What a woman! Ex crew-member Bianca Ljungberg is the author of popular yachting blog The Swedish African – A writer abroad, owner of Antibes based CREW Pilates, trainer of competitive athletes, and now an essential part of the support team for the 1400KM+ Cogs4Cancer endurance ride 2017.
This month Bianca is our guest blogger in our YACHTNEEDS fitness and well-being post. Take it away Bianca…
I’ve always wondered why we’re not taught about posture when we’re kids. We learn how to tie our shoelaces or ride a bike… we learn how to walk and catch but we’re never really taught how to hold ourselves correctly.
Fast-forward to our early thirties and suddenly our lower backs begin to hurt, our hips and knees start to take strain, or it becomes exhausting to stand on our feet for too long.
The truth is, perfect posture is difficult to maintain when you’ve spent a lifetime with your musculature out of balance. Perfect posture is even more difficult to find when you don’t have a clue what posture is.
This is where Pilates comes into the picture, an exercise method created in the early twentieth century by physical guru Joseph Pilates. It started out as a method to reform soldiers in World War I and in the last decade, it’s taken off in places like the States, the UK, Australia and South Africa.
But Pilates isn’t just about fitness. It’s what I prefer to call ‘functional fitness’: exercises you can apply to everyday life, movements that make sense. You don’t just ‘sweat out a thousand crunches’ in a Pilates session; instead you learn how to do ten crunches, perfectly. It’s not ‘exercise for chicks’ or ‘zen with your ohm’ malarkey. Pilates is a hard workout, a real mind-body challenge.
When I opened CREW Pilates in April 2015, I underestimated how many people in the yachting industry needed this kind of functional training. Over time, I’ve come to learn of the many lifestyle injuries from day-to-day work on board or from hours of sedentary living: rolled shoulders, text necks, overloaded backs, the list is endless.
Encouragingly, my work with the yachting fitness community has given me great insight into the benefits of Pilates for everyone: young, old, men, women, crew, Captains…
Certainly one of my greatest passions has been to train both amateur and competitive athletes for sport, including cycling, running and swimming. I love to see a client to the start line. Whether they’re a first timer or seasoned professional, I love hearing that their ‘back didn’t hurt this race’ or that they ‘now know’ how to hold their form on a bike.
The CREW Pilates Studio in Antibes has become a place where people can learn about their bodies and become better at whatever it is they set out to achieve, from just finishing to winning a race.
CREW Pilates is proud to be an official member of the Cogs4Cancer support team for the 2017 endurance bike ride to raise money for cancer research, as 36 amateur, industry cyclists aim to conquer 1,400km from London to Antibes. In previous years, the famous ‘Cogs’ have raised an impressive €700,000 for cancer projects all over Europe. In October 2017, they’re hoping to smash the one million euro mark…
It’s up to each and everyone of us to make this possible, from small businesses like CREW Pilates to the bigger fish in the industry. If you have the time, if you have the money, give!
We’ve all been touched by cancer in one way or another. In September, we lost our dear friend and super-talented Y3 engineer Brandon Matley. He was a keen Pilates enthusiast, always sending me photos of his workouts on deck in Fort Lauderdale. He was also a wild San Blas kite surfer and Bad Gestein snowboarder taken from us at just 29-years-old.
CREW Pilates will offer free weekly mat training sessions to all Cogs4Cancer riders, along with use of the studio facilities for their weekly training rides from Antibes and on the ground support.
The yachting community are invited to get involved and stand up straight against cancer.
Wrist bands available at the CREW Pilates Studio for only €5
Donate online at: www.justgiving.com/cogs4cancer
Become involved: firstname.lastname@example.org
100% of all money donated goes directly to cancer research.
Get in touch, I’d love to hear from you:
20 Place Jacques Audiberti, Antibes