“Age is Just a Number”
2nd August 2018
Joseph Pilates once said: “If your spine is inflexible at 30, you are old. If it is flexible at 60, you are young”.
This is something I’ve been pondering quite a bit during my time at Bälans. It came to mind again this morning, when a man came in to the studio to enquire about whether Pilates would be suitable for ‘someone of his age’.
Laura and I immediately said "why, of course, Pilates can be done at any age". We explained to him that Pilates works on spinal flexibility, core strength and postural alignment. It's also relatively low impact compared to say, running. He seemed convinced that his age wouldn't impair his ability to take part in Pilates classes, and has since signed up for our Beginners Block starting in August.
I’m 21, which often makes me the youngest in a class by several decades (the only major exception being fitdankbaby). You’d think that would make me the strongest and most flexible person in the room. That’s what I naively assumed anyway. Boy how wrong I was.
Often, when given a variety of options for how to conduct an exercise, I’ll be the one who opts for the challenging yet lower impact alternative. Meanwhile my (frequently significantly older) fellow classmates will power through the hard-core tough version. Age certainly does not dictate ability in the Pilates world!
I know that "age is just a number" is a bit of a cheesy cliché, but it’s a true one. My time at Bälans has made me realise that Pilates is a form of exercise that truly does transcend age. Everyone has their own challenge point that they can work towards, irrespective of the number of candles on their birthday cake.
After my internship, I’d love to keep up Pilates for many reasons, but particularly to minimise my risk of inheriting the dodgy back that runs in my family by keeping my spine young. And, of course, so that when I’m old I surprise all the young folk who assume that they’ll be stronger than me!
To read my previous blog, click here.