Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Lowering the Bar

I started taking basic pilates today. My husband and I got one of those trial gym memberships, and the class is my first leap into fitness.

Gyms are very intimidating places. The way I see it, one of the pros of modern life is not having to be in good enough shape to catch your own food. The delivery guy has replaced running with a spear, and in my mind, that’s a good thing. Walking into a gym, you’re immediately confronted by hordes of people ready to outrun you for the chicken if it comes down to it. Nothing makes you feel more out of shape than going to work out.

Which is why, I like basic pilates. Unlike my forays into yoga, which were characterized by creative attempts to make the classes increasingly uncomfortable, basic pilates seems satisfied with being glorified lying down. There are no attempts to make the class “power,” nor is their talk of turning the heat up 100 degrees, nor am I asked to chant anything. In fact, my pilates instructor makes my high school guidance counselor look like a drill sergeant. I’ve never met anyone more affirming. Can’t lift your leg that far off the ground? It’s okay, your pushing yourself to where you can! Can’t do a push up? Holding yourself up is just as constructive! Getting winded after trying to touch your toes? Don’t stress, it’s perfectly natural to need a break.

Basic pilates brings something new to my gym experience. It makes me feel like I accomplished something. So what if it does that by lowering the bar? I’ve already coined my new catch phrase. It’s not about strength, it’s about flexibility.

Ms. J


Blogger Berry said...

My pilates experience wasn't quite that nurturing...the instructor makes all the difference. Best of luck.

8:34 AM  

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