This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I think I need more "latte" in "Pilates"

Today was my second class in a 2 part series of Pilates classes I'm taking.  Yesterday I took the Pilates Reformer class where I was asked to do unspeakable abdominal exercises on a piece of equipment that greatly resembled the Torture Rack from medieval times.  I didn't care much for Reformer because I never really felt in control of my movements and all the time I spent attaching and detaching springs, adding boxes, putting various body parts into and out of harnesses, and trying to make my butt fit onto the tiny SureGrip mat they put down so I wouldn't go flying off the machine meant that there wasn't a lot of flow and there was a lot of frustration.  All that scary equipment and I didn't even really feel my workout.

Today I took the Pilates Mat class.  Ahhh, no scary equipment, just a simple peacock blue mat.

Amazing how much pain can be inflicted upon a person with just one innocent looking mat.  "Resist!" my instructor Kylee would command, "Pull your belly button into the mat!  Drag your legs up from the mat, hold that 45 degree angle and slowly, with control resist all the way back down!"  Sweat was pouring down my forehead, back, and chest.  My legs are shaking.  My abs are weeping.  "Hold it until I tell you to bring your legs down!" Kylee would bark.  Surely she won't notice if I lower my legs just a tiny bit, right?  "Beth!  Bring those legs back up!"  Hmm...she noticed.  Next exercise: the swan.  Well what a pretty image that conjours up!  How hard can something called the swan be, perhaps I can even chat with the woman on the mat next to me?  "Lay down on your stomach.  Pull your stomach up and press your hips down!"  But wait, my stomach kind of flows into my hips - if one is going up the other sure as heck isn't going down.  "Press your palms into the mat on either side of your shoulders.  Now press up to lift your head and chest while pulling your palms back toward your heels.  Press!  Press hard!"  Okay, I cannot even describe the pain of stomach going up, hips going down, palms pressing down and back while head and chest stay lifted for, oh I dunno know, maybe 2 minutes!  Needless to say I was too busy sobbing to chat with the woman next to me.


After an hour I rubber-legged out of the Pilates studio.  I rubber-legged down the stairs.  I hoped I didn't need to stop fast on the way home because I'm not sure that my rubbery-muscled legs would have reacted in time.  Reaching up to get the Cafe Express chai latte for my Keurig was pure pain (and shaking arm muscles).  As I type my left arm feels sore yet numb.  I am wiped.

Pilates, not for the weak minded.  Or for those with a long commute home.


karen@fitnessjourney said...

But it looks so easy! I've never had the guts to take an actual pilates class, but since I've been working out with my trainer, my core strength has really improved. I would love to take a class one day. What I really want to know is how your abs are going to feel tomorrow. LOL!

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