In our quest for exciting ways to stay fit and motivated via Organic Fitness, DreamInGreengirl has turned to pilates’ studios and instructors for an understanding of what’s involved in a pilates’ lifestyle. Jenn Seracuse, director and highly sought after teacher at Flexstudios NYC, shares with us a very personal story of her Crohn’s disease diagnosis and how Pilates helped her through it. We are amazed by her!!
How Pilates Turned My Weakness into a Strength
Long before I became a Pilates Instructor my life centered on my core. When I was 18, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the GI tract, especially the colon. At 18 years old, a freshman in college, the diagnosis was devastating. I stayed in bed for a whole month straight, and I could have easily stayed there forever. The word chronic felt so final and hopeless. I felt horrible and sick and was totally depressed. There were a lot of “why me”moments, and it would have been very easy to allow my disease to control my life and defeat me. Then one day instead of “Why me?”I asked myself,“What do I want my life to be?”and the answer was, “not Crohn’s Disease,”so I got out of bed. Did I feel like a million bucks right when I made that decision? Not even close, but I had a life to live, and that wasn’t going to happen lying in bed feeling sorry for myself.
Fast forward to now…It’s been a long road full of ups and downs; after many tests, different treatments and finally a major colon resection surgery 5 years ago, I am symptom free, medication free and in the best shape of my life! I credit so much of that to Pilates.
If on the same day I got my diagnosis, the doctor also told me I would have a successful career in fitness teaching Pilates, I would have laughed. However, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense…Maybe it was because of the weakness in my middle, that I was so attracted to the core strengthening of Pilates…And now, I am actually earning a living from it; and feeling happier (and healthier) than I have in years! I have learned to be grateful for my weakness, because it showed me how strong I really am. It was especially hard getting back on my feet after surgery and Pilates got me through. I would not have bounced back so quickly (or been motivated to do so) without it and teaching. I know what it feels like to not be able to (or want to) get out of bed and I never want to go back there again. I may not have control over having Crohn’s Disease, but I can do everything in my power to make sure the rest of my body is as healthy and strong as possible, so I can handle what comes my way.
For any of you who, like me, have been dealt a less than desirable hand, whether it be a poor health diagnosis, a death, a break up, etc, try not to get overwhelmed or let it hold you back from doing and experiencing everything you want to. Obstacles, after all, help shape us into who we are. Take the time you need to cope (remember my month in bed?) and then get up and get moving. I promise it will be worth it, and who knows, maybe you will find your calling…;)
*If you have a health condition, be sure to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen.
Read more about Jenn and her inspirational attitude AND career here.