Many people turn to Pilates for lower back pain relief. That was not my journey. This Christmas in particular, I am thankful for my unique Pilates journey because it brought me to a new career I love.
I am thankful for Christmas because it launched me into my career as a Pilates instructor. More specifically, I am thankful for my first season dancing with the Rockettes in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. The picture above is me in my first season with the Rockettes wearing the reindeer costume. The antlers lit up near the end of the first number. Oh the glamor of show business.
I am thankful for the picture because it reminds me how people in chronic physical pain can put on a happy smile for the world to see. The night before the opening show, my knees were in so much pain the cast manager brought me to an orthopedist after business hours. I was given numbing patches, anti-inflammatory pills, knee braces to wear anytime I wasn’t performing, and an order to ice my knees for 30 minutes after every show. There were many days that I had four, two-hour shows. I know pain. (You can listen to my experience with the Rockettes on Dance Network’s podcast, Barretender.)
I am thankful for my director who told me I needed to do Pilates to get stronger, though I couldn’t believe she told me I wasn’t strong! I’d just performed the most physically grueling show ever choreographed for the Rockettes and performed 110 shows in about a two-month time period, but I still took her advice. Once the season ended I took my first Pilates class.
I am thankful that my director was right – I wasn’t strong. Well, I had some muscles that were very strong and some muscles that really didn’t work at all. Going from being every little girl’s idol to barely being able to hold correct form with my knees in table top was a large dose of humble pie. The foam roller became my best friend, and I’d have multi-day sessions with that bad boy as I’d roll out tissue that was too tight in my legs. I know pain.
I am thankful that anatomically correct Pilates worked. Within six months of devoting mountains of time to Pilates, I was pain free and threw away my knee braces, numbing patches, and anti-inflammatory pills. My body was functioning so well that I decided to perform another season with the Rockettes, this time with no pain.
I am thankful that I fell in love with Pilates and found a new career with Spiral Spine. I am thankful for my clients who I’ve seen for over 10 years, for new clients I’ve just met, and for the entire scoliosis community around the world who is motivated to be pain-free and willing to put the effort in to making that wish a reality. I pray blessings upon all of your bodies, minds, and souls and pray that Pilates will set your body free of pain next year.