Late Summer 2012 -- Modify So It Works for You
As much as I've always admired the insanely fit bodies of Pilates enthusiasts, I was convinced that Pilates wouldn't be for me. Phrases such as 'core strength' and 'so great for your abs!' sounded more painful than promising for my middle-age overflow. My philosophy was more along the lines of 'Life's short; why torture yourself?' Then five months ago I tried a class and
today I'm so hooked that I can't imagine life without it! The reason for this shift can be summed up in my new favorite word: 'modifications.' Whether you are quadriplegic or just miserably out of shape, Pilates classes offer modifications specific to your needs to make each exercise doable for YOU.
Pilates hasn't resulted in my having abs of steel (yet!), but I see this principle of modifications playing out in other areas of my life. For instance, when I agreed to go to the beach with my grown daughter this weekend, she commented on all the people she knows who never go (even though we live in San Diego). I told her that perhaps we go more than some because of our
'modifications.' Neither of us has a whole lot of time or unlimited financial resources (yet!), so our particular modification is to not make a big production out of our beach trips. We don't need to load the car with a portable cabana, beach chairs, a fully stocked ice chest, and enough rations to last an entire day. Although it takes 20 minutes to drive there, we're okay with
just spending an hour (or even less!) of actual beach time. While there, we're fully there, breathing in the salty air, taking in the sound of the waves and the beauty of the horizon. We always return home feeling refreshed, renewed, and grateful that we took an hour or two out of our day for something that nourishes us so.
Life's pleasures don't always have to be so complicated, and I'm determined to keep this in mind this summer. The next time I decide against an activity or trip because it's too daunting, too expensive, too time-consuming, or too anything, I'm going to consider a modification. How can I make it doable for me? A week at my friends' lake house in Virginia might not be in the
cards, but I can take a few extra days after a business trip in nearby Atlanta to go visit these dear friends.
My wish for all of us is that we find a way to make our dreams and adventures doable this summer. Or, like my new commitment to whittle down my waistline, we at least map out a game plan for how we'd like our summer to play out rather than just letting it slide by — again. Life is short, so rather than wait for the perfect time, place, and circumstances, let's find out
what works for us and modify!
'Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is specifically your own.' – Bruce Lee