Stephen’s Story – The Confessions of a Pilates Instructor’s Husband

Reach Length

As Shakira said, ‘…your hips don’t lie…’

Firstly, before I start I need to make an admission, if as, Shakira said, ‘..your hips don’t lie..’ then my hips are those of a man three times my age!

I have no real excuse for being in the physical state that I am currently in.

I have had the physical problems I have got for many years now, and for whatever reason I have chosen to do little about it apart from suffer and complain, and take copious amounts of painkillers.

For those of you that don’t already know, my wife is Jill Robinson of Organic Pilates fame, and like the car mechanic that drives an old knackered banger or the Michelin starred chef that cooks the kids beans on toast at home, Jill has be dragging around a husband that groans every time he sits down or stands up, frequently has to stop during walks to stretch out his cramping back and can barely reach his feet to put his socks on in the morning.

This is by no means a criticism of Jill. She has told me more times than I can remember what I need to do to improve my situation and given me exercises to work on, but like I said before, for whatever reason I have chosen not to stick at it.

I used to be fit – really fit, exceptionally fit.

I started rowing at the age of 13 and continued up until I was around 30 years old, training around 5 days a week including body circuits, light weights, heavy weights, long runs and lots (and lots) of time on the water or on a rowing machine. When I stopped rowing I stopped doing any real exercise altogether, other than the occasional trip to a gym to justify the extortionate monthly fee I was giving to Mr Ballantyne.

Now whether or not this all contributed to the condition I am in now I guess I will never know but now I am not fit – Far from it.

Middled Aged Spread

Yes I am now in that dreaded middle age spread phase of life at 46 years old, and am probably 2 (maybe 3) stone heavier than I would like to be but that is not my main concern.

My problem is that for probably the last 20 years I have had serious mobility issues with my lower body including lower back pain, zero mobility in my hips, incredibly tight hamstrings and occasional bouts of sciatica affecting either leg or both. I have been backwards and forwards to doctors, had X-rays, MRI scans….all to no end.

Anybody that knows me knows that I have the back length of Michael Jordon and the leg length of Tyrion Lannister (not quite but you get the picture) so am probably a prime candidate for the problems that I have, basically I am a Chiropractors dream client.

The crunch point

You may ask why I have waited until now before trying to do something about my issue and this is the reason why.

While writing this I am currently sitting in the 30 degree heat of Menorca on holiday with my family. Jill mentioned that the boys would probably love to go paddle boarding which at first sounded great. I then realised that if, or when, I fell off the board there would be no chance of me ever getting back on,  and my pride didn’t want the boys seeing me flounder around before admitting defeat. I’ve even been asking the boys to fasten my sandals for me because I can’t bend down far enough, for heaven’s sake!

At our boys age holidays like this should be about creating memories not being a carer for your knackered old dad.

As a result I am now giving Jill free range to get me to do whatever I need to do to sort myself out, and I am writing this to commit it to paper (or blog) to document my progress, warts and all, as a means of motivation to keep me going.

I am determined that our next holiday won’t be compromised by my lack of mobility.

We have 7 days of our holiday to go and I will report back when we get home as the battle against my dodgy hips is about to commence.

Jill, do your worst!

Here’s the photo’s to show my immobility, and provide me with the motivation to improve.


Note from Jill: If you have a husband who you think would benefit from Pilates then please get in touch via our Contact Form, and we can get him booked in for either 1-1’s or a class.  There are lots of guys who come to classes, so you won’t be in a class full of bendy women (even if you were, would that be such a bad thing?).

Stephen's Knee Lift Aug 17
This is how far I could lift my knee (unable to do without holding onto support)
Reach Length
Me unable to fasten sandals, Aug 17
Stephen's Hamstring Stretch
Taken in Aug 17 – this is how far I could pull my leg into hamstring stretch
Stephen's reach length from standing
My reach length from standing

6 thoughts on “Stephen’s Story – The Confessions of a Pilates Instructor’s Husband

  • August 29, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Good luck Stephen ? I will read with interest!

  • August 29, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Loved reading this Stephen; very brave. However, you don’t know what you’ve let yourself in for!! BUT she’ll have you ship-shape and in Bristol fashion before you know it! Good luck but keep at it, follow her instructions and DON’T answer back, or she’ll make you drop down and give her 10 more…or as Jill always says….Breathe through it, only 4 to go! (even when she loses count and it’s 44 to go!) 🙂

  • August 30, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Aw best of luck Stephen! Next year you’ll be running circles around William & Joshua!

  • August 31, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Actually Stephen you weren’t any more flexible than that when you were rowing….. ?
    Seriously though, I think it’s a great thing to be doing and I have no doubt that Jill will work wonders! Stick at it!

    • September 1, 2017 at 7:38 am

      I should do a class for all you former rowers – perhaps call it the ‘Wrecked Rowers’ or something! 🙂


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