I should probably start this off by apologizing to my older sister for being supremely embarrassing. Both in this particular instance and in life. So hey Mush, thanks for not disowning me.
After my sister had my older nephew (who is now a little over two and a half), she decided to get back into pre-baby shape. She had been going to a pilates class in Notting Hill that she LOVED, and invited me to go with her, since your first class was free. If I liked it, I’d sign up, and we’d have a great weekend sister activity. I had done pilates in college (and even got credit for it!), so I didn’t think this would be a challenge at all.
Five minutes into the class, I passed out (I blame it on not eating breakfast due to an upset stomach, but honestly, I was just massively out of shape and not ready for the ass-kicking that reformer Pilates would give me).
For two days after, I was sore like I had never been sore in my life. Walking up the stairs to class hurt. Sitting at my computer hurt. Life hurt. On top of that, I was extremely embarrassed, since my adoring sister decided to tell my brother, mom, and local newspaper reporters that a woman who had just had a ten pound baby had completed an entire class without any major problems, while a 21 year-old-girl was dying in the back.
Two years later, I’m still embarrassed, but have since decided to try similar classes again. I had heard friends talking about Pure Barre classes, and as a former (as in, in a former life) dancer (read: uncoordinated dance enthusiast), decided to give it a try.
There was a pregnant girl in my first class. All I could think about was that horrific Pilates class, and kept tucking my little heart out. Over that first 55 minute class, I sweat more than I had in ages, had worked more muscles than I even knew I had, and had attempted to ’embrace the shake’ that literally had me walking out of class as though I were made of jello.
I was absolutely hooked.
Classes aren’t easy, but nobody’s paying attention to what I’m doing aside from our instructor, who will help with positioning and form, to help you get the most out of your workout. For the first time in my life, I am excited by a workout routine, and actually dislike the days where I’m unable to get to a class. None of the women in my classes are super-skinny-stickly, instructors included, so you don’t feel like the odd one out for not being in top ballerina shape. You feel comforted by the fact that these women are struggling with the moves the same way you are, and you can focus on what you’re doing and making sure you’re doing it properly.
Am I uncoordinated? Absolutely. Am I a dancer? Absolutely not. Am I ever going to pass out in class again? Not if I can help it.
Pure Barre helps me feel strong, and those last two minutes of class give the most euphoric rush of endorphins, like I’d just completed a marathon and had been greeted at the finish line by Ryan Gosling (next goal? ha).
Moral of the story? It’s ok to pass out at pilates once in a while. Also, eat breakfast before any workout and never go to an exercise class with a woman who had a baby unless you’re POSITIVE you can complete it. Trust me.