I’m very unfit. Not unhealthy – I can make very healthy choices when
shamed into doing so I choose to, but I have zero level of fitness.
I’m mostly ok with this. Exercise has never held much enticement for me so other than the odd zumba/dance/one session fling with a cheap gym membership, I’m pretty much exercise free.
The small part of me that wants to change my fitness level is the paranoid part that fears I’ll suffer a heart attack or similar and won’t get to see my boys grow up. I guess that should be a fairly major consideration.
I’m quite afraid of the horrible breathless, tight chested, fuzzy legged feeling that a brisk uphill walk brings me, so something calmer was more up my street. So, not knowing anything about it, I suggested pilates.
Unable to face potential life-ruining humiliation alone, I roped Husband Dearest into it and got a babysitter. I donned my least snotted-on leggings, one of Husband Dearest tshirts (which clung far more than my ego could take) and laced up my almost fresh out of the box trainers. Throw a sweatband on me and I reckon I could’ve passed as someone who might know what the fuck was going on.
As with all the best laid plans, the class was cancelled. We returned home, waved goodbye to our lovely sitter and I suggested we do a Youtube pilates sesh in the living room. Isn’t that the obvious course of action!? Husband Dearest took a lot more convincing but within moments, some weirdo American was cast to the TV and I was on my makeshift yoga mat throw. Upon seeing my seating gear, Husband Dearest went in search of his own kit, returning with a duvet folded into quarters. Upon receiving my scoffs and jeers, he retorted, ‘What? Haven’t you ever heard of a pilates quilt!?’
We began. The first exercise was fine; my legs couldn’t get as straight as the stretchy goddesses on TV, no matter how many times the lady told me to have long legs (Hello!? I’m 5’10”, I’m pretty sure my legs are long enough, thank you very much, scary American lady) but on the whole, I reckon I styled it out.
Unlike usual, I didn’t even fucking have time to get cocky with it. Next thing