Yes you did read that right! And I hear the voice in your head saying, ‘you’re not selling this to me’.
Now let me continue, it might be the worst, best thing you’ve ever done for yourself, in your entire life and there are literally millions of Pilates addicts around the world that will vouch for that!
So where do we start? Everybody has to start somewhere. Everybody has to be a Beginner at every new thing they start in their life. You don’t see us telling toddlers, ‘oh your first step is going to be hard, but if you don’t like it, don’t try again’. That would be ludicrous wouldn’t it?
Just the way I see new clients coming to one Equipment Pilates class and never coming back, and it does happen, not too often, but it does happen.
I find myself wondering what I could have done better. How could I have approached this differently, so they can see what I can see, what we can see as a collective Pilates community?
We all know darn well how powerful Pilates truly is, we see how it changes peoples lives every day, every week, every month as we see those ‘Beginners’ becoming experienced, sharing their journey with the new client next to them. Seeing those Beginners achieving things that they literally almost fell off their chair (wunda chair that is), in their first class, when we asked them to do a certain exercise – being almost certain there was no way on earth they could do that…or watching the more experienced clients achieving co ordinated acts of beauty, making it look effortless and easy – ha, if only that were true.
Done technically correct, Pilates does look effortless and easy, as though someone is just ‘flapping their arms and legs around’ – yes, this is how someone has described Pilates to me in the past, and I’m always quick to suggest they come and try it out for themselves. But obviously they need to start as a Beginner, which for some they could feel it’s too easy, for others almost too difficult and every shade of grey in the Pilates world, between.
You see Pilates is like learning a new language, not only for the mind, but also the body, and this newness can sway people away from engaging in something that can truly be life changing. Even if you are super fit, there is so much you can benefit from, from a performance enhancement approach.
A new client started training with us whilst on holidays and sought a studio when she returned home. She explained that she had visited the new studio and was miffed to find herself in a Reformer Studio class of 12, ‘where you have no idea what they are talking about’. She went on to explain that it was ‘not fun’.
The important thing as a Beginner is finding a Studio that suits your needs. Some clients will love that experience, and others need more. Do they all do the same program, just different modifications based on your experience? Do you get your own program; do they do small group classes, or large group classes? Do they just have reformers or do they have a whole cache of equipment that you learn to use?
You see Pilates is like a box of chocolates and there are any number of different training styles, don’t give up just because the first chocolate you tasted wasn’t the one you wanted or expected.