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.