I went for a run this morning up through the woods to Newlands Corner. It was stunning! The mist was rising from the fields, it was peaceful and I got to enjoy the vast blue sky that gets a bit lost when you live in a town centre.
As I was pottering along I was thinking about how my body was feeling. My feet were happy, which is always the first thing I ask myself when running and all else was fine and dandy. This overall mental body scan then made me contemplate why I do the activities I do and what do I get from them? In other words, in this case, why do I run and why do I do Pilates?
Pilates not only makes me feel great when I’m doing it, whether it be in a class or tinkering around on my own on the Cadillac or Stability Chair. It also allows me to then enjoy the runs up to Newlands Corner. The trails were rocky and pot-hole-y, but thanks to all the stability work that Pilates offers, my feet ankles and knees felt happy as Larry as my whole body subtly adapted to the challenges of the terrain.
I know there are many of us that like to either do our workouts in the gym or try and maximise effects of single workouts to spend as little time as possible doing the ‘fitness’ thing, but I love the fact that the time spent doing Pilates is benefitting me during that hour, after that hour, through the rest of my day and on top of that, allowing me to enjoy the countryside around me by then going off out running on this amazingly sunny April day.
I used to try and rack up three to four sessions in the gym, using the treadmill and weights and think that was my exercise box well and truly ticked (before I went off down the pub I seem to recall!). Now that my time is more pressurised with a family and a business to run, I need to know that I am incorporating my fitness in to my wellbeing and my wellbeing in to my enjoyment of life. So my run today appealed to all of those things – the cardio, the strength, the headspace of solitary running, the grit and determination to get to the top of the hill, the satisfaction and visual impact of the view at the top and the undoubtedly positive effect of quite that much natural green and blue on offer!
We spent a few days in Devon last week and I must say, I did one Pilates session and one run in all the time we were there – had this been me 20 years ago I would have told myself off. But instead, I didn’t even think about it negatively, because what my bank of Pilates sessions and runs allowed me to do was climb crazy hills to look at sea views, speed walk through the sea mist to the local pub in the fear a tractor might take us out - and let us not forget clambering across slippery rocks at Sandymouth Beach on a 'big adventure'. All forms of exercise, all activities that require a strong healthy body and then challenge that strong healthy body.
All those experiences while on holiday and the time today spent out running may not have condensed the fitness thing in to as short a time as possible. But what they did do was make great use of the time that was available, benefitted me hugely physically and mentally and most importantly, allow me to be active with my family, out and about and enjoying the beautiful countryside and fresh air. It also made me thankful that Pilates provides me with the foundation to enjoy every single bit of it!
Now, I wonder if Newlands Corner would mind me setting up an outdoor Pilates studio…..!