I’m in San Diego this week working on my mentorship with Julian Littleford, an amazing Pilates Master who has literally handed my ass to me today. I had to carry it home in my purse, and I’m not completely sure that I’ll last the week with him (and it’s only the first day…). To humble me even more, there was an 70-something-year-old man in the room who could do more reps than me. I am completely serious. There was also a woman with a double knee replacement who made an exercise I struggled through look easy. Here’s a pic of Julian with one of his clients. She’s 96. She can probably rock a perfect teaser.
There are a lot of things to love about Julian Littleford. First, he’s British, so everything he says sounds better than when other people say it. “Ok, luv, squeeze yur bum and move more into lateral rotation.” Second, his studio is in Del Mar, California, which is a mecca of fabulous weather and beautiful ocean views and sushi bars. Finally, he’s just so incredibly good at what he does. I’m honored, humbled, and thrilled to be doing a mentorship with him. I feel much more hardcore just by being in his presence. (Even though tomorrow I won’t be able to walk, which isn’t terribly hardcore at all.) To be fair, he kept asking me if things hurt. Like a bitch, I’d think. But, because it was only screaming muscles and not an actual injury, I’d just answer – Nope. Feels fine.
I also got to spend hours picking the brain of a man who has been doing this for almost as long as I’ve been alive. I say this, and it seems completely ridiculous because that would mean that Julian is an old man, but he’s just barely over 50. But since he started teaching Pilates at age 17 with one of the original Masters (Alan Herdman), he racked up 30+ years by the time he was in his forties.
Some of my favorite things that he said align completely with my teaching style and my thinking. He doesn’t want to lower his level of instruction (i.e. – make his classes easy). He wants students to come up and meet him at his level. That means work for it. The strength will come if the determination if there.
At Fuse Pilates, we think you’re stronger than you probably think you are. And, we’re right. The majority of our students have been taking Fuse for years and they struggled through it at first and then got to the point where it still probably makes their muscles scream, but they’re screaming at a more efficient and lower frequency.
If I survive the night, I’ll be back all day again tomorrow. I can’t think of a single thing I’d rather be doing. Challenging my body. Learning something new. Getting ideas for Fuse. There is, to me, nothing better.
(Trying to) stay hardcore,