One of my biggest reservations about training was simple: would I fall off the treadmill, trip over my feet, fail to understand instructions, cry?
This was not unrealistic. I have history where all of the above are concerned. I have cried in every exercise class I have taken since I left school. I am just incapable of keeping up: by the time the class is on position 10, I am still untangling my feet from the balls up I have made on the first one. Then there is hurumphing and glaring and I just melt in a puddle of failure.
My dyspraxia is part of the problem: “it’s a condition that confers partial loss of the ability to coordinate and perform certain purposeful movements” and I don’t tend to be able to make the correlation between brain and movement. I can watch someone perform a pose or exercise but am often incapable of understanding how to translate it to my own body.
That’s why I was nervous about training. But I figured that one-to-one HAD to be the way forward. That way I could move at my own pace at first and then, once I had been carefully taught, could start to actually exercise at human rate not snail rate.
And I was right. Both Jonathan & Christina have huge reserves of patience – and if they haven’t they never ever show it. Right from the beginning when I fell over my feet on the treadmill again and again, or failed comprehensively to copy a move successfully or lost my pace, they took the time to explain repeatedly what I should be doing, correcting my posture and gait. Christina’s new favourite phrase is: ‘At least you’re moving’. I am enormously grateful to them for giving me back my confidence in my body’s ability, after years of thinking it failed me at every turn.
I went off to play polo a week or so ago. Old Sasha would never, ever have taken part. She would have sat in the grandstand, far too scared of being laughed at or failing or falling off. New Sasha borrowed a pair of Penelope Chilvers riding boots, swung into the saddle with alacrity, and loved every single minute. And really wasn’t that bad. At all.
And for that I owe Jonathan & Christina.