Monday, August 28, 2006

Look! I Just Laid A Huge Rubber Ball! or Teletubbies Do Pilates

They make it look so simple. Slow, fluid movements to mellow music. No jumping. No running. No heavy breathing. Lots of stretching.

Stretching isn't exercise. It's...stretching.

So when a friend asked if I wanted to take Pilates with her, I was all for it.

I can so totally do Pilates.

Since I am a card-carrying college student, I can take full advantage of the campus fitness facilities for free. This means I can even take the exercise classes for no extra charge. So, this morning, after class, I ran to the nearest Wal-Mart and bought myself some stretchy workout pants. Cute little capri workout pants. I threw them in my gym bag with my Easy Spirit shoes and some deoderant.

Like I'm going to need deoderant for stretching.

Once there, I follow my friend's lead, since she has done this before. Outside the classroom we grab a blue floormat, some small weights and a huge rubber ball.

Honestly, when I look at those giant balls, in shades of blue, yellow and red, I think of cute, little Teletubbies, frolicking along astroturf hills, talking their weird little babytalk, happily chasing the big, fun, bouncy ball.

Just in case you're about to run out and join the next Pilates class, it ain't Teletubby Land.

Upon entering the classroom, I notice all four walls are mirrors. I notice it right away, because like I said, it is mirrors, and you don't just casually dismiss something like that. Especially when you're wearing stretchy pants.


We start out slow, stretching our arms above our heads. Inhale. Exhale. Lengthen your spine. Stretch this way. Stretch the other way.

Piece of cake.


We go through some different accessories like the hand weights and this nifty pole we use to balance ourselves on one leg while stretching the other leg out behind us. The instructor makes it look so easy. "Don't lean on the pole. Just lightly hold it and use your abdominals."

Abdominals. She uses that word a lot. Trouble is, my abdominals disappeared a long time ago. I'm not even sure I still have them. And why did she give me the pole if I'm not supposed to lean on it?

I follow her directions, wibbling and wobbling on one leg, sometimes falling back to both feet. But even that wasn't too terribly bad.

Then she tells us to put the poles down and get our "balancing balls". And like a true Pilates idiot, I thought it would be easy. Let me just point out something. Sitting on that ball is not as easy as it looks. We are supposed to sit down and roll forward, so that our lower back is on the ball and our feet are planted firmly on the floor, supposedly keeping us from rolling off and cracking our heads on the concrete.

But I could not escape the fear of falling off that ball. And what's funny, everyone else seemed to be just fine, gracefully executing each move. I think something must have been wrong with mine, because I was flailing about, rolling around on that huge ball, looking, in fact, like a Teletubby.

But the instructor knew what she was doing. She lulled me into thinking it was so simple by saying things like "Remember to breathe. Inhale. Exhale. This is only a breathing exercise."

If it's only a breathing exercise, WHY ARE MY THIGH MUSCLES ON FIRE?!

At one point, she tells us to completely lay back on the ball, basically doing a backbend on the ball with our heads hanging upside down.

A word of advice, if you're going to be hanging upside down during your workout, do not down a Vente Caramel Frappucino with whipped cream before class.

I thought I was going to hurl.

And what's up with the mirrors??!!! As if making a fool out of myself isn't bad enough, I get to see it all happen!! AND MY BUTT LOOKS HUGE!!!

After an hour of excruciating humiliation, were are finally finished...and my legs feel like Jell-O, as does my ego. I glance around to find the stand that sells the T-shirts reading, "I did Pilates - and lived to tell about it".

And I'm going back next week. Just call me La La.


Wendy said...

I applaud you for going back. I love the "mmm cake" comment. So funny!

jesprincess said...

Hey Lala. This is Po! I am so glad you are sticking with it. I (and I'm sure the rest of the ladies in class) was so busy looking at my own butt and cottage cheese in the mirror and worrying about falling on my head that I didn't even notice your Rookie ways. I'll have to pay better attention next week. Just kidding, but seriously, we'll make sure you get a ball that fits you next time. By the way, GOOD JOB!!!

Daddyman said...

Isn't exercise fun!?

Tess said...

wow, you ARE Supermom!!

crazeemommy said...

Okay, I was thinking Pilates (it looks so tranquil on tv) but after your description, I think kick boxing (no graceful movements required) Some how my exercise program never leaves the planning stages.

org junkie said...

ROTFL!! I can totally relate. My girlfriend and I went to a spa one time and thought we'd be totally hip and take the pilates class cause really how hard can it gosh I thought I was going to die...but I didn't...instead I almost peed myself laughing so hard because I felt like an idiot!!!!

