I joined Lead just over a year ago. I was living a pretty sedentary life at the time, and feeling stressed in my personal life. Through a friend, I saw a social media ad for a Lead Advise session and decided to try it. I was drawn to the idea of focusing on my health first, not weight loss (like so many times before), but a goal of moving better and feeling better every day.
I signed up for Beginner Mat immediately and tried several other classes during that first month. Some were really hard. I hadn’t done any real form of exercise in months, and the commitment of signing up for a full session felt intimidating at first. However, I quickly realized that the instructors were always willing to provide modifications where needed.
On the mat is where I connected with my body for the first time in a long time. I was learning to be kind to it, while progressing in a safe and healthy way. The pace of the class was great for me as a beginner. After a few months, I craved movement and found myself incorporating the things I was learning into everyday life. My posture was getting better. I was moving better and feeling better, both physically and mentally.
The aches and pains I experienced from being a desk-worker, like neck and shoulder tension, had become much less frequent and severe. When I started to notice discomfort in my body, I knew I had tools to better manage it–thanks to numerous practitioners at the Lead clinic (chiropractor, massage therapist, fascial stretch specialist, naturopathic doctor) each of whom is aware of my Pilates journey and who work together as a team to address my health and wellness.
Now, a year later, I continue to push myself and take new classes, and I’m now seeing changes in my body, but first and foremost, I FEEL the changes. I’m stronger every day, and I have more trust in what my body can (and will) do.
I think what surprised me most was learning how my mental health is tied to my physical health. My wellness bar and confidence have both increased significantly. I’m happier in general and far more likely to try new activities. A year ago, I would’ve declined, whether a physical activity or not; I was either fearful that I wouldn’t be able to participate, or I simply didn’t feel comfortable in a new setting. It was a very different feeling joining Lead. The staff, instructors, practitioners, and other clients were all so welcoming and friendly, it wasn’t long before I felt like part of a community. For the first time, I see exercise as a reward for my body, not a means to an end. Choosing to invest in myself was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.