Exercising… It Doesn’t Have To Be a Dreaded Chore Anymore

pilates2.jpgI’ve heard all the hype about pilates for years. I’ve never been enticed by the kind that requires working on those wicked -looking machines, although I’m sure it works wonders on the old bod. But a couple months ago I got a Stott Pilates DVD from their Matwork Series. It’s a beginner level program (level 2 on a 1-4 scale) and I thought, “Why not give it a whirl?”

So at first the DVD kicked my ass. I really hated it. I was as weak as a kitten, as the saying goes. As weak as a newborn kangaroo using all its strength just to climb into my kangaroo mommy’s pouch.

But I stuck with it. And things started to change.

I’m stronger. I have slightly better posture (my posture is still kind of horrible but I don’t think I slouch quite as much). When I do the workout, my arms aren’t shaky until I’m done. And I’m pretty much of the “not naturally blessed with upper body strength” faction. Which means that there is hope for all of us in this group to improve.

So I would have to say, yes, what you hear about pilates is true. It makes you feel a lot better. It changes your body. Not like I’m a Pilates Pro now or anything. I leave that title to Moira Merrithew, who leads the session. The nice thing about the DVD I have is Moira’s not too annoying. Yes, I know everything she says by heart now, with the exact inflection, but she’s pretty benign. And the workout chicks featured in the tape seem down-to-earth, like they want you to succeed, although they never actually say anything. They are silent supporters of your fitness. AND, this tape doesn’t have the thing that a lot of tapes have where they have one super-fit person doing the routine at a higher level of energy and a dumpier person doing the routine for out-of-shape people. I like this; the routine is what it is and you do what you can until you get stronger.

stott.jpgThis is the one I have. You can see Moira down in the right-hand corner looking slim and encouraging. And that’s… I think her name is Natalia (??) working out. Natalia is the more serious of the two and she’s quite skinny. The other is Jen (?? Moira says it strangely in the intro so it could also be “Jan”). Jen/Jan is a powerhouse with great muscles. I can tell that she’d be fun to hang with at happy hour or maybe play some frisbee. Or someone you’d ask to book club.

Now I’m giddy at the thought of purchasing my next one from the series – Firm and Fit. Bring on the plank position! Bring on the rolling back like a ball! Bring on the push-ups and the lunges!