Take it Outdoors

By Marilyn Koval

This Summer I have had the opportunity to work with over fifty athletes who are members of Long Beach Poly High Girls Cross-Country team.  I meet with the championship team once per week, and we do Pilates underneath shade trees in a local park.  These girls are awesome.  They’re strong, positive, ready to work, and fun.  The Pilates work benefits and compliments their sport is so many ways.  I have developed a routine of exercises specific for runners, and each week we incorporate something new;  sometimes I include an extra challenging move, or maybe an additional stretch.  I’ve discovered too that Pilates, like running,  has a different level of enjoyment when practiced outside.  I have a new appreciation of exercise while breathing fresh air and being surrounded by nature.  Yes, we have the occasional noisy truck driving by, but the tall grass, fresh breeze, birds chirping, and the sound of kids playing in the distance exudes a deeper sense of calm, connectedness, and freeing sense of movement.  I am thrilled that Pilates has now become part of the team’s training routine, and am looking forward to continued work with these young and inspiring athletes.               

Movement Inspired by Life

By Marilyn Koval

My daughter will begin her first year of high school this Fall. In preparation, one of the first things she has done is join the girls’ cross country team. She has just completed her first month of rigorous training with a supportive coaching staff and teammates. I am in awe at the dedication, enthusiasm, and strength she has developed in this short time. 

I recently had a pilates’ session with her, and was amazed at not only her new strength, but her improved control and focus on her movement. As a pilates’ instructor, I’ve had the fortunate opportunity over the past few years to teach my kids the value of basic pilates’ principles such as breath, posture and core in everything they do. Now, as my daughter takes her journey as a competitive athlete to the next level, her pilates’ movement is even more important to support and enhance her sport currently, as well as to protect her body for the future. 

Our shared mother/daughter time in the studio gives us the opportunity to bond at a level that literally goes to the core.  My daughter has had the pilates’ foundation for some time, but with her new strength, she finally got a sense deep within her body of what her mom has been talking about all this time. She has a new enjoyment and appreciation of movement, and it is my hope that she embraces pilates at this stage in her life, and continues to do so for years to come.