It’s been 36 hours now since my first pilates class and there is a lot to update you on since I posted yesterday.
First of all, not a lot of people know what pilates is unless they’ve done it. Like they’ve heard of it, but don’t know exactly what it is. I would try to explain it, but I failed miserably. Instead, here is a brief definition taken from the For Dummies website.
Pilates (pronounced puh-lah-teez and not pie-lates) is similar to yoga but emphasizes your body’s core — the abdomen, obliques, lower back, inner and outer thigh, butt, and so on. For this reason, Pilates develops much of what exercisers need — strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, coordination, balance, and good posture — with a much lower chance of injury than with other forms of exercise. The discipline emphasizes correct form instead of going for the burn. With so many exercise variations and progressions, you may have a hard time getting bored with Pilates.
Pilates moves require you to engage virtually your whole body. At times, you may try to strengthen one muscle while stretching another. The moves take lots of concentration; you can’t simply go through the motions like you can on gym equipment. And then, for every move you think you’ve mastered, Pilates has another version that’s a little different and a little harder.
I want to just reemphasize that I really enjoyed the class! I always feel horrible about going to any type of fitness activity because I’m fat (it’s ok to say it, it’s true!) But this was amazing. When I took that one yoga class a few years ago, I liked it, but I felt out of place and kind of horrible while doing it. I knew I couldn’t do the poses exactly right, and I could feel the eyes of people in the room on me while I tried to hold poses for the required amount of time, arms shaking, just praying that the instructor would do something other than the stupid downward facing dog (the worst pose in my mind since it’s so difficult for me to hold).
In my pilates class, the room was full of skinny Korean women. They all look like housewives and when my co-worker and I arrived there was a small handful already there, with prime mat locations, stretching, and getting ready. There was one, probably around 40-50 who was a ROCKSTAR during the class. She was just givin’ it. This one beautiful, skinny, tall, Korean woman had the stop right behind me, and during one exercise I could kind of see her out of the corner of my eye while I was flipping around to touch my toes, sitting with her legs out, exhausted, puffing for air, as the rest of the class continued on. I know it’s probably a bad thing to think, but I kind of really loved the fact that I was still going at that point and she had to take a breath. In this class, I felt like it was ok to stop when I needed to (because I saw others doing the same), and that it was ok not to be able to fully do the poses as well as the instructor or the other women in the class.
But now we are into the aftermath! Yesterday I woke up a little stiff but over all totally fine. I was loving it! Pat myself on the back, brush the dirt off my shoulder, T – you rocked it out!
Then around 2pm or so, my muscles were like “HA! We just playing girl, let us introduce you to THE PAIN!” ooo Sweet baby Jesus. By the time I got home, it hurt to walk. I settled down for my after work half dinner (I eat half at work and half a few hours later when I get home) and read. I’ve been reading The Help lately and I wanted to finish it off last night. By the time I was ready to go to bed, I could barely swing my legs over the edge of bed to stand up. Today, taking a deep breath stretches out those ab muscles I didn’t even know existed in my body and I wince. I stand while putting on my socks, and today I couldn’t even get my foot 2 inches off the floor to attempt it. I sat down and literally had to grab the bottom of my jeans and pull my leg up just to get my little sockie on. Not even a full sock! Just a little half sock to wear with my ballet flats.
At 1am last night, I was woken up by my phone going off with a text message. I don’t know very many people in Korean, and even less have my number so I was wondering why it was making noise (and why I didn’t set it to silent before I went to sleep). It was my co-worker saying if I had recovered well, she is going back tonight and I should go with her. At around 8am I replied that I think I need to keep it to one class a week for a little bit haha! I’ll have to do some simple stretching over the next 5 days to get myself ready for class again on Wednesday. Literally every muscle from the bottom of my jeans to the under wire in my bra hurts.
Now I know this is what people call “good pain”. But really why can’t I just go from not exercising pretty much at all, to doing one class and not having this pain? That would be great muscles! But you have a reprieve until Wednesday….relax while you can…..