Did you know that, while pregnant, you quite literally have the DNA of your unborn baby swirling around in your blood stream?
Since having my baby, my already-complicated relationship with my body has changed. In most ways, I’m incredibly impressed with it. I made a baby. I made a BABY. A whole other person. And she’s awesome.
But in other ways, 20 months later, I’m still having trouble adjusting. The aches and pains ever present before pregnancy were amplified. My low back, my nemesis before I made that amazing baby, decided that it had done enough work for this lifetime. It was taking early retirement. My new baby had other ideas and needed a mom with a functioning back.
Enter Pilates; my body savior since college. I decided my abs were just weak. And flabby! Surely this was the cause of my geriatric spine issues?! So I diligently began working myself out three times a week, but mostly managed to irritate my already angry lumbar spine.
So I lost weight. I figured that in addition to ditching the extra flab on my stomach that this might help my back. No dice. Though I must admit that over the year of weight loss, my back did get marginally better. But I couldn’t reconcile my past body with my new one. For starters, I’d never had to WORK at losing weight before. This time I went Vegan. Second, I’d had periods of very intense back pain in my past, but never with such consistency. Every single time I bent over, when I reached my waist bending, I fell until my hips were able to take over. And every single time I rolled up from bending, I had to climb or cry my way back up. Third, I’d always been more active. I’d always danced on top of my Pilates. Taking care of a baby, while exhausting, was not the same as dancing four hours or more a day. A new level of body displeasure began to settle on my shoulders.
So I began taking Pilates regularly with someone who wasn’t me teaching me. Slowly, ever so slowly, my body began to accept exercises it used to love. I realized that I had been asking my post-baby body to function just like my pre-baby body. And that isn’t fair. I was trying to run before I could even crawl. I tried to do advanced system before I could even roll up. I saw a chiropractor whose work got me out of 75% of my pain. But that last 25% was standing in the way of my fitness. And I wanted it back. Pilates, slower and more modified than I teach most of my clients, followed.
I grew stronger, little by little. My compassion for clients who are having trouble connecting to their Powerhouse grew stronger too. My understanding of the roadblocks people can face with their Pilates work was broader. I relearned Pilates with a new body, the amazing beautiful baby making body that I have now. So in a way I’m glad that it was so hard to climb out of the pit that pregnancy left me in. It has made me a better teacher.