Ah, the first fine spring day, early evening. Every little while, between the sounds of low-flying jets overhead, parents calling out to kids, and dogs barking, I can hear birds singing. I look up at the blue sky through the leaves and pretend I’m in the country.
I’m not, though. I’m in New York City, face up on a yoga mat under the trees near the reservoir in Central Park, with a few other like-minded spandex-clad Pilates devotees. We are, being taken through our paces by Jana from CoreFitness. She’s very nice, but she’s a taskmaster nonetheless. O.K., it’s a lovely setting, but hey, this is hard work, keeping my legs at a 30˚angle off the ground, pumping my arms, breathing four counts in and four counts out. I’m sweating. Dear Lord, make it stop!
But Jana won’t let us stop until the hour is up. We must stabilize; we must align; we must strengthen our core. Isn’t that what Pilates is all about?
And as much as I bitch about it to myself going through it, I wouldn’t want her to. Because when we are done, I feel so good, so strong, so…what’s the word? Oh, yeah – fit! And that’s what I came here for, right, to get fit? Isn’t that what I told her I wanted when I signed up?
I walk back from the park thinking about it. There’s a reason I like teachers like Jana; teachers who know their stuff, who are friendly and warm, but won’t take any crap. I like teachers like her because that’s the kind of coach I am – a sometimes demanding taskmaster who likes to laugh and have fun, but who works her clients hard; who won’t let them stop until they achieve what they tell me they want to. Until, as leaders and communicators, they stabilize, and align and strengthen their cores. So they can feel confident. So they can get clear about their messages and craft them well; so they can face any audience, and influence them and feel really good exercising those muscles. So that after they work with me, they have lasting skills that they can use anytime, anywhere, no matter where they may go next.
Yes, that’s good. That is what I teach – Pilates for the Soul: Core Strengthening. Thanks, Jana, for helping me realize it!
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