The other day I went to work out. And I decided to do a little mat. I haven’t done mat in a very long time. However, I chose to do a class that was at my previous level of mat experience. Which, I would not suggest! But, we instructors can be hardheaded like that….sometimes.
Side note regarding mat. Mat was the last developed by Joseph Pilates. Therefore, the most advanced piece of equipment. At this advanced point the body shouldn’t need any assistance. It’s just you and your mat. No springs, no handles, no bars, no nothin’.
Back to my story…..I REALLY wanted/needed a little assistance. It had been a long time. Too long to not have completed an hour long mat session. It was a wonderful reminder of how amazing this practice of Pilates really is. I can jump on the apparatus and do an hour and feel great and accomplished. But, after that time on the mat, I had forgotten my success I have had on the apparatus. I was just disappointed I had a bad session. Yet, I needed to remind myself of something:
I need to be striving for progress not perfection.
Something I say all of the time in my head, on this blog, and to my clients. Did I believe it to my very core?
At first I was disheartened in myself and the session. Getting down on myself, that I should be doing mat more. I am a Pilates instructor for goodness sake! Upset I was unable to complete some of the movements. Then I realized, I had a growth moment. I specifically didn’t do some of the movements because I knew I would hurt myself, because I wasn’t at that level at that moment. And my mood started to shift, a lightbulb moment. Transitioning from disappointment to joy. Maybe I do have a better grasp on progress vs. perfection.
I realize I am just over the age of 29 (wink!), and maybe every movement may not be accessible to me every time I decide I want it to be. Does that mean that I am growing in my practice to be able to come to that realization? I think I am! Growing in self-acceptance that I love Pilates and the challenges it presents to me each time. Maybe I won’t conquer every challenging movement or entire session. But, there is a different way to go about it to get to my end goal. And I will have to let go of the thought that I should be able to physically do everything I was able to do 10 to 15 years ago.
In reflection, it is good to have a session like I did. One, it brings me back to the frame of mind of a beginner student. Two, I appreciate the practice more and more when there is a goal to achieve. Three, I believe I am living to strive for progress not perfection.
See you in the studio,