Four months after starting Pilates exercises, I have a pretty good idea of the range of instructors out there — some very technical-oriented, others very free-spirited and creative in their exercises.
I need both. I need the physiotherapy-trained instructor to carefully put me through my paces in structured, fairly predictable programs. Good, but a bit boring. So I balance that with the free-spirited one who challenges me with new exercises in each session and leaves me invigorated. And, there were others who were just “okay”.
Then I decided to look at their credentials. The technical ones cited their degrees or certificates from various bodies; the “okay” ones had sports backgrounds but no certification.
The free-spirited one didn’t bother to cite anything.
Obviously, she has had good technical training. Her demonstrations were clear and precise but more important, she was quick to spot and correct any misalignment, and to lower the difficulty level for beginners like me. I could feel her passion for the sport as she cheered us on. She has many loyal followers.
I enjoy her boldness in being herself in a very credentials-oriented society.
In contrast, years ago when I was a cub reporter in The Straits Times, the bosses in an experiment hired a new employee that had a PhD in something or other. Weeks passed, and she couldn’t produce. She was one lonely woman in the newsroom. The veterans, many who started their career when degrees weren’t required and climbed the ladder through sheer grit, scoffed: “Got PhD, but cannot write.” Three months later, she was quietly let go.
In my journey, I have met those who have some credentials but cannot perform and everyone can see it; I have met those with good credentials, perform very well, but have naysayers on the side; I have met those who don’t cite worldly credentials but their life-changing, pioneering ways have changed my life and the lives of others and who have had to constantly deal with persistent, toxic criticism of them. They are like someone all Christians are familiar with.