What's up with the first pancake? It's always a mess: it's greasy, it's lumpy, it's too pale or too dark. I don't know about you, but as a mom, I usually eat it (waste not, want not! That’s a bit sad, we mothers deserve better! ).
But I digress…
Pilates and pancakes: what’s the connection?
Do you ever make that first pancake and it’s a little greasy, maybe undercooked, maybe overcooked? The pan is too hot, or not hot enough? It sticks to the pan? You try to get it out and it sticks? You think, Oh no, is this an indication of what all the pancakes are going to be like?
But then you get your groove. Each pancake comes out of the pan looks perfectly golden brown. The batter consistency is just right. The heat is the right temperature. Now we’re cooking!! The children will be fed, and if you’re lucky, they’ll leave you one, and you can eat with your reheated coffee (again, parents deserve better!).
Pilates can be similar.
the first repetition = the first pancake
The first repetition of the exercise:
My body feels totally creaky.
Maybe this isn’t a good movement for me, it’s too hard, or it’s too easy
What’s wrong with me?
After the second one:
Ooo.. That’s going a little smoother.
Check that! I can move into the position a little deeper.
I feel my muscles working.
It’s easy to have a quick first reaction to a movement when it challenges us. What comes up: This isn’t safe. I can’t do this. Why did I book this lesson? This teacher is crazy. What’s going on? Why am I upside down? Is this really necessary?
Then we do the second repetition: our nervous system calms down somewhat, and relaxes. We realise that we’re in a safe place. The tension and physical resistance lets go and we can move deeper into the shape. The muscles get the message to move a certain way and they learn.
Two things that we lose as we get older: the beginner's mind and the growth mindset.
The beginner's mind allows us to welcome new experiences without judgement. The growth mindset allows us to think " I'm not good at this YET."
They both embrace the process of learning new skills, and allow us to put aside the self-consciousness that prevents us from trying new things, accepting that it's not going to be great, or even good the first few times, giving ourselves time to fall in love with the process of learning, growing and becoming proficient at new skills.
So go forth! Allow yourself to not be perfect. Make some greasy pancakes and see what happens.
Are you ready to learn some new skills?