Wednesday, March 16, 2011

When Pilates Attacks

In an effort to avoid "spinning burn-out," Alix and I decided to try a different workout class tonight since I have an exceptionally reasonable work schedule this week that allows for evening class attendance.  Since neither of us was feeling up for any intense cardio action, we decided to try a Pilates class.  Oh my.  I knew so little about Pilates that I actually Googled "what to wear to Pilates" before going.  Turns out you should wear form-fitting comfortable clothes.  Got it.  So I put on my form-fitting comfortable clothes and some sneakers and we headed over, nervously waiting for the yoga class before us to finish so we could follow everyone else into the studio and copy whatever the heck it was they were doing.  Apparently, you need an exceptional amount of equipment for this class: a mat, a mat cover, a block, a Pilates ring, and a towel.  (Turns out Alix should also have grabbed a helmet.  But we're getting to that.)  So we were setting up in about the farthest back corner possible when the instructor - a lovely man named Paul (why is everyone who works at this gym named Paul?) - came to adjust the music and we frantically told him we were new and to please please be gentle with us.  He was very nice and excited to have newcomers. 

The hour-long class went by fairly quickly but if I thought it was going to be easy, I was definitely wrong.  My abs were burning and my legs were shaking about twenty minutes in.  Then catastrophe struck.  We had been told to hold the block sideways between our calves (I know this is hard to picture), sit in a V position, and then rock quickly backwards and then back up to the V, all while maintaining the squeeze position on the block.  Well, Alix lost control of her block.  And no, not in the conveniently upright V position, but in the I'm-upside-down-and-the-block-almost-hit-me-in-the-face position.  Paul very sweetly got her a smaller, lighter block while the two of us tried to contain our giggles as the gentle Eastern-inspired music played on.  Clearly, we were not the class all-stars tonight.  But afterwards, we felt loose and limber and it gave my old cranky hip flexors a good stretch.  Ever since I rowed during college and repeatedly strained both hip flexors, running and walking have caused flare-ups and have reduced my hip flexibility to that of an 80-year-old.  If I keep the Pilates up though, things should be improving in no time.  Barring any more block incidents, we will be returning to Pilates regularly.

Update on my last post: Thank you so much to everyone that read about Sage's project and donated to her cause.  She was featured on the local news tonight and you can read the article here.  She reached her $1,000 goal on the first day and is now aiming for $2,000. 


Tu Nguyen said...

i love pilates, but all the equipment and pilates machines scare me....which is why i stick to yoga.

also. i did pole dancing on monday. now THAT is a workout! :)

Cait said...

Pole dancing?? You are much more daring than me. I don't even want to imagine what would come up in a Google search of "what to wear while pole dancing."