“On the Shoulders”
Written by Eileen Harris
For over six years I sat on a sliding seat, arms stretched out in front of me, hauling a 9-foot oar through meters upon meters of water. I was part of a crew of women who spent the early hours of the morning (and most weekends) mastering the perfect stroke. Mastering it so that when it came time, we could glide across the water, in swift and perfect unison, at speeds upwards of 10-15 mph (which is fast considering the weight of eight rowers, one coxswain, a 200 lb. shell and eight 9-foot oars).
For over six years I did all of this rowing to port side, meaning I was constantly rotating towards the right. Not only did this leave my body slightly crooked, but to say I have especially tight shoulders is an understatement. Yes, they have become mobile and strong over time, but there is a consistent difference in my right shoulder.
Yes, we may all have slight imbalances – we are not perfect. We may have a strong side and a weaker side, a short side and a longer side, or maybe even a slightly crooked spine, but I know from my own experience, that we do not have to live in imbalance, especially when it causes flare ups of old injuries or even creates new ones. In my own experience, practicing Pilates has been the only consistent form of exercise that has helped me become aware of the difference in my shoulders and begin to bring me into alignment.
As a Pilates Instructor, I feel inspired to help those who feel imbalanced or like their bodies are not functioning the way they should, find balance in the Pilates Method. In doing this work, I hope to help people feel less pain and imbalance so that they may live the lives the way they’ve always intended.
Happy. Balanced. Inspired.