I just received a lovely e-mail from the inimitable, always adorable, Kate Richardson, whom I affectionately call “Peanut.” Kate competed in the 2004 Olympics for Canada and helped UCLA win back-to-back NCAA titles in 2003 and 2004—not to mention her individual titles and being named Pac-10 Female Student-Athlete of the Year in 2006. Today, Kate is back in Canada and is a practicing physiotherapy (or physical therapist as we say in America). Below is an excerpt from her message to me:
Hi Miss Val!!
The reason I’m writing is because I know you’re a big fan of pilates! I have totally drunk the pilates Kool-aid in the past couple of years, and am on board as well! I’ve been working on integrating it into my physiotherapy practice, specifically for gymnasts—it’s soooo good for them!! I’ve just started a year-long course to get myself totally proficient with it so that I can start to teach more of it!
Anyway, all that aside, we had to read Joseph Pilates’ book, “Return to Life.”
Contrology is what Joseph Pilates called his method of strengthening the body from the inside out with attention to complete control of body, mind and spirit. It was only called Pilates after he died.
I was so inspired by his passion for his work, and by what he wanted to achieve with it. (It does sometimes feel a little cult-y, and I do realize that right now I must sound a little cult-crazy!…).
Kate—you’re in good company, I myself feel a little culty about Pilates at times.
Miss Val, I couldn’t help thinking of you while I was reading it—his message totally jives with your promotion of movement, and owning your body and being good to it!… If you haven’t read it, I thought you’d enjoy it, so here are a few excerpts I wanted to share with you…
“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.”
“The acquirement and enjoyment of physical well being, mental calm, and spiritual peace are priceless to their possessors if there be any such so fortunate living among us today. …Self confidence follows.”
“Self confidence, poise, consciousness of possessing the power to accomplish our desires, with renewed lively interest in life are the natural results of the practice of Contrology. Thus we achieve happiness, for is not real happiness truly born of the realization of worthwhile work well done, with the gratification of enjoying the other pleasures flowing from successful accomplishment with its compensating measure of play and relaxation?”
I hope the first few weeks of practice go well! Sending you lots of love and big hugs.
I love his discussion of Happiness as worthwhile work well done. I personally have found that I am able to do better work throughout my day because of renewed strength and flexibility that has been a product of consistent Pilates workouts he past few years. I love knowing that this is a form of exercise that I’ll be able to do for a very long time. Thanks for the inspiration Peanut! Love and hugs right back atcha!