have been taking care of myself, filling my resilience reservoir so I can show up for myself, my family, friends, team and clients. I know that it’s not about being perfect, but being consistent in self care is the key.

In my life, I find it’s always when you’re “on a roll” or “in the zone” when the universe throws a curveball. A cruel joke to see just how resilient you claim to be. I was put to the test recently when I injured my lower back and hip. The joke was on me and I was not laughing. The tears and the pain were real and I was aggravated that my self care routine that I was rocking out did not avoid this set back.

Supporting yourself not only requires consistency, but flexibility. And that is something I truly struggle with. In my teaching, I am a successful problem solver, able to tweak an exercise in the moment or change up my student’s workout after they walk into my studio and tell me they didn’t sleep last night.  In my world I like rules and I like routine so spontaneity is a personal challenge.

So, there was a bit of self pity and worry before I decided that I had no other option than to switch gears. I needed to find alternative ways to literally support my back and hip and soothe my worried mind. I had to be willing to make a shift and quick and be alright with not having all the answers to fix this.

Thankfully, there is nothing like physical pain to force one into being “present”. Dare I call this injury “a gift” from the universe. My body and mind came together as a team to assist me and my ego stepped aside so I could create spontaneity in my healing.

And this is what I learned:

  • My resilience reservoir was pretty full to handle this injury. Thank you self care routine!
  • There is nothing wrong with throwing a pity party for yourself. Just don’t make it a slumber party.
  • I am still a good teacher even when I don’t have 100% to offer.
  • I am human and there’s no hiding that from my family, friends, team and clients. They still love me.
  • Finding humor aids in physical and emotional healing.
  • And maybe, most importantly, in order to support others, I must support myself, but the true blessing is that when I support others, they are ready to support me in a moment’s notice!

As we approach the holiday season, I am grateful for being loved and supported! I wish you all the same.