This time last year I remember it rained so hard the roads were awash. Light was at a minimum and I watched charcoal grey clouds build on the horizon and move inexorably towards my house.
The dog looked up briefly then buried her head back into her blanket and I felt the full force of a British winter at that moment. Surely there must be more to life than watching the rain I remember thinking? Surfing the internet in despair I happened to click on to the flavours holidays website which had been recommended by a friend.
In fact, I had just finished reading the novel, ‘The Food of Love’ by Anthony Capella and had probably whipped up one too many Italian inspired and very tasty ‘snackettes’ in the process and was not feeling at my energetic best. So I wondered what it would be like to spend a holiday in Italy and pursue my love of Italian food.
However, on the way I clicked on the Pilates course just out of curiosity and suddenly saw the photo that really did it for me. A group of people were actually exercising on the beach. I took another quick glance out of the window; the view was now wobbly behind the channels of rain pouring down the glass. I looked once more at the photo and was seduced.
‘Toned and trim’ it said. I undid my belt, feeling the effects of the last crostini extravaganza I had concocted. I kept on reading: ‘not how you imagine returning from an Italian holiday. That's one of the reasons these trips are so popular. It's the perfect balance between healthiness and indulgence. With exercise classes and mouth-watering meals al fresco the emphasis is firmly on group fun. The sun-drenched island of Sicily is the perfect backdrop to get a real taste of la dolce vita for your Pilates and Cookery holiday.
To be honest this is just what I needed to hear and I read on with gusto:
‘There will be energising morning Pilates and relaxing evening Pilates. As often as possible, lessons will be outdoors in the sunshine. Beginners to advanced welcome. You will also receive a personalised exercise programme to take home.’
I sat back and thought about it; too many hours spent hunched over a desk most of the winter had left me feeling somewhat sluggish and bent over. I am not a natural exerciser and the thought of pursuing something completely different, combined with a holiday in a warm country really appealed. It didn’t take much thought for me to actually book a place and I am so glad I did.
Everything about that Pilates holiday sounded right and appeared to have my name on it. For a start I wasn’t going to be penalised by travelling alone; don’t you just hate that?
The villa where I would be staying sounded really stunning and the holiday would balance Pilates lessons and a couple of cooking sessions too; what a combination!
I really loved the idea of holidaying with a group I didn’t know. I am also all in favour of meeting new people, trying new experiences and pitching up somewhere I had never been before.
Exercising outdoors was a novelty for me too and I came home a total Pilates convert and have since wondered what took me so long to get hooked!
This last year has seen me turn over a new leaf and I have developed an addiction to this form of gentle exercise.
For me the Sicilian light, the warmth of the climate and the welcome all made me feel so alive and that feeling has remained. It was great to get stuck into my Pilates journey with a week’s immersion and I really came to understand what the fuss was about!
If you are thinking about a Pilates holiday and haven’t yet made up your mind, please take it from me, you will return home refreshed, inspired and with a sense of having achieved something both pleasurable and beneficial too.
Click here to see what a Pilates holiday can do for you; I may well see you there this year.