During 2014 I have had the sobering opportunity to work with Robertson Barracks Soldier Recovery Unit (SRU). Twice a week a team of their most injured service people would come into the studio to learn the art of Pilates.
The time I have spent with these guys has both warmed my heart and reminded me the importance of the job I have.
The response at first was tentative at best. Some of the students are experiencing pain on a daily basis from injuries sustained at work that have impacted their lives. Their sleep patterns are disturbed, relationships disrupted and their careers put on hold. And they have been trained to 'soldier on' no matter what.
Over time we all witnessed amazing results. I have been humbled by their stories, encouraged by their determination and focus to get results and motivated by the changes we have all experienced.
One of the students told me that Pilates may have saved his marriage. He was sleeping better, taking less medication, had the ability to communicate more effectively and had regained a confidence in himself that filtered down into his relationship with his wife and children.
Pain can be so debilitating. It effects us psychologically, physically and emotionally. Some of these soldiers have learnt to live with such extreme measures of pain that we have had to teach them to listen to their bodies again, to change their ingrained attitude of 'no pain, no gain' and remind them that they can regain control of so many facets of their lives by having control of their body.
Working with the SRU has reminded me that the only thing I own in this World is my body. It can be broken and damaged and everything around me can be affected. But if I take ownership of my body, change is possible.
I look forward to another year of teaching Pilates for SRU and of learning from their experiences.