I totally stepped out of my comfort zone Thursday and did something I never thought I would do. I went to a Pilates class at the YMCA b y m y s e l f. That is surprising on many fronts, not the first of which is that I've watched Pilates videos before and vowed never to actually, you know, partake. And here I was, partaking with a whole room full of people. Men, even! And I didn't know a soul!
When I first got there, I had to ask where the exercise classes meet because, although we've had a membership for over a year, the most I've ever done is lift a few weights and ride the stationary bike. I really do prefer to be outside for my exercise, but what with the monsoon we've been experiencing and winter coming on, I figured I'd better have an alternative. Then the YMCA catalog came in the mail, and I felt it was a nudge from God.
Oh, that God. He has such a sense of humor.
So I found the room, and someone had to tell me where to get all the equipment. The mat, the mat cover, the big ball and the square thingy to keep it from rolling all over the place, and the hand weights. I liked the idea of the mat and mat cover, because that meant I'd be on the floor, and that sounded pretty easy. I've seen people sit and sort of bounce on the big ball, so I didn't think that would be a big deal. And the hand weights? They all told me to get the light ones to start with—3 pounds. Pffft. With all the typing I do, I knew my arms were already in pretty good shape. And after all, this was called "Pilat-ease" in the catalog. How hard could it be?
We started out with some basic stretching, you know, yoga-style. Slow stretch, deep breathing, very relaxing and happy. Then the basic stretching turned into more creative stretching to "get those muscles that don't get stretched very often." Holy cow, I stretched muscles I didn't even know were in there! Somehow the stretching turned into a serious ab workout that had me out of breath and trembling, then bicep curls, and flies. And all the time we're doing flies, she's telling stories, presumably to keep my mind off the fact that it feels like I'm trying to pull my arms up and out to the sides with my earlobes. While balancing on one foot.
Finally she had mercy. We set down the weights and sat down on the balls. This was more like it. But my reprieve was not to be. We leaned forward and did more flies, swinging the now-leaden weights from the floor out to the sides, working our upper backs. Then more ab work. Then triceps. Then pseudo squats.
Finally she allowed us to get flat on our backs on the mats. We rolled the balls under our feet. Ahhhh. I could have slept a thousand hours. But no. Now we're doing reverse planks, then holding the reverse plank on one leg and lifting the other one straight up. Do you know how hard it is to balance your body between your shoulders on the floor and one leg on a 3-foot ball?
It didn't even end there. I kept looking at the clock wondering how long she could go on with the torture.
A solid hour. Without breaking a sweat or getting out of breath. Telling stories and laughing the entire time.
I've never been so thankful that a class only met twice a week. I have until Tuesday to convalesce.
Be thankful ~