The past few weeks have felt manic to me. While I have had two blog posts sitting in my head waiting to be written for weeks, I find myself (not unusually) trying to be everything to everyone- while the posts stay in my head instead of on the blog.
The reason I bring this up is that this is hardly the first time that what I want to get done gets pushed to the side for the needs of others. And I’m sure it won’t be the last. While this might sound like a whine to some, I think that most pilates instructors can also relate to the fact that actually, I don’t mind AT ALL. I like being the helper. Helpers are valuable members of society- there should probably be more of us! It makes me wonder… How common is this personality trait within our industry?
Our desire to help people was probably a motivating factor for many of us gaining our teaching qualification in the first place. The drive to help others move forward in their bodies is what makes us wonderful teachers and what makes the pilates world wonderful. We think about our clients in our down time. We are excited when we attend conferences and we know EXACTLY the person that will benefit directly from what we have just learned. Most of us want to make a difference in the lives of others and if that means that we miss out on our usual afternoon off, just this one time, to help out- is that really so bad? The giving nature is definitely a positive attribute at work but to what extent are we putting ourselves last within the industry? Funnily enough this was a major inspiration for creating this blog in the first place!
I have seen this behaviour affect the amount of personal work out time I give to myself. To the point that it feels like weeks since I’ve done the footwork series and truly taken time to breathe. Have you ever demonstrated an exercise to a client and felt jealous that they are the one having the pilates session instead of you? Lately my brain has felt so tired that all I want to do is kick back and relax with my inner circle. I could go and treat myself to the rollback series on the cadillac but that would mean that I would have to go to my workplace where I already feel as though I have been living. I know that I want to nurture this blog space and it is something very important to me- but it can feel like there isn’t any more space to give. When work colleagues are unwell or it is a time at the studio where all hands on deck are required, I WANT to help. I don’t want to say no. It takes an awful lot before resentment kicks in but I admit- I have been resentful in the past.
Many years ago I remember Brent Anderson posing the question:
Do you want to be a pilates enthusiast or a pilates instructor?
I want it all! And I want to be a great friend and I want to be an excellent employee and I want to be a wonderful girlfriend and I want to be a loving daughter and I want to be a responsible pet owner and I want to be… everything to everyone.
One day, I will get the balance right. I have booked my private sessions in regularly with my friend (that I don’t work with- very important). I will truly believe that I can say no and that, that is okay. I will find a time to treat myself this week. I will let myself off the hook.