I am a rule follower. I prefer to know the rules and follow them, and to get straight A’s in the process. That mindset served me well in many areas of life, helping me to excel in my education and my work life. However, Mandy said something in class the other day that made me reconsider.
“How are you doing?” She asked as we were doing saw standing on the Reformer. “Are you getting an A+? What would it look like if you got a B- or a C? I don’t want you getting straight A’s in here. You need to push yourself past getting an A and out of your comfort zone.”
Without, perhaps, realizing it, Mandy had created a new rule for me: If you just keep getting A’s, there’s no growth. And creating rules for a community (as we are a community of movers) is the job of a good host. According to Priya Parker, “a gathering is a temporary alternative universe created (and bound) by a set of agreed-upon rules. And it’s often only when those rules are changed do we start to see them, value them, and recognize how much work they were doing to create an experience we valued.”
Joseph Pilates created a system of exercises in the early 20th century based on some “rules” constructed around his belief that most problems in our body stem from bad habits, poor posture, and inefficient breathing. A whole community bought in. These exercises primarily target the core muscles, along with the muscles of the hips, back, and limbs. Pilates exercises can be done on a mat or using specialized equipment, such as the Reformer, chair, Cadillac, or barrel. They often involve using springs or bands as both resistance and support, and focus on precise alignment, breathing, and fluidity of movement.
Joe made some rules and created a new form of exercise, and the team at PIH artfully recreates them to serve the needs of our clients. Because each class is designed for the specific bodies that will be in it, Mandy, Jayne, Terree, Debra, & Teresa know what an A looks like for us and can ask us to go further and see what doing a bit more would look like. Even if we only give ourselves a C for the motion, the effort gets an A+! They also keep us safe, so we don’t go overboard and end up in the dangerous D- or F territory.
I’m going to keep striving for those C’s instead of A’s now, pushing myself just a little bit further out of my comfort zone. I’d love to have you join me and see where it takes us!