As promised in last week’s blog, I have now included Pilates classes in my mission to get into shape, whatever that may mean.
In my case, it means getting rid of my Kangaroo pouch, developing long-lost muscles and eliminating about a million cellulite cells. (They don’t call me thunder thighs for nothin’, you know.) I think I may have a shot at the first two, but I’m not too optimistic about that last one.
It’s said that cellulite is inherited. If your mother had it, you’ll have it. Just like acquiring Uncle Harry’s buck teeth or your dad’s bow legs, it’s in the gene pool. Well I’ve got news for you; I must be adopted. I don’t recall my mom or either of my grandmothers being blessed with this oh-so-lovely dimpling. Maybe I’m just the family anomaly.
Now don’t get me wrong; how we look is not actually the main objective in life (or shouldn’t be) although numerous Hollywood magazines beg to differ. Most of us know what lives deep down inside is where the real substance resides. I agree and I get it.Still, I hate my thighs. Does that make me a shallow person? Perhaps. Although I don’t base my self-worth on whether I look like an air-brushed super model, it wouldn’t devastate me if I could eliminate some of the cottage cheese from my legs or if I could wave without my sagging triceps flapping about like flags on a windy day.
So in the spirit of going for the burn (or in my case, the singe), I’m back at the gym. I’m not saying I won’t ever skip a workout and plant myself on the sofa to watch Modern Family because, come on, who wouldn’t? It’s the best sitcom on TV. But after recovering from a knee injury where I exercised about as much as a hibernating bear, I realize I feel better on the inside when I look fit on the outside.
So that brings me to Pilates and weight lifting. My plan is to mix in stretching and strength-training with the aerobics I currently do. When I lift weights, I tend to do it at home where I have access to cans of beans and corn. Those 1 lb. cans are sometimes all I can handle lifting, but I’m working my way up to 2 lb. cans of diced tomatoes.
You see, I’m a complete wimp in my upper body. Asking me to do a pull-up is like telling me to run a 5-minute mile. It just ain’t gonna happen.
Anyway, I finally realized that I need to incorporate more into my exercise routine in order to avoid using a Hoveround Scooter in about 10 years. Therefore, I’ve been experimenting with friends Sue and Ayako by taking different classes at the gym.
Ayako is just a pup in her mid-40s and Sue just celebrated her 60th. Both appear to be in fabulous shape. Well, we all soon discovered that looking in shape is a much different thing than being in shape.
Our first Pilates class was filled with lots of groaning. Sadly, it mostly came from the three of us. During some particularly challenging core exercises, I mouthed to Sue, “I’m dying.” She somehow managed a chuckle but that didn’t disguise the obvious; she was dying too. I even spied a spot of perspiration on Ayako’s brow, a rarity even on blistering days playing tennis.
Yes, dear friends, if you think you’re in shape, take Pilates and then come talk to me. Believe me, there are muscles in your abdomen you never knew you had. (Until the next day when it hurts to laugh.) Word of advice: don’t plan on laughing the day after Pilates.So now we’re attending different classes in order to decide which avenues of torture we prefer. Last week we did CXWORX, which is just another word for what did I ever do to deserve this? I have the answer: I let myself get soft and squishy, like a marshmallow.
Tomorrow we’re trying Body Pump Express. I can only imagine what that will feel like. And when I do, it’s not pleasant. Not in the least. But it’s all for the greater good, right? I’ll try to remember that when every fiber of my being is screaming in agony.
If this exercise stuff doesn’t kill me, I’m destined to someday be the strongest, most buffed 80-year-old in my nursing home.