We recently had one of our favorite husband & wife duos, Charlie & Steve, take on an amazing challenge — 14 consistent days of Pilates. Compared to their usual 2 sessions per week routine, this intensified commitment not only required more time & energy but an unexpected mental toughness, as well. Read below for their inspiring insights & wonderful discoveries, and get tips for planning a challenge of your own!
How it began:
by Charlie Harris-Reid
Are you a Pilates buff, and know and understand the benefits of a tight, toned body without having a near death experience on the spinning bike? Do you also know that one Pilates session a week won’t give it to you? Welcome to the 14-day challenge, an idea developed by my husband who is a recent Pilates convert. He devised a 14 day challenge for us one morning when in passing, I commented on how great his abs looked. “It’s Pilates,” he said surprised & proud. With only two sessions a week he had gotten noticeable results in a few weeks of consistent practice. “I wonder,” he said, “what change might occur if I go to a session every day for 14 days.” Yes, I thought looking at my own abs in the mirror, admiring my buddha belly that has become less & less pronounced with my own two regular weekly sessions. So, without much ado the 14 day challenge was born. We worked with the talented staff of Kinected to devise a super well-rounded, kick-ass program that was designed to target every muscle on the body & then some.
Following are lessons learned from our 14-day challenge journey:
1) There are no excuses. Most of us are on-the-go New Yorkers managing a successful career, and living a busy social life, all while trying to get enough sleep with a moment left over to breathe. Despite all of the madness, it is totally possible to make a daily Pilates session work without too much effort.
2) It’s all about priorities — if you truly believe in something & want to achieve a noticeable result, it’s all about making time for it — which connects to the 1st lesson learned).
3) Progress isn’t always measured by an ever-decreasing waistline but rather overall fitness. My cardiovascular endurance went to a new level; for example, a previous 40 minute interval training on the bike or treadmill was a serious challenge – until 3/4 of the way through the 14 day challenge when I noticed I wasn’t winded after an intense 30 mins of 60 sec intervals at a speed of 5.5 – 7.0 on the treadmill at a 10 degree incline. Who knew!
4) You are what you do – the old adage “you are what you eat” goes for taking care of your body. You get back what you put in. If you don’t try something new & constantly challenge yourself, you will always get the same result. Albert Einstein once said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again & expecting something new! So, go ahead design your own 14 day challenge and get ready for some serious benefits. Go ahead, I dare you!