Wednesday, November 10, 2010


In my effort to not turn into a 50-year-old , lumpy couch potato, I started going to Pilates classes at the Y about a year ago. They only met twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I was good with that. After a few months I saw a  bit of difference in my strength, noticed my back never hurt any more, and even managed to lose a few pounds. I nearly starved myself to death to do it, but who's (not to be confused with whose) keeping track?

Along about September we left the Y and joined what I call the Big City Gym.  This is the place where muscleheads abound and they don't wear plain ole T-shirts and cotton shorts. It's Reebok and Nike and UnderArmour everywhere you look. Compression shorts and Asics and fancy-dan BPA-free water bottles. So when I walk in with my faded YMCA triathlon shirt that I got for $5 because all the triathletes already had theirs, I get funny looks.

Still, I press on.

I started with a basic Pilates class, since I was used to that, and everything was fine until I watched a Strive class the other day. It's a basic circuit training class, but each machine has 3 different cams, each of which adds more resistance to a different part of the exercise. You do the exercise on cam 1 for 45 seconds. Rest 15. Do it on cam 2 for 45 seconds. Rest 15. Then do it on cam 3 for 45 seconds. Then you have 30 seconds to get set up on the next machine and start all over again. Interspersed between the weight machines are a few bikes and ellipticals to get your heart rate up. What was I thinking?

So I went to my first Strive class this morning, bless my heart. I purposely went light on the weights so I wouldn't do any damage. The trainer-dude, Tony, hops around all perky-like shouting encouragement over the strains of Carlos Santana's Oye Como Va. While I was on the shoulder press machine on cam 1, he came over and told me to hold my feet out straight in front of me while I was pressing. Then on cam 2 he put a 5-pound medicine ball on them. Then for the last 20 seconds of cam 3, he pushed down on the medicine ball. In the most encouraging way possible.

Shoot me.

Now I'm sitting in my desk chair with my left hip sticking out one way, my right shoulder hanging off the other side, and my neck held at an odd angle. Walking requires that I throw each foot out in front of me and hope the rest of my body follows.

I get to rest in Pilates tomorrow. But Tony expects me back at 8:15 Friday morning.

I'm stealing his medicine ball.

Be thankful ~



Mike said...

Bwaaaha, I'll show you my abs workout when I get home. I call them suicide declines...decline bench, 20 pound medicine ball over the head, and then bring that to my ankles.

As many times as I can, before my vision goes all blurry :D Throw in some side-to-side swings, and you've got yourself three days of hurts-to-breathe goodness :D

Catherine said...

My dear cousin, have you become a masochist in your old age???? That sounds like torture.