Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Grab your pilates and come with me

Have you noticed how candy disappears much faster than oh, let’s say…a root canal? You could have a root canal’s worth of candy and it wouldn’t last nearly as long as the root canal. Just a thought.

I went to a Pilates class today for the first time. My 8-mile walk on Saturday taught me that it is time to get serious about training for October. Last night I walked 4 miles. Tonight I will walk again. If you thought (and you should have) that my life was boring before now, just wait until I have nothing to blog about except how far I walked and how the dirty dishes are piling up.

I was full of the first-day jitters since I went by myself and I don’t know anything about Pilates except the Hundreds and WHO KNEW you were supposed to breathe so much?

Going to a new class with a friend is only slightly comforting. It doesn’t make it less awkward to look like a cat giving birth in front of a co-worker. My co-worker is my only YMCA friend, you see. We took yoga together and I was clumsy and wobbly while she looked poised in her cute little size 0 yoga pants and perfectly polished toenails. It’s better to have her with me when we do new things, but I’m just going on the record to say it isn’t much better.


(my co-worker is actually fabulous)

Sure enough the teacher is in the class telling everyone what to do and calling things I am familiar with by non-yoga names like the Child Pose, which she calls the Shell Stretch. Please, people. It’s hard enough to get into a new game without having all the names changed.

The teacher noticed that I was doing the Plank on my forearms and when we moved to some other torture that involved my wrist, I just sat there and looked around. I was the only one doing nothing: hard to miss. She also gave me some sort of arch thingy for my back that I didn’t know how to use. I knew she gave it to me because I was struggling a wee bit on a sit up, so hi, point out the weakling in the back row.

(I give her a lot of credit for watching her students unlike other teachers who just power through and don’t look after us.)

Oh and the breathing! If I breathed as quickly as she wanted us to, I would have hyperventilated. I had read (because I put everything into the Google machine before I venture forth into the world) that Pilates uses yoga breathing – you know the sort where you fill up with air and then blow it all out? Please explain how you fill your lungs with lots of air them empty your lungs completely at a pace that produces a pant.

Another problem with the breathing, and I have this problem in yoga as well, is that I can’t seem to concentrate on the breathing at the same time I am stretching and other fine details like not falling over or landing on my head. I gave up on the breathing and just did what I could until I surprised myself on a few of the moves and actually caught up with the breathing rhythm. I was all sorts of proud of myself. Statistically it was bound to happen once or twice in a 50-minute class, but I was proud anyway.

I take what I can get.

There were 2,345,804.89 women in the room and I was squeezed in between two women who knew what they were doing. One was OK and she asked if I had enough room. The other woman was tall and skinny and don’t you have your own version of the basic nightmare*? For me it’s tall and skinny.

Naturally among all these women it is so easy to suppose that they are all executing things perfectly, breathing in perfect rhythm and in harmony with their inner Dalai Lama who is in Iowa, did you know that?

The news people in Iowa have been breathlessly fascinated by the DL’s holy visit to Iowa today.

And then class was over just like that. I survived. I think I’ll do it again.
For those who don’t know, the basic nightmare is from When Harry Met Sally. Follow along:

(Marie is getting her wedding dress fitted. Sally is sitting down, watching.)

Sally: Is Harry bringing anyone to the wedding?

Marie: I don't think so.

Sally: Is he seeing anyone?

Marie: He was seeing this anthropologist but...

Sally: What did she look like?

Marie: Thin, pretty, big tits, your basic nightmare.

(Sally nods her head once and pops an M&M into her mouth.)


Rambling Woods said...

LOL..cat giving birth...I think if you mastered the yoga type breathing you would find it really helpful with releasing stress which is why I need to get back to it myself....I loved my yoga classes....Michelle

Greenearth said...

Love pilates but your class sounds very??? crowded.