My Pilates Story
Pilates came into my life almost eight years ago. I had heard of it long before that but I had not tried it for myself. I was satisfied with what I knew how to do which was yoga and Jane Fonda workouts.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer on April 1st, 2008, I was very afraid. I had two young boys who needed me to be strong in body, mind, and spirit. I had many tough decisions to make about my treatment, and I was stressed out to say the least.
The treatment I chose was to have both breast removed with reconstruction during the same surgery. My surgery was scheduled on May 7th. I had five weeks to strengthen my body in a different way. I knew that after the operation, I would not be able to use my arms to help me maneuver and I wanted to be able to do things for myself. I couldn’t imagine needing help to get out of bed because my stomach muscles were not strong enough to sit up without using my arms. I was determined to be able to stand up from sitting on the floor with my legs only. That takes core strength.
I knew that my mind needed to be slowed down so doing lots of frantic exercising was not what I needed. Pilates came to me through a friend and it was perfect. It was slow and precise. The breathing calmed me while my muscles got stronger and stronger. I either did Pilates or yoga every single day during those weeks. I even got up at three in the morning on the day of surgery so I could do Pilates one more time. I achieved my goal. I actually tested to make sure I could get in and out of the bathtub without using my arms at all. I was so proud.
Pilates made all the difference in my recovery. Almost immediately after surgery, I was able to sit up on the side of the bed with no assistance. The nurses were very impressed. It helped me have confidence in my ability to be strong. I healed very quickly.
Pilates still has a prominent place in my overall fitness. Being able to rise up out of bed without causing myself any pain and not needing to ask for help made quite an impression on me. This is why I am so determined that we all have access to this method of strengthening. I want to share this so you can have the strength when you most need it too!