Two years ago I had a pretty horrific accident on horseback while competing in the world-renown Tevis Cup, a 100-mile endurance riding race from Squaw Valley (Lake Tahoe) to Auburn, CA. I ended up with 4 broken ribs, a punctured lung, a lacerated liver, a severely contused hip, severe whiplash and a major concussion.
It took time but I eventually recovered. Unfortunately I was not the same person as before. For one, my range of motion had greatly diminished. I couldn’t really turn my neck and hips. When looking behind me to back up my truck I had to scoot on my rear to turn myself around. I would also wake up sore, and it even hurt to bend over. I felt like a stiff, inflexible, aching old man.
A year ago my wife suggested that I come with her and check out a Pilates class she was attending. As soon as I started doing the exercises I could see that the principles of core strength and muscle release could make a big difference in my body, if I could learn to do them competently.
Since then I go to the class at least once a week. I have noticed a really big difference in the way I move. I can now turn around and look out the back when I’m backing up the truck. I can bend over without pain. I can do a lot of work on my ranch like chopping firewood that, beforehand, was really hard for me.
I want to stay fit, but at 64-years-old, I can’t take the pounding of weight lifting exercise any more. Pilates is great because it is so much easier on the body. I always tell my weightlifting buddies that exact thing – “Stop killing yourselves and give this a try.”
I’m also amazed at how many exercises there are. I’ve literally done hundreds and I don’t think I’ve ever done the same workout twice. That makes it really fun and interesting and keeps me wanting to do more.
If you haven’t done it yet take a Pilates class - you will see results.
Roger Yohe does Pilates at the Yoga Place in Georgetown, CA.
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