I don’t know how many times people have said to me “Oh! You teach Pilates! I’ve heard good things about pilates (or you). It’s something that would be really good for me”. They explain their particular issues, I nod and smile encouragingly, explain what I do, and hand over my business card. I know that 9 times out of 10 I will never see that person in the studio.
Starting pilates classes is something that many of us want, and may say we need to do, but never get around to. Why do we not follow through? I’ve thought lots about what the barriers are. Here’s what I’ve come up with …
ONE: We fear the cost, both in time and in money
Adding something new to your already full life is hard to imagine. Where will you be able to carve out the time? How can you afford it? You can fill your life up with all the little things, the “have-tos” – cleaning the fridge, buying the dog food or going to another board meeting. Whereas a glorious weekend away with your best friend, knitting a toque for you significant other with rich, beautiful yarn or following through on looking after yourself in a meaningful way are great investments in your current and future mental and physical health and well-being. They enliven you, and and they still leave room for all those other “have-tos”.
TWO: We fear that we’re not up to it and we’ll fail or be hurt
“I’ve heard that Pilates is really hard.” or “I tried a video/class once and it just about killed me!”. If you have been intimidated by Pilates before, you had either the wrong teacher or you entered at a level that wasn’t right for you. Video instruction is also not the best way to start a new exercise program where proper technique and basic principles are key. Pilates can be strong or gentle, depending on the goals and specific circumstances of the student. You can only start where you are, and the best instructors have a range of exercises that will safely lead you into a better understanding of your body as you gain strength and confidence.
Ah, isn’t it always easiest to do nothing? Unfortunately, it’s also unsatisfying. Let a competent instructor or studio help you get moving. You invest money and show up at the appointed time. They take care of the rest.
FOUR: Fear of the unknown
Anything new is unknown. So often we would rather suffer with what we know than face the uncertainties of what we don’t. Check out your options. Talk to students of different studios or instructors. Word of mouth recommendations are gold. Check out website and social media accounts for studios. Find out if they specialize in something that is your area of concern. Talk to the instructor. Try an introductory session to get a feeling for the instructor, studio and Pilates method. And then if the fit is right, sign up!