What happens if life suddenly swerves so dramatically that you find yourself having to start over in your fifties? Well, it happened to me! I didn’t change—my life changed me.
The year is 2005 and I lost everything that gave me comfort and my sense of security. The man I had been living with for eight years had succumbed to lung cancer after a two-year battle. My twenty year business as a Textile Rep in the New York Garment Center met its death to imports.
A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery
So there I was in my fifties with no life partner and no business. Now what? Starting over at 50+ was not how I wrote my original life script. However, in order to carry on it became quite apparent that my script needed to be edited to meet my new life circumstances. The edits I made ultimately changed my life.
We are either the masters or the victims of our attitudes. It is a matter of personal choice. Who we are today is the result of choices we made yesterday. Tomorrow, we will become what we choose today. To change means to choose to change. ~ John Maxwell
I realized that I had a survival instinct and that things came from deep down inside me when I needed them most. I’m not a quitter. The word quit is just not in my vocabulary. Now what will I be when I grow up was one of my greater challenges. Didn’t I already do that? Yes, but as I told you, my script needed to be edited to fit my new life circumstances.
The age of my body has no bearing on what I do or who I am.
So, my new script went as follows. I started formulating a business plan to teach Pilates to people of my age, 50 +. Now you may ask why Pilates and why Pilates at my age. So glad you asked because it will be my pleasure to tell you! I was driven by the ‘if I can do it, you can do it’ philosophy, because after all, I’m an ordinary everyday woman who just happens to be 50+ and wants to look and feel her best. I know, I know you’re still wondering why Pilates? Through the years I did every type of exercise imaginable but there was NOTHING like Pilates. It changed me and my body like no other exercise practice ever did.
What does Pilates do for you? For many, particularly those of us who are 50+, we are becoming more aware of our increasingly aging bodies, stooping shoulders, and greater propensity for injury. Pilates will help serve us as an insurance policy of sorts.
Pilates helps us become more conscious of our posture, how we move, sit, and stand. You can learn a lot of things through the practice of Pilates that can affect the rest of your life. Pilates works the whole body in synergy, which is how we should be moving on a daily basis. More & more people today want to tune in. They’re looking for a mental connection. Pilates is something you can’t do while you’re thinking about something else. http://www.pilatesbodynyc.com/pilates-body-mind/
Pilates is more than an exercise practice. Pilates becomes a way of life. I find it really rewarding helping other women just like me and love the moment when they say Pilates has made a difference in their lives. I also love seeing a client improve; it’s exciting for them and me!
I never thought I’d be doing a job like this nor having to start over in my fifties. Things didn’t turn out the way I imagined and it’s not always been easy, but giving up just isn’t in my vocabulary. My life is still filled with lots of stress and unresolved issues but I take a deep breath and keep going. I always encourage other fifty-something women to somehow, someway follow their dreams, to make their own choices and not to be influenced by other people’s opinions. Never forget, it’s your life, your choice.
You have got to discover you, what you do, and trust it. ~ Barbra Streisand
Bio Susan Sommers is a certified Pilates instructor specializing in teaching those 50 and older. Certified by Pilates Academy International in all populations Mat, Susan continually takes workshops to keep both her knowledge and ability to teach current. Her company, Pilates Body NYC, brings Pilates right to the clients home or their building’s gym. All they need do is provide their body. Susan supplies the rest, Inspiration and motivation included! Susan’s philosophy: “Age is nothing—attitude is everything.” *You can find and connect with Susan on Twitter, Facebook and her blog.*