About Full Motion Pilates - Marks Story

Sporty Type

I’ve always been a sporty type, I played pretty much every sport at school, played football and ran for my home town at youth level, progressing into serious competition in racket sports in my 20’s. Interestingly, not once in in all my sports training did any Sports Coach, or Personal Trainer teach me anything about functional movement. A glaring gap in my sports training was how to get the most out of my body to maximise performance and prevent injury.


Life Takes Over

I still maintained my physical activity in my 30’s through gym attendance and kept on running, using rapid bursts of energy to burn off the effects of an otherwise sedentary life. But, years of doing the same things at the gym, retraining the same over-worked muscles, was not helping me functionally. Then ‘bam’, one cold winter’s night, I was out for a run, burning off the frustrations off the day and I suffered a spontaneous collapsed lung. After several operations I was back running and working-out within 4 weeks, but my posture had changed. Because of the scar tissue from the ops and my own natural urge to protect the healing area, I found my right shoulder had dropped and started to round out. Pressures of my career started to take over, then add thousands of miles in the car every year and way too many hours sitting hunched over a laptop or phone to the shoulder issue and that’s how easily things started to degenerate. My spine was starting to round out with my head constantly jutting forward, resulting in increasingly frequent visits to the Osteopath or Physiotherapist, who would patch me up for a few weeks or months.

Reluctant Starter

I’d love to say that I had a Pilates epiphany, but it was nothing so dramatic. A combination of lower back pain, shoulder and neck pain and nagging from Jayne, convinced me that Pilates was worth a shot, even though it ‘was for girls’! I mean what could be difficult about Pilates, it’s just a bit of stretching and laying on the floor, whilst soft twinkly music plays in the background, right? WRONG. I realised very quickly I couldn’t even get close to sitting upright, that my knees were pretty much constantly flexed, my spinal extension was negligible and that my overall functional movement was pretty poor. My strength was fine but without flexibility and motion, I discovered strength is useless and without change I was on my way to a degenerating spine and a life of pain.

Pain Free

10 years on from my first Pilates class, I have been pain free for most of that time, my journey has been gradual, but my shoulder and spine are straightening out nicely. I can now sit up straight and my spinal extension and mobility have improved massively. Pilates hasn’t been a quick fix, but it changed my life to the point where I wanted to know more. After considering my options, I decided to train with Balanced Body, as we wanted to add to Jayne’s Body Control knowledge and experience, so we could develop a holistic approach, employing the best from both worlds. I hugely enjoyed my training and it really helped me personally to achieve the next level of physical and mental understanding.

Pilates for Everyone

My true epiphany was that the only competition in Pilates is with yourself, to try to improve functional movement with each week, month and year. My wish is to pass our training and knowledge onto others, so that they too can improve their day to day functional movement, improve their posture, stand taller and straighter and most importantly live free of back and neck pain, regardless of gender or pre-conceptions about what Pilates is and who it’s for!

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