You know when you think you're about to completely nail something - you're on a roll and for reasons unknown you let yourself use the slogan - I got this. It's normally about then that life throws you a curve ball or it gives you the high five you think you deserve it's just to your face and probably with a chair.
February can feel like that - slightly deflated from those January training highs. You'd made great progress and then you plateau out and you're left wondering if you can achieve much more.
I think my Improvers class were feeling a little like that. They started their journey in November last year and have come so far that sometimes it's hard to think that they have only had 12 hours of training. Yep, one lesson a week for 12 weeks and when I think back to those first few lessons it's a world away from what happened this week. This week we achieved what was for some something that was laughable, ridiculous, unattainable. It was met with a face of sheer disbelief the very first time I politely demonstrated how Quadrupeds Abs is preparation for plank, yep plank.
You might think that plank shouldn't be in the Pilates repertoire; that it's too strenuous and doesn't match the quiet demeanour often associated with a Pilates class. A little research will tell you that not only is it present but it is actually an exercise that proceeds press up in the Classic Mat Work series! Yep, stick that on your mat and imprint!
My improvers class has participants ranging in age from those in their twenties to those in retirement and they all have a variety of health levels and this week, every single one of them breathed into plank, with an engaged core, a focused mind, a sole concentration on themselves and more strength than they ever contemplated 12 weeks ago. And they enjoyed it! So despite what you might think about plank; that it is for dedicated gym goers or people in their twenties or people with more upper body strength than you.
The below picture is proof that those thoughts are wrong.
I don't know what you accomplished this winter but I know what my Thursday night class achieved. The look on their faces was one of satisfaction, we didn't high five or cheer; to be honest I was a little smug about their achievement because let's remember this is Britain and not a Crossfit gym. So with my knowing "I TOLD YOU SO" face I bring you this little gem.
At the moment when you think you're not changing, not making a difference, wondering if your constancy is ever going to pay off you'll find yourself on a peak, no longer a prisoner of the plateau and that will make it all worthwhile. And while you find that training high you'll suddenly up your game to something else that you think is not possible ...
But in time - It is.