Perfection is so over-rated.
Really. If the world was perfect, if everyone in the world was perfect, it would be so “perfectly” boring. And yet we never cease this pursuit of perfection. I think that for the most part we see if for what it really is – a chase. A strive for something that we accept as unobtainable, but from this pursuit we end up creating a better version of ourselves. We grow, we learn, and then we realize the road is even longer than we thought.
One of my favorite expressions is that:
“Life isn’t about the Destination, its really the Journey”.
For me, it reminds me to be more present in my life, and to enjoy the beauty and joy that I am surrounded in now. It helps me to focus and to realize that in order to get somewhere, it does take a lot of work.
You can’t just arrive to a destination, you have to travel a road to get there.
Even if this destination turns out to be something akin to perfection, a destination I may never even get to see, and with a road that the more I travel down, the longer the road seems to get, I still strive to get there. Will I ever get to this destination I wonder? Does the destination even matter? Maybe not. I mean, traveling down this road is still pretty great. There might be a roadside fruit stand along the way, and I might decide to check it out. I might see a scenic vista along the way and check it out. If there’s a detour that looks enticing, why not veer off and check it out? I just love a great road trip, don’t you?
I look at Pilates like this more and more each day, the more I practice and the more I work with clients. And I am realizing that really the detours, the scenic vistas and all the stops really are essential parts of the trip. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in wether we are doing an exercise correctly, if the right muscles are working and what not, that we forget that this is exercise, and second of all, Pilates isn’t necessarily about perfection.
People approach Pilates to work toward a variety of goals, but I sincerely believe that sometimes, you need to cast those aside and when you come to your session and just do Pilates. Learn your workout, learn your exercises, learn your repetitions and what comes next. Work to seamlessly move from one exercise to the next and work to fully engage your mind into the exercises and how your body is moving.
Pilates is like any great modality. It takes a lifetime to perfect the craft. And just when you think you’ve got it figured out, your body will age. And then its a whole new level of learning again.
So above all, have Fun! There is so much joy to be felt when you’re practicing. Celebrate your successes, celebrate the challenges you’re having, the way your body is feeling while you’re moving, your progression, and the connections you are feeling while working out. Yes, there is an ideal form of the exercise, and when it is reached it is beautiful. It is an accomplishment, and you should feel ALIVE! Pilates is a form of exercise and it should feel exhilarating. The intent is to move! -something living and breathing! -never to be like a picture, preserved for all time.
Every now and then, I will see some of the most amazing Pilates movers. The Ballet Dancers, the uber-advanced movers of their craft. And they are sharing their most amazing sessions, and I am so sad to share that it just puts me to sleep -seriously, I am so bored!! I feel like I am staring at a robot, something mechanical moving with “perfect” precision from one point to another. And if this is what perfect looks like, than I don’t want it. Where is the ummph! Where is the triumph! For peet’s sake I scream at the screen:
WAKE UP!! Show me the Joy!
So to you, fellow Pilates devote I would like to say to you:
“When you conduct your workout, try to push your limits, go beyond your boundaries and experience the triumph and joy that there is hidden, laying and just waiting for you to discover. Remember it is up to you to take your workout by the reins. No one knows the inner workings of your body more, so know where your limits are and where your strengths and weaknesses lie, and understand these limits have no bounds.”
And more than anything….