The lady who showed up today had leopard print cat's-eye glasses, curly hair and reminded me of several art teachers I've had going through grade school and high school (the idealists who got over it after a few years of dealing with Vermont kids to whom high art was Leroy Neiman). She announced that the class was going to work each "skeletal group."
She wasn't kidding.
Whereas I thought I was getting a pretty good Sunday working with the usual instructor, I have since changed my mind. Today, we were sweetly (and with a bit of an accent) told a brief history of Pilates (developed after WWI to help injured soldiers rehab) and that the Marines were now using it to condition the grunts. Red flag.
I have never before had the shit kicked out of me in such a pleasant fashion.
The core muscles got worked to the point of screaming (and when mine get overworked, they hold my intestines hostage and threaten a gas attack if I don't knock it the hell off). I learned some things I can do daily to work triceps, etc. (If I can remember them. Menopause BLOWS). There were balance moves (and we know from yoga that balance is not my strong point. I need to get my ears to a doctor; they're constantly full of fluid. No wonder I'm cranky). I began to resent the phrase "Okay, five more!" BITCH, YOU LIE!!!!!
This was at 10 AM. It's almost 7 PM and my arms are still screaming at me. Dear Triceps, you had it coming.
As we were once again working the core muscles while trying to balance (a lost cause for me. Ears), I developed a theory that this woman had been a drill instructor in the Israeli Army and had reduced those soldiers to tears and vomiting.
I survived. Barely. A couple of the girls from class told me that there was "a lot less of me" than had been there before. The uplift from these comments sustained me through the workout.
To the men who may be reading this and dismissing Pilates as "sissy stuff": I got a chance to talk to her after class and I wasn't too far off the mark. Israeli Army: yes. Drill instructor: No, or so she claims (I have my doubts). She may be have been actually on loan to the USMC at Parris Island or Camp Pendleton and it's just a matter of semantics.
And I double dog dare you to try.