Dear Leg Pulls (Font and Back),
You are what makes Pilates look deceptively “easy”. Sure there are plenty of people that could do your exercises without struggle. But could they do all the exercises before and then to yours? Could they do the transitions? People that might have the position down might struggle with the opposition of the arms and legs to hold themselves up well. People that are good with the opposition might be challenged by the balance of lifiting one leg off the ground. People that have no issue with balance and changing that through the exercise might have trouble with the transitions.
Your transitions are exercises in and of themselves. The transitions, especially into Leg Pull Down, were my least favorite as a young dancer. I could not do a push up to save my life then. Joseph Pilates did what he does best and put the hardest part of an exercise into the lead up for another hard exercise. A Push Up from a flat position on the floor is the transition into Leg Pull Front. As a teen I thought “Yay. Let me get excited about what is coming up at the end and how I’ll probably never be able to do this part.” Now I have practiced Pilates for over half my life. I’ve learned how to do Push Ups well. I see this transition as showing myself I can do the hardest part of this exercise. Or some days I need to modify. Dear Leg Pulls, you have shown me what I am really capable of.
Just like working towards Push Up, The Hermitage is one of the places in Nashville you had to earn a visit to at school. You had to be at least 8 years old. You had to be trusted to behave. Maybe it was the lead up that made me fall in love. Maybe it was the love story between Andrew and Rachel Jackson. Rachel, who never even lived in the house but is buried there. Probably it was the ghost stories. They are some of the best I’ve ever heard! (Check my HealthyHeatherPilates Instagram stories later and maybe I will tell one!) But dear Hermitage, you have shown me the softer and not so soft side of history. You have shown me it is important to preserve people’s stories. Because that is what brings us together.
Photography by Jennifer Gouge