Practice, Patience and Persistence

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“Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.” ~Joseph Pilates, Return to Life Through Contrology

After I put my 8yo son to bed last night and emerged from his room around 9:00pm, I remembered how many times I have read or heard how important an at-home practice is to sticking with the Pilates (or any) Method.  Rather than putting on Netflix to fold the mountain of clean laundry, I decided to step into the office and focus on my Pilates studies instead.

This past weekend my family and I went to a store called Five Below for the first time.  As it turns out, it’s similar to a dollar store, but with a $5 limit instead of $1.  Needless to say, when I walked in and first saw their fitness display, I was in love!  They had yoga/Pilates mats, magic circles (!!), foam rollers, resistance bands, gliders, medicine balls and even weights.  I filled my basket with a bunch of inexpensive fitness items and left ridiculously excited to begin my at-home practice.

Patience and Persistence

For me, financials have proven to be a major barrier for me to both begin my certification process and attend classes at various facilities around town.  I had signed up to begin my certification last fall, but with scheduling issues and then our family car breaking down, I had to practice my patience and keep the goal in mind.

Patience has never been a strong suit of mine, and since becoming a mother and wife of a full time artist, I have had my patience tested daily.

One of the best things about Pilates is that all you need is carpet, a towel or a mat and there are endless online videos to help you improve your practice.  This is where persistence comes into play.  If you don’t practice, then you will not improve.  If you are not patient with yourself during that practice, you will not improve.  Learning to be kind and patient with myself through this process so far has been humbling.

I created my Instagram feed (@BlueStarPilates) to keep myself accountable and have a sacred space dedicated just to Pilates/fitness since my personal account runs the gamut of bands, comedians, dogs and randomness.  The accounts I have found so far have been incredibly inspiring and have helped me stay focused on my studies.  I have also discovered some fun Pilates challenges like #MagicCircleMonday, #TeaserTuesday and #FoamRollerFriday.

With my new Magic Circle, I set out to try to make my first video last night to post on my feed for #MagicCircleMonday.  Apparently though, the lighting in our office is not made for iPhone videos, so I scrapped that idea and decided instead to simply practice my beginner mat course workout instead.  I’m glad I did.

While listening and following along to the beginner mat class, I remembered a discussion that I heard on the Thinking Pilates podcast about the classical order and finding a freedom in sticking with the traditional order of the exercises.  Chantill and her guest mentioned that the benefit of working within a set order is that you learn what is expected within each exercise and then you can focus on perfecting different aspects each time.  You can come to a greater mastery if you work within a certain framework because instead of focusing on learning a brand new move, you zero in on the minor details to perfect it, with persistence.

The best way that I know how to relieve my anxiety about my first upcoming certification weekend is to be as prepared in advance as I am able.  I am confident that I will have the list all memorized by the first day and I know that I will emerge from that weekend a changed person, and I can’t wait!

Tell me Stars, what have you enjoyed about practicing your patience and persistence?

Until next time,

Morgan

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New Beginnings and My Story

you've got to bet on yourself now star

Since I was young, I have always been active.  All through school and into college I played field hockey, softball, skied/snowboarded, and made time for the gym off and on.  When I had my son at 26, I knew that my body would change, but what I didn’t anticipate was the pressure I would put on myself regarding my post-baby body.  All my life I have been petite, and to not be that (or feel that way) was really hard on me.  I know…skinny girl problems, right?

After talking with a co-worker, she convinced me to try her Pilates class.  That first group of classes jump-started me back into a regular fitness routine.  Around that same time, my husband and I started our own business, PortSports Social Club.

PortSports began in spring 2008 with Soccer and Kickball, eventually expanding to offer: Wiffleball, Gym Class, Bowling, Volleyball, Wallyball, Ultimate, Mushball, as well as various social events.  Through offering (and personally running) all those leagues, I realized just how important physical activity and socialization really is for everyone’s wellbeing.

PortSports’ mission is “meet, play, give®” which at its core, is all about meeting new people, playing fun games, and giving back to the community.  All our leagues are about the joy of playing and being respectful without crossing the line of competitive douchebaggery, which honestly, is a fine line when adults are playing sports.

Over time, as the business, my family and I all matured, we realized that doing too much was watering down our mission and the quality of what we were offering.  Not to mention that as our son got older, he wanted to be spending more and more time with us instead of babysitters.

We have since scaled back our business to focus on Volleyball and Ultimate, which has provided an opportunity for me (and my husband) to explore our other interests.  He is now focused on his musical theater production company, Cast Aside Productions, as well as their associated educational arm, Musical Theater Studio.  I am still running the business of PortSports as well as our volleyball leagues, and I thankfully have awesome help with our Ultimate leagues.

These past few years have taught me a lot about myself, my relationship with my family, and have brought forth an understanding of my needs for my own wellbeing.  With leading and playing in two volleyball leagues per week, plus Pilates, yoga and barre classes on my lunch breaks, my personal fitness practice has made me a much happier and balanced woman.  While my schedule is still just as taxing, perhaps even more so, it doesn’t feel as overwhelming because it is filled with things I enjoy, and that make me (and hopefully others too) feel like a better person.

My body is now in the best shape it has ever been.  While I probably can’t keep up with our Ultimate players running-wise, my core is at its strongest, and my back doesn’t hurt from playing volleyball, or sitting at a desk all day anymore.

I have recognized all the positive changes in myself through my personal practice of Pilates and yoga, and I am really excited to help and teach others to see the same positivity in themselves as well.

After a few false starts, I am thrilled to begin my classical Pilates Beginner Mat teacher training the first weekend in February, followed by Intermediate Mat in March and finishing up with Advanced Mat in April, 2016.  I will be teaching in the Portland, Maine area and learning about the world of online fitness programming too.

Music is another passion of mine, and 311 is my favorite band.  I am forever inspired by their lyrics; their whole message has always been about unity, positivity and respect.  I chose the name Blue Star Pilates because we are all Stars in our own right, we are made up of the same particles, and as 311 so eloquently sang:

“You’ve got to trust your instinct
And let go of regret
You’ve got to bet on yourself now star
‘Cause that’s your best bet”

~311, All Mixed Up

Let’s all bet on ourselves to be the best that we can.  Thank you for joining me on this journey and I look forward to hearing your story too.

Until next time Stars,

Morgan