In this brief historic review, we can see how a Spanish European and Iberamerican political personality decides to make an outright change in her life in dedication to the Pilates world. To get to know Guadalupe Ruíz-Giménez (Madrid 1947) we need to mention her loving father Mister Joaquín Ruíz-Giménez, Spain’s first ombudsman, who’s trajectory has gained the love and admiration of the entire Spanish society. Guadalupe has been one of the most important collaborators of Adolfo Suárez, Spain’s president during the democratic Spanish transition (1976-1981), she has also been a member of the European Parliament (1989-1994), founder and director of the Iberamerican Investigation and Specialization Association- AIETI (1981-1999), responsible and coordinator of the Iberamerican Cooperation Secretary Office (SECIB,1999-2002), just to name a few. And this is how knowing a bit of her political trajectory we can appreciate even more the about turn she gave to her life to serve and try to help society from a totally different perspective just like she herself tells us in her story.
“From Politics to a Tracksuit” was the tittle of an interview that was written nearly a decade ago, when a journalist friend of mine wanted to synthetize an outright change in my life. When I was just 50 years old, I was facing a period where I needed and desired to live a coherent life with myself. I remember reading once that our life is divided in three essential phases: the first 25 years are dedicated to formation, the next 25 when we develop and consolidate our family and professional life, and the third one where we stop (or life itself stops us) to revise what we have done and reflect on if we feel good or not. Well this is where I was, in this third phase.
In that moment of my life, I believed I was in the best and most brilliant moment of my professional career dedicated to active politics. When I just finished my Degree in Political Science, I was offered a great opportunity by Adolfo Suárez, who was at that time the young president of our country and an activist of the Spanish democratic transition. He invited me to become part of the team of men and women that would lead the important political change that Spain went through in the 70′s and 80′s. A peaceful change whereby the conquest of democracy and Spain’s incorporation to the European Union finally put an end to a long dictatorship and international isolation.
When I thought I was at the top of my professional career, occupying my seat in the European Parliament, I began to see signs that made me realize it was time for a great change in my life. It may have been some type of interior frustration as I began to see that the policy of interests that were lacking ethical values were not the ideal instrument to put an end to injustice and transform our society. I missed working in an atmosphere where an attitude of service to the common well-being prevailed, as I consider that this attitude is a basic requirement that all public servants should flaunt. This was also the working spirit that I learned from my teachers, especially from my father, who with a long and admiring political and academic career, stimulated me everyday of my life to be a proactive agent for change in my environment.
So with my eagerness to serve society for more than a decade, even though I felt I was swimming upstream, I didn’t feel good with myself. Work started to consume all my strength until my body somatised the inner discomfort and I suffered an acute left hip trochanteritis that paralyzed me. And that’s the way something inside me indicated to me that it was time to stop, meditate, and interpret these physical signs. It was at that moment that Pilates appeared in my life through a good friend that knew the method. This friend was an Italian physiotherapist, owner of a studio and academy in Milan. There I received my first Pilates Instructor Certification in 2002. And as I usually do when I encounter a valuable source, I immersed myself in the Pilates world with great passion, eager to study, investigate, acquire knowledge and develop capacities.
I needed to practice Pilates regularly for the pain to disappear, as the cause was more postural than structural, and as I got better, my interest grew to deepen in this technique. Not much time passed by until two small books by Joseph H. Pilates fell into my hands: “Your Health” and “Return to Life Through Contrology”. This literature impressed me enormously and I immediately identified with the essence of the message: that living life with an internal and external balance, and with the responsibility of taking care of our physical, mental and spiritual health, makes us much happier. As I walked in this new and passionate vital pathway, I encountered great masters from different schools; each one of them has provided me with an important tinge for my professional training. But my ten years of experience helping my clients to practice the technique and improve their lifestyles has undoubtedly been the best school for me to mature and go deeper. With each one of my clients, I have been able to give the best of myself and at the same time I have received gratitude, loyalty and affection.
In this profession I have also learned the importance of teamwork, to share experiences and consult other Pilates professionals and other related and complementary techniques that focus on improving the health of everybody that comes to us. I have always had the privilege to count on marvelous professionals in my team that have complimented my work where I am less strong, and that is why I have always wanted physiotherapists by my side, with good knowledge of the human body, like Javier Bseiso (may he rest in peace) in my early years and in these days, Debora Taddei.
This is how I have grown professionally in the Pilates world. I am now convinced that the best way to contribute to the betterment of the world and maintain the cosmic balance is to help other people to improve their lives and keep the Trinitarian balance of the body, mind and spirit, the magical formula for happiness that Joseph H. Pilates left us.
This is why I left politics to make an outright change in my life, the same one that my journalist friend summed up in his article “From Politics to a Tracksuit”. But to be honest about the real cause of this change, I like to borrow this headline and replace one word to reflect my journey a bit better: “ From Politics to Pilates”. I also have to say that even though my experience in this profession has given me much satisfaction, I am still learning, and I’m ready to continue learning with the same enthusiasm as when I received and taught my first Pilates class. They say that when the student is ready the master appears. And it’s here and now when Rael Isacowitz and his great BASI Academy appear in my life. Happy and exited am I as I approach the top of this passionate “art of living” in a healthy and responsible way.
- See more at: http://www.basipilates.com/rendezvous/blog/2013/07/from-politics-to-pilates-signs-of-change/#sthash.yLdM8ZNW.dpuf
by Guadalupe Ruiz