Pilates: Bust a Move
As a general rule I dislike exercise.
“When I run, my body releases all of these endorphins, and I get this amazing sensation!”
I’ve heard similar statements from various exercise enthusiasts and to be quite honest, I have no idea what they’re talking about. Is there really such a thing as an exercise induced endorphin rush? How come I never got one? For me, exercise means pain. I’m gonna be tired and sore afterwards. Yes, I know rigorous physical activity is necessary for optimal cardiovascular health and overall well being. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
Weight training: Lifting weights is like torture to me. It’s mindless and boring. There I said it. It doesn’t help that I feel silly for only being able to lift the equivalent of two giant bags of popcorn – with extra butter, of course.
Aerobics: Step class was fun for a while – when I was in my twenties (gee, that makes me sound really old) – but I just can’t seem to get motivated. Can you buy motivation at the mall? Obviously I need some.
Jogging: I have the knees of a 70 year old. If I don’t feel the impact right away, I’ll definitely feel it later.
Swimming: On a really hot day, it’s super. Just not practical on a regular basis for my lifestyle.
Sports: I’ll leave sports to those among you who possess coordination. While I like tennis, finding people with time to play (and that too, at my ridiculously low level) has been near impossible. Trust me I’ve tried.
Discouragement set in and I resigned myself to the unpleasant task of showing up at the gym twice a week and submitting to the drudgery of elliptical machines, treadmills, and weight training.
Fortunately, I was introduced to mat pilates. This was a complete departure from the monotony of my normal routine. Somehow, the act of controlling and lifting my own body weight was both rigorous and empowering. All the mindless weightlifting started to make sense as I found an application for those muscles away from the weight machines. The constant flex and stretch left me relaxed yet exerted. When I left the gym after that first pilates class, I felt… I felt…HAPPY! I was rejuvenated. I had a positive attitude. I felt more confident. My muscles felt great! Could it be endorphins?!
Now don’t get me wrong. It’s a vigorous workout and when we try something new, I can be sore for days. But I still enjoy it. My posture which was tragically out of whack is improving and so is my self confidence. I’m baffled!!! (In a good way) I’m still aware of the need for aerobic activity. I’ll be sure to squeeze it in, sigh…
I admit I’m new to the game, but I definitely want to keep it up. And I am so proud to say “Yes!!! I can do the pose that you see in the image above”.
(above picture from here)