As a personal trainer and fitness instructor with an affinity for attaining challenging and highly regarded certifications, it’s no wonder why BASI was my choice for my Pilates education. To me, difficult means that the certifying organization is not interested in sheer numbers but those who want to be in that club have to really prove that they know their stuff. I want to be the best, and I want to give my clients the best. Many people are often surprised when I tell them that my Pilates comprehensive training might be the most challenging one I’ve done yet. Not only is the sheer volume of information vast, but BASI’s standards of excellence mean that I physically have a lot of work to do. And this is not meant to be a deterrent to possible future students. If anything, I think it would be an endorsement. After all, if candidates aren’t up for the challenge, they probably won’t make it anyway.
It wasn’t until the midterm that I think many of us started to doubt ourselves. Fortunately, we had each other and began to form strong bonds that allowed us to vent and encourage one another. I remember after Module 9 feeling like there was no way my body would ever be able to get into those positions and successfully execute the now intermediate and advanced level exercises we were learning. My coursemates reminded me this was the first time I had ever gotten on some of these apparatus, of course I wouldn’t be able to do it as perfectly as people who had been doing this over and and over again for years. Some of us were also going through some significant shifts in our personal life. By confiding in one another, we were able to boost each other’s morale and refocus on why we were there. I came back for the last 3 modules with a completely different outlook and attitude. I was focused and determined to do my absolute best, try not to be so hard on myself when I can’t perform an exercise right off the bat, and most importantly remember why I was there in the first place and what I wanted.
After Module 11, a small group of us got together for dinner and studying for the next day’s final written test. We were quizzing each other on anatomy when a woman at the table next to us asked, “Excuse me, I was just wondering what you guys are studying for?” She was floored when we told her, “Pilates.” She couldn’t believe that we had to know that much information to be instructors. She was stunned! She thought we were studying for a medical exam. She also thought Pilates was a glorified ab workout with some stretching. I felt very proud right then. I understood why BASI held it’s participants to such a high standard and what it meant to roll with the best. I carry that memory with me. I want people to be surprised by what Pilates and by extension, what I can offer them. I believe we also made an impression on her.
I completed Module 12 feeling happy and excited. I am strategizing my plan of attack to get to the final test. It will require dedication, practice, and time. There have been some hurdles, mainly because of distance from the host studio, but I accept the challenge and want it, because I know that’s what it takes to be on BASI’s team. The next step is probably the hardest; I have to perfect my movement, master the exercises, and most importantly become a competent instructor so that I can continue the BASI vision of spreading good health and movement to my pupils.