|Tuck the tummy!|
Friday, February 24, 2012
Getting Better all the Time
My first thirty years were spent living as if I were invincible. Only my heart seemed to be broken in those years, and broken over and over until the tears began to dry. My scars showed openly from childhood falls and stitches, while the inward scars slowly healed, and were eventually soothed with a deep abiding love and a houseful of growing children.
The next thirty some years were spent raising children, sharing my love of literature with the world, becoming a writer, an LPGA teaching pro, and adjusting to those "Senior years". All the while my back ached until one day I saw myself in a mirror hunched over like an old woman. That couldn't be me, I thought, because I had worked out by lifting weights, walking, swimming, keeping my weight at a minimum, but there I was bent and constantly fighting pain. Besides doing my best to keep myself in shape over the years, I swallowed many Excedrin's, muscle relaxers, Advil, and now Tylenol; visited the chiropractor frequently; learned to apply ice to pain or biofreeze to warm up the muscles. Massages and hot tub relaxing and stretching allowed me relief for hours at a time. Then it became so painful I spent three summers visiting rehab, and when at last the neurosurgeon said, "Stay active as long as you can, because surgery will immobilize you." I took a serious look at my future.
I was fortunate to have a physical therapist who recommended Pilates. I had discovered through rehab that one simple strength training pose "the Plank" awarded me with a stronger core, but I needed more. At the tender age of sixty-two I began Stott's Pilates using the "reformer" and "cadillac" equipment of a trained Pilates instructor, Karen Larimore. Within months my back pain was fading and a smile rose from within as I walked my dog, and swung a golf club. Two trips that spring to the desert helped to build my confidence that 'maybe' just maybe my back might be strong enough to play one more year of golf!
Then one day Karen announced that she was selling her equipment, and I would have to find another place, another path! Luckily, Abby Hurst opened "Core Connections" within the month, and I followed right along with a new personal trainer. It's only been a year and a half, and my strength from head to toe has increased, I stand tall with shoulders back, my belly fat is shrinking (yeah), and my confidence in my backswing and "follow through" has increased. Even though I'm 64, thanks to Pilates, I'm getting better all the time.