Emma has been doing Pilates for 20 years now and we’re so happy that we could hear her amazing and inspiring story, and get a deeper understanding of the ways it can positively influence your life. She has been pushing her limits week after week and so she’s continually gaining a greater understanding and connection to her body. As a result she has the confidence to continually try new exercises that challenge her strength and balance, some of which she can’t do perfectly straight away, but for her that’s all part of the fun and the journey!
“I realised the other day that I’ve been doing Pilates for 20 years which is a bit terrifying and I love it, I always say it’s a gift that became a habit. I started doing Pilates because I had an accident at work and I couldn’t walk unaided for a while, and my physio happened to be a Pilates teacher and she introduced me first of all to it and – I fell in love with it.
I love the routine of it, the discipline of it, the way it makes you understand your body better every time you do it. But it’s a particularly great gift if it becomes a practice for your life cos it completely transforms everything that you do. It transforms every exercise you do, but it also transforms how you sit, how you walk, and that’s basically because you become body aware.
The thing that happens when you go and see a doctor and they talk to you about your body and how it works – you know all that stuff if you do Pilates because you know what your body feels like, you know how your body moves, not comparing with anybody else. You know what your strengths are, what your weaknesses are, when you get ill you know what goes first – and that’s an incredible gift because it means you can do something about it.
It’s also an interesting thing because you can do exercises at home, and that’s interesting, but Pilates is really all about precision. It’s all about exact movements and repeated movements and very small movements sometimes. One of the funniest things in life is seeing really, really fit, big guys who think they’re incredibly strong do a couple of Pilates exercises, and let’s just say that it’s a comedy moment.
Pilates, for me, has just been part of my life for 20 years and it’s been one of the best things in my life for 20 years. It’s helped me recover from illnesses, it’s helped me get strong, it’s helped me with my routine and I’ve also had a big career change mid-way through my life. I always think Pilates helps you with learning, cos you never get frightened of learning because in Pilates you’re always starting again from scratch, there’s always something new to see and there’s always a new, wonderful trainer to work with and something new to learn from them. And that’s a great gift in itself because you understand that there’s nothing to be frightened about in starting from the beginning and building blocks on which you build, and when you’ve been doing it long enough you can always predict into the future and see what you’re movement is going to be like in 2 weeks, or a month, or a year and that’s very exciting.”