LiteratureLover said...

La La's my favorite! :) I'm proud of you for doing Pilates at all. Way to be diligent and keep going.

Mama of 2 said...

Hi LaLa!
Good for you since you took the first step that I have been avoiding like the plague. I know I need to start back on my exercise routine but as of yet I haven't taken a single step in that direction.
Maybe tomorrow....or not.

Let us know how the next class goes. You think I can exercise vicariously through you?

holly said...

A few monthes ago I joined a gym for the first time ever. (my husband won it at the red cross poker tournament) It's for sure seems like your the only one who doesn't know what you doing, but I guess everyone started out that way. (of courser I guess after 2 monthes I shouldn't still look that way, oh well)

Malissa said...

lol;) too funny!

I hear that once you figure out pilates it's super!

heartsjoy said...

ROFL!!! Thank you for that! I can totally relate to that feeling ( being that I joined an exercise class and felt like a fool). I got so tickled on the back bend hurl the mirrors...oh the horror. What dedication you have! p.s. I love your story but I'm sure you looked as eloquent as anyone there! ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm a lurker, I confess, but I just had to say how creative and funny this post have a gift for writing. I esp. loved the post when you were talked into going dancing with the gals! I can't find anyone around here that wants to go with me. I think THEY think I'm nuts. Anyway, keep on blogging, cuz we are out there, and we are reading what you write!

Jen said...

ROFLOL! I am literally crying and laughing as I sit here at my desk, with my husband asking from his office, "WHAT'S so funny?" I can't even tell him, I'm laughing so hard. Thanks for the laugh, and for sharing your great experience!!!!

Brony said...

Way to go. I think other than my walks the only exercise I do is typing on the computer or housework. Does that count?

jessica said...

Too funny! I liked pilates... but we didn't use the ball.

jjofar said...

mmmmm...Caramel Frappucino!!! Reminded me of that stinkin' balletone class i attempted. pics of your little one rocked didn't they??? she is a beauty! sis and i were talking about your mass comments. i was so excited when i had like 6 on the pirate playroom blog, and i think 2 of them were me :) clients awaiting the big bow site launch! so excited! praying for your sanity with school/kids/everything and to not be sore from 'lala' land.

Michelle said...

LOL I so relate since I've done a few "streching" classes myself that leave me hurting until next week! Had a time with those big bouncy balls, and once with a half ball thing that is just murder on plastic.


theresa said... are too funny, I too do pilates, but in the privacy of my own mirrors, eva.

Jennine said...

Oh. My. Gosh. That was tears spilling down my cheeks funny and prompted me to come out of the lurker closet to say three things:


With admiration,
Jennine, Founder and President of the Mothers Against Pilates Club

The Human Napkin said...

I've decided that abdominals are just something that some exercise instructor made up so people will keep coming to their classes. That being said, I still do Pilates. But at home. In private and with the shades drawn. While the hubby is at work and the little ones are asleep. NO ONE sees me exercise. I'm sure I look like a bumbling idiot with no coordination.

Kelli said...

pilates? nope

Vente Caramel Latte' with Whipped Cream? why, thank you

janjanmom said...

You are doing so much for yourself and I am so proud. and jealous, but I know your whole family will benefit from you expanding your horizons a little.

Tinky Winky said...

hello, I like reading your blog though I have never left any comment yet.
Those Pilate exercises are great and I am a big fan of those giant balls.
It helped me much when I was pregnant and I did some exercises with it before delivering the baby. A great relief ! Now, we have 6 at home. The kid loves them and I think it is always great to do my gym with. When people come to visit us, I offered them to sit on for tea.

Waouh, that's a long comment I've written. (hope my English was fine enough):-)

BooMama said...

Oh, that's hysterical.

Shannon linked to your post over at my blog, and now I see why.

"Why are my thighs on fire?"

Now that's humor.


Susanne said...

Over from Boomama's Link weekend. You are hilarious. I'll never look at those balls in quite the same way again!

Jennifer said...

Here from Boomama's link weekend, too. I am laughing so hard. I am glad you lived to tell all about it! I know now to stay far away from pilates.

see, blogging is so educational.
p.s. I always hated the mirrors.

Jenny in Ca

Lori said...

Wonderful post! My daughter does Pilates all the time. I just don't think my body works that way,LOL!

Big Mama said...

I am laughing so hard. Why do they have to increase our torture level by making sure we can see ourselves in mirrors? It's just cruel.

Karen F. said...

I'm telling you . . . my motto for exercise is:
"whenever I get the urge to exercise, I just lay down until the urge goes away."
I'm serious.
Totally serious.
And you're hilarious!! :)