I’d like to share a testimonial from my sister, Renee. She wrote to explain how Pilates, more than anything, helped her heal from a horrific traffic accident in 1980 that took the life of her husband, Michael, and left her with a concussion, broken ribs, a punctured lung, broken collar bone and other disabilities. It was a miracle that she survived. Their car was hit broadside by a tourist bus that lost its brakes and ran a red light.
To this day Renee suffers emotional trauma and physical manifestations of those injuries, mainly in her back and pelvis area.
She gives Pilates full credit for keeping her from being crippled and keeping her body moving—after these 33 years! She is not pain free, and sometimes her pain is so severe she can hardly stand. In her own words:
“I awoke this morning with pain unlike any I had experienced since the accident that so badly damaged my body. Over the years, the pain has lessened—sometimes good days, sometimes bad. However, with the help of Pilates I have more good days than bad.”
“Recent x-rays have shown worsening arthritis in areas damaged by the accident, and worsening scoliosis. The left hip, which was pushed inward and upward, was continuing to cause pain as other conditions worsened. I didn’t focus on the pain. I focused on the gratitude I felt that I could even walk! That was due to my sister, her Pilates expertise and all her other help in my recovery.”
“The pain I experienced this morning was unforeseen. There was no particular cause, which is often the way with persistent conditions such as mine. After spending some time angry and feeling sorry for myself, I remembered how I had reformed using the Pilates method. So I got up (with help from my husband) and was determined to get on the reformer. A change of attitude is all it takes! Using what I had learned about being conscious of muscle groups and coming from my core, I got on the reformer. I only did the exercises that didn’t hurt. I used fewer springs and repetitions. I let go of self judgment, and simply breathed in and out as I felt healing oxygen surround my muscles.”
“The pain this morning was such that I had not experienced since I first recovered. Instead of sitting there worrying and trying to figure it out, I took the actions I could to help myself. Hurrah for Pilates! I got off the reformer feeling happier and more energized. I am still in pain, and have to be careful in moving. However, I was able to hug my dogs, and put my clothes into the dryer from my washer. That may not sound exciting. However, I do not like to be an invalid and have to ask others to do things for me (things I have done all day).”
“I know there are people who say, ‘You don’t understand. My pain is so bad that I cannot…’ Believe me, I do understand. With 12 of 20 ribs broken, with a fractured shoulder bone and clavicle, in addition to my hip misalignment, I know how much it hurts! Even after 33 years, the pain is still there.”
“I have been using Pilates machines since before the accident, and I began again as soon as I could after the accident. This I believe is why I was able to recover at all. Though I still live with pain, I do not let that stop me from attaining goals and living my life to the fullest.”