Live, Love, Pilates

“Contrology develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit.”

Joseph Pilates


Last week the family and I decided to join a gym. I have always felt quite motivated at a gym rather than purchasing a piece of exercise equipment that ends up being something very expensive I use to hang my clothes on.  We each have different motivations, but there are motivations there nonetheless.

After we spoke to the salesperson, he sat us down with a personal trainer who put us through some humiliating numbers and then a 25 minute workout that left me wondering if I could get a refund. We decided to forego purchasing a personal trainer package. It may be worth it, but it was expensive and well, I have a problem with authoritative figures telling me to give them ‘one more set’, plus I have my son – Coach Connor – who is quite capable of pushing me and he is free.

For the first few days we perused the gym’s equipment; ran on the treadmill, biked on their stationary bikes and swam in the pool. Last night the kids and I left Chuck at home and ran to do a quick work out when we saw that there was a Pilates class starting, so we decided to join in, but not knowing what to expect.

Grabbing mats and a goofy ring with pads on either side, we sat down and waited for the teacher to begin. I wasn’t dressed in great workout clothes, as I was just going to run on the treadmill for 20 minutes, and had done just that before plopping myself down on the wooden floor, in a room surrounded by mirrors that made me look like a 500 lb hippo even with the lights turned off. No, really. I think they put the fun house mirrors in there on purpose. We waited, but not long enough before Micaela, Connor and I could reconsider.

The instructor introduced herself and we began stretches, rolling our shoulders, sitting straight and taking deep breathes in and out in a meditative way. For a brief moment I thought that this was perfect, until the warm-up began and within seven minutes in to the class I was beginning to wonder what excuse I could make to leave. But then thought of how guilty I would feel for abandoning the kids. Connor wasn’t struggling at all (we all hate him), but I could hear Micaela groaning, and that made me feel better (sorry Micaela). I had to have some exercises modified as according to Micaela, I looked like a rollie pollie bug that couldn’t get up. It was true – I did. That or a turtle who was turned on her shell. No matter the imagery, it wasn’t pretty and I wondered if the teacher was laughing at me too. I know that I was laughing at me. She was professional, so I doubt she was, but maybe inside. Thirty minutes in I began to feel muscles in my thighs, abs, and gluts that I don’t think I have felt in probably twenty years.

The class ended and she invited us to the Zumba class afterwards. She only laughed when I gave her my dirtiest look. As we walked out, sweaty and rubbery feeling, I wondered if I could even get into the car to drive home. But after a shower and looking at the many bruises that I ended up with (no idea how that happened except for maybe the rollie pollie incidences), I decided that I liked the class. And yes, I might do Zumba after next week’s session.


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