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Patience and Persistence

November 20, 2020

I’ve been teaching Pilates for a long time and in that time I have gotten to observe a lot of different people and different bodies who come to Pilates and try it. On a daily basis, I get to hear from clients about how their Pilates practice has changed their life, made them stronger, helped them get rid of pain and allows them to move better in their daily life so they can live the life they dream of. Many talk about how Pilates makes them happier and keeps their body feeling happier.

I also see lots of people who are super excited to try it, enjoy it and can really see how it could benefit their life and then give it up. So what’s the key to being a Pilates success? How can you get what those happy people have, those people are feeling amazing in their body? It might be simpler than you think. The secret is patience and persistence.

Joseph Pilates said,” Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.”

What does it mean to be patient and persistent when it comes to your Pilates practice? I really think it comes down to showing up and not giving up. We live in what I like to call a “quick fix” world. Society has convinced us that you can buy a solution to any problem you have. We’re spoiled by the convenience of being able to walk into a store (pre-pandemic) or click a button online and have just about anything we want almost instantaneously. But so many things in life can’t be bought or obtained quickly, our health, our happiness, learning a new sport or discipline in your body, learning new eating habits, friendships and relationships.

The key to success in any of these arenas is consistent positive action taken over time. And when I say time I don’t mean the “6 weeks to a skinny you program” kind of time, I mean years (yep, years).

Think of that friend or two in your life who you can’t imagine doing life without. Did your friendship with them just happen overnight? How long have you known them? How many life experiences have you shared with them, and what do you do on a regular basis to connect with them? Are you or were you an athlete at some point in your life? How many practices did you attend? How many games did you win (and lose)? How long did you play that sport before you were feeling pretty accomplished in it? Do you have someone in your life who you admire because you feel like they are in great shape and they really take care of their body? My guess is if you ask them they have made a commitment in their life to make movement part of their life. They probably have a routine that they’ve been following; probably for years!

I can tell you first hand from my own life and from the clients I get to work with on a daily basis, the key to feeling good in your body, to getting results from your Pilates practice (or any movement practice) is consistency over time. Adding more movement into your life is not a hard thing to do, but as easy as it is to do….it’s just as easy not to do. Adding 5-10 minutes of Pilates based exercises to your day is pretty doable for everybody, and I guarantee that if you did that for 3 months, 6 months, or a year, you would feel an amazing difference in your body and your life. Taking even just one Pilates class per week over a year would change how your body feels when you look back a year from now.

When I observe those clients who have really embraced movement as part of their life, the ones who feel and see results from their movement practice on a daily basis I see a lot of the same characteristics, traits and habits.
Here’s just a few:

  1. Movement is not an option. Clients who are committed don’t give themselves the option of not doing it, even on the days when it would be just as easy not to do it.
  2. They come back after being sick, taking a break, etc. Everyone has stuff in their life and it’s pretty unrealistic to think that you would never miss your workouts or movement time, but the big difference between the successful and unsuccessful is they stick with it. If you sleep in and miss your workout, you get back to it the next day. Went on vacation and lounged on the beach for 2 weeks.. then you come back and get back into the routine. Had a few months where you were consumed with taking care of a loved one or maybe even something as tragic as a death of someone you loved…they come back and keep moving. During the pandemic, they found ways to stay moving by attending virtual classes, and adding in more movement at home during quarantine.
  3. They create a routine or schedule. Movement time is in the calendar, it’s as regular as eating lunch or brushing your teeth…again it’s not optional.
  4. They enjoy the process. They know that movement and exercise time for their body is not a quick fix for anything. They are able to see the big picture of health and happiness. They realize that their consistent habits will add up over time to things much bigger than fitting into their skinny jeans.. things like living longer, feeling good in their body so they can take amazing vacations or keeping up with their kids or grandkids…
  5. They surround themselves with like-minded people. Sticking with something is never easy and it’s even harder if all of your friends and family are unsupportive and don’t get what you are doing and why. Having a trusted movement teacher or trainer who is on your side can make a world of difference. Having a workout friend who is on the same path of trying to keep consistent can give you just the support and camaraderie you need. Having a place and space in your life to workout where you feel supported, loved and actually enjoy makes the process so much more fun and enjoyable and easier to stick with.

At Highway 54 Pilates we are passionate about movement and what an amazing health tool it can be in your life. Our staff is here because they love being “those supportive, like-minded people” in your life! Our staff is on the same life journey as you. We are on a daily journey to use movement in our life consistently so that we too can live our best life. Our daily interactions with our amazing clients inspire us in our own movement journey. The studio is our “happy place” and we really hope it will become yours too. If you are looking to add movement into your life, we would love to meet you and introduce you to the studio, our staff and all of our fabulous inspiring clients!