(Best Grainy Picture Ever!)
Yay to me! Yesterday was my 100th day of Pilates in a ROW. It started off as a 30-day challenge, then turned into 40, 50, 60, and you know the rest. No, I hadn't always been a self-motivated or super athletic person. I wasn't totally out of shape or desperately looking for ways to lose weight, either. I was like a lot of people, trying to stay healthy and adequately active, but finding it hard to do so due to the lack of inspiration, passion, and most importantly, self-discipline. I took the first Pilates class of my life at Humani, on April 25th this year. Having lunch with a friend afterwards, my hands were still too shaky from the workout to hold the utensils, which surprised me a little. Like I said, I didn't consider myself to be out of shape. I did yoga, swam, took walks and had an Elliptical machine at my disposal. How could fifty minutes of introductory Pilates make me look like an alcoholic undergoing a withdrawal? I can't say I was hooked at that point, but I was intrigued enough to book more classes.
Oh how I must have looked so clueless and awkward during the first few weeks. But the more I did it, the more I enjoyed it. Pilates awakened some really deep muscles that might have been dormant since my birth. Feeling those muscles working for the first time was a bizarre sensation. (And yes, soreness was inevitable!) The positive effects of my Pilates practice went beyond the physical level, though. It mitigated my anxiety-prone temperament and increased my focus, which enabled me to be more productive in my creative works. What I also found so incredible were all the things we could do on the reformer--the bed-like equipment rigged with pulleys, straps, a foot bar and adjustable springs--designed by Joseph Pilates himself. We ran. We skated. We balanced upside down. We swam breast strokes. We did grasshopper push-ups. We rowed. We did (or mimicked) all those exercises and many more on the reformer. Strenuous? Yes. Intimidating? Yes. Boring? Never.
I embarked on my 30-day challenge in June, very skeptical whether I would be able to make it. But well, I did. Plus 70 more days! Lesson learned: never underestimate your own body. So am I a superwoman? Not at all. I accomplished this because I simply enjoy Pilates. I've been attending classes with the similar feeling as going to my favorite restaurants or visiting my best friends. When you're passionate about something, self-discipline will happen naturally. Even when your abs are quivering and your quads are burning and you're secretly cursing the instructor, you know you'll walk away with a sense of triumph and later be hungry for more.