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How to Keep Learning: First, You Must Begin!

Updated: Mar 15, 2022

One of my clients confided recently that she doesn’t like to let people see her learning something new unless she can do it well.

“But you make it comfortable to learn,” said. “All the teachers in your studio do. I don’t have to worry about not being perfect here.”

Another client told me that she didn’t really understand Pilates or how the exercise system would benefit her during the first year that we worked together.

“But I trusted you,” she said, “and I knew that you would keep me safe until I eventually figured things out.”

One student told us she spent more than a year trying to build the courage to come to the studio. Negative experiences in big gyms had made her self-conscious. When she finally showed up at Holly’s Pilates Village, she said, “everyone was so welcoming, and I saw a lot of people who looked like me.” She has been taking two or three classes a week ever since.

Let’s face it: Learning how to exercise as adults is hard. Most of us do not like to be beginners, and we are not very forgiving of our faults.

When considering or starting an exercise program such as Pilates or yoga, we may listen to the negative messages in our heads:

• What if everyone notices or judges me?

• What if I’m not thin enough, young enough, fit enough, fast enough, flexible enough, or (fill in the blank with your own anxiety)?

• What if I fail?

Next, we may make excuses:

• I don’t have time.

• It’s too expensive.

• I’m too old.

Then, we may look at skilled movers and assume that they learned everything easily. We think:

• They didn’t struggle the same way I would.

• They look so graceful and fluid, not like me.