Special #1366

Decide to Remain True to You

5 min - Special


Integrity: Decide to Remain True to You

Jennifer Kries shares a story about how she brought courage and intention to a challenging event after suffering a severe injury while dancing. She describes how she embraced true integrity when the odds were stacked against her, and how she refused to act outwardly in contradiction to what she knew inwardly to be right. Listen to how Joseph Pilates’ words and the work itself inspired her to keep the faith and “remain true to herself,” no matter what the outcome.

This was filmed at Balanced Body's Pilates On Tour in Los Angeles, California. You can find dates and locations of future events by going to the Pilates on Tour page.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video

(Pace N/A)
Feb 19, 2014
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Okay, so you need to use some creative visualization here. Okay. I'm 17 and I've trained six hours a day every day for a year and I've been chosen out of 50 dancers to perform a solo. That has been my wildest dream for a very long time and I'm standing on the grand stage at Royal Festival Hall in London and I'm wired, I'm on my first year Appian tour and I've had a few too many cups of coffee and I decide that it would be a good idea to jump with the boys and move some of this nervous energy out. My first grown shed pay is a huge success. I'm flying high, but my ego wants to go higher. This time I launched into space and I add a scissor split to what is already a pretty crazy jump.

Suddenly in mid air at the apex of the movement, I burst into flames, a searing blinding, I mean really obliterating pain slices through my left hip and in slow motion. I fall to the ground in agony and shock. The doctor said, I would be lucky if I could walk again, let alone dance soon. And to add insult to injury, literally my director and my fellow dancers have started pressuring me to take injections so that I can get back on stage faster. As fate would have it. The Palati Xanax of pineapple dance center is next door.

And just like that, I decide because I remember what it is. And mind you, it's been a few years since I've really done it. Cause when you're a teenager you think you're omnipotent, you don't need PyLadies anymore. And that was true for me. So in spite of tremendous fear and upset, feeling incredibly alone, I did what [inaudible] talks about in his landmark book, return to life. I decided in that moment to remain true to myself.

I chose integrity. Practice your exercises diligently with the fixed and unalterable determination that you will permit nothing else to sway you from keeping faith with yourself. Decide I love that. Decide to remain true to yourself, not just be true to yourself. It's too passive. Once I run out, well, I read the side to be true to yourself. It changed everything for me, so I decided to marry my intention, to action, my word to my deed, bringing body and mind together in a unified front and to risk it all really. I mean, remember I was 17 rejection by my peers, my director and potential failure. In spite of my efforts, the pilates trained osteopath who I was lucky enough to see that she couldn't guarantee anything but that if I worked hard and if I believed in myself, I start to see results rather quickly and work. I did. I persevered through severe pain and real anguish at times.

I invested every ounce of my being in my healing. I brought courage, commitment, and determination to my sessions every day and there was something inside me that refuse to feel diminished or divided by outside pressures. I chose to remain true to what I knew to be right no matter what the outcome might be. When the curtain fell the night of the final performance, three weeks later, the audience was honest feet and they were applauding for me, my solo that I had danced the very same. That had been that wildest dream for as long as I can remember. So like you all to get up now, put your drinks down, claim a space between your chairs. You might have to wiggle a little bit more.

And I want you to lie down. [inaudible] you heard me lie down? I'm wearing my dominatrix boots. You can't see them, but they're like all the way up to here. Okay? All right, so quickly, quickly, everyone here with me, if you can lie down, if you have enough space, take your legs up to the ceiling. So heels together, toes apart, reach the toes up to the ceiling. Take your arms overhead, take a deep breath, then peel up off the mat and reach for your toes. And I want to know, do you have the courage to invest in yourself no matter what the outcome? [inaudible] man, no. Exhale, roll back down bone by bone.

Can you be fully committed to the process? No matter what the outcome, are you less axial? Peel off. It's not about what you love like it's about the effort. You invest at change as you breathe in. Exhale, roll down through the spine, bone by bone. We're doing it again. You're up. Ready. Breathe in. Exhale, roll up. If you decide to remain true to yourself, heal up.

Exhale, roll down through the spine and now stand up in Florida stance real fast. If you decide to remain true to yourself, you have already one [inaudible] and whatever you do on the map is what becomes possible in your life.


Loved this inspirational talk and acknowledgement of the value that Pilates brings to everyone that practices it. A reminder of being better at life through this work.
1 person likes this.
A drunk driver nearly took my life and my mobility. I´ve loved discovering Pilates years after my surgery and feeling the possibility of renewed length, strength, and joy every day with my classes at PA.Thank you Jennifer for giving voice to what I have found to be true.
3 people like this.
I decided to watch this talk this morning, a Monday when as a Pilates studio owner all but Pilates practice runs through my head such as marketing, growing customer base, sales, keeping people happy etc. I am so glad I watched this. Thank you Jennifer for bringing me back to the whole reason I do this. I had been feeling lost in the "business" of Pilates.

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