Recently, my sister asked me what type of student was the most rewarding to teach. I didn’t even have to think about it — a professional athlete or a professional dancer, highly physically conditioned and very motivated. When she probed a little deeper though, I realized something quite profound. Actually, it wasn’t the talent of a body I was attracted to; it was the talent of a mind. I recalled a former client who was not an athlete nor a dancer. She was a professional writer who basically sat on her butt all day which caused her to have constant back aches. Shaped like an apple, she practically rolled into my studio.
From the very first exercise she attempted, her overall weakness and lack of abdominal strength were obvious, and I wondered if she’d stick around long enough for me to help her. But she did. I underestimated her commitment to changing her life, and she made such progress that her backaches completely disappeared, her waistline narrowed and her enjoyment of working out was evident. She made me think of Mr. Pilates’ quote, “Physical fitness is the first requisite to happiness.” I loved teaching her because she was present, smart and willing to try anything I asked. However, because she was body illiterate, I had to be very clear about my choice of words and readjusted my language and terminology.
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