Pilates saved my life.
I know that sounds dramatic, but it’s not an exaggeration…
I’ve always been a natural athlete and a very active person. When I was nine years old, I fell backward onto the bolt of roller-skate; cracking my tailbone. Two years later, my posture started showing signs of Scoliosis and I began throwing my back out. Sometimes I’d be laid up for weeks at a time…as an eleven year old!
Injury and pain have been no stranger to me. Because this happened when I was so young, instead of identifying with narratives like,
“I’m just getting older”
“I’m out of shape”
I knew what was happening to me was wrong. And I knew I needed to do something about it.
When I was eighteen, my dance teacher invited me to join her at her Pilates class.
I was hooked!
My back pain became manageable, my back spasms began to disappear, but most important, I felt a sense of empowerment.
When I moved to California and began dancing professionally, I stopped taking Pilates. The high demands of my training were at levels that I had never before experienced, and I started having back spasms again.
At twenty-two, while on a dance job, I threw my back out so badly that I couldn’t stand upright for three weeks and I couldn’t put any weight on my left leg. The burning pain that ran down my leg was constant. I was told that I had herniated two discs in my lower back and that I needed surgery.
Hearing that news at twenty-two just did not compute. I kept thinking,
“What am I gonna be like at thirty, if this is me now!”
I realized at the time that thirty wasn’t old, so this REALLY terrified me.
I declined the surgery and got myself back into Pilates classes. Again, the pain started to subside, the episodes of back spasms disappeared, and the strength of my left leg returned.
At that point, I knew this work was what I needed to stay healthy and pain free and began my training to teach Pilates.
I am proud to say that I haven’t thrown my back out in over a decade. I used to get achey in my lower back but even that seems to be a thing of the past. My Scoliosis continues to improve with each passing year.