My 'Swan' Moment
According to the stories there is an ugly duckling that grows to be a beautiful swan, this isn't exactly one of those stories...
Once upon a time, on the 6th floor of a building in the midst of the cement jungle, a group of trainees from around the world gathered for a weekend of education, demonstration, observation and Pilates. It was the advanced seminar, part of their journey towards becoming Romana's Pilates Certified Instructors.
Blah, blah, blah, fast forward to when we are going over the Advanced Mat order, particularly the Swan Dive. Sari, the Head Master Trainer of the Romana's Pilates Universe, (she is Romana's daughter), asked for someone who could properly demonstrate the exercise. I turn and look at one of my fellow trainees from home and give her the wink wink that she should do it, she does it beautifully. She doesn't want to be put on the spot and doesn't volunteer, and neither does anyone else. Sari continues to scan the room expecting that everyone should be clamoring at the opportunity...insert ugly duckling moment here.
As I am sure you guessed, I dutifully volunteer. For those of you that neglected to read my previous post, (shame on you!), click HERE to catch up and see a quick video of how it should look when done properly. Go ahead, we'll wait...Now that you have a visual reference, we can get back to the ugly duckling journey.
Is the Swan Dive on the mat my forte? absolutely not. Can I do it? Yes. So with my carefree, reckless abandon, I go for it. I press my upper body off the mat so my arms are straight, pulling my powerhouse up and in, of course, and whoosh! I stretch my arms forward to float like a feather to the mat as my legs lift in opposition. Except, instead of an effortless Swan Dive, it was more like I lurched forward turning into a grade-A belly-flop. Saying this was an 'ugly duckling' Moment is almost being too kind.
Not only did it look terrible, but it sounded like a huge clap of thunder. And I'm pretty sure all of the oxygen was sucked out of the room for a moment with the collective gasp that followed my attempt. Welp, that certainly didn't go as planned, but I wasn't terribly surprised either. I quickly peeled myself off of the mat exclaiming, "I just wanted to show you how not to do it first!", and chuckles of relief, and maybe pity for me, followed. Of course I had to show that I could do it correctly, so up I went, and 3, 2, 1, success!
Like I mentioned, Swan Dive on the mat is not my show pony trick, so while I did do it correctly, (the second time), it by no means was the textbook representation of what it should be. So Sari again asked for volunteers if anyone else could do it. Since I had already paved the way of looking like a complete asshole, (sorry Mom), I might as well be a little bit of one too. That friend I spoke of earlier, the one who can do it effortlessly, yeah, I blew up her spot. I almost cut off Sari as she was speaking, as I gestured and pointed to my friend sitting next to me saying, "She can do it! She's really good at it!". And with that, my other fellow trainees from home jumped on the bandwagon on the crusade for her to demonstrate. So she pretty much had to, she did, it was flawless, Sari complimented her, we moved on.
Below is the group picture we took on the last day of the seminar. As you can see, no one appears to be too traumatized by my Swan Lurch. I even got to sit next to Sari.