I’m a cyclist. My idea of fun on a day off is to spend hours out on the road, pushing the pedals, smashing hills and generally trying my hardest to keep up with those that are just that little bit faster than I am.
Unfortunately, mix this with hours of sitting behind a computer and you have an issue. For me, it was a weak mid-back forcing poor shoulder posture that caused shooting pain through my neck and shoulders, often rendering me unable to move my neck and *gasp* making riding a painful impossibility.
After many hours spent at my physio over nearly twelve months (and hundreds of dollars later), it was suggested that I try out Pilates as an attempt to reduce the frequency of my visits. At this point I was so desperate to get back on the bike I would have tried anything.
After my first session, I walked out unimpressed. I didn’t even work up a sweat! What kind of workout was this?
The next day – I hurt. My abdominals and shoulders felt like I had gone through some horrific kind of boot camp. I was intrigued – how could I possibly be feeling such muscle soreness doing exercise where I didn’t end up out of breath?
After a few weeks of weekly sessions, I could feel the difference and my physio could see the muscle improvement. I was seeing results and I liked it. Even better, I felt stronger on the bike and the pain in my shoulders was gradually reducing. Well, if doing a little helped a little, I surmised, more would help more. And it did!
I felt that I had discovered a secret akin to the fountain of youth, a potential preventative for all cycling injuries – I needed to spread the word!
So I became a Pilates Instructor. My focus is of course the cycling community – the prevention of a multitude of cycling related injuries so often caused by the muscle imbalance of the cycling motion, as well as the incredible benefits and improvements that Pilates can offer to uninjured cyclists.
And you know what?
As much as I like him, I haven’t been back to visit my physio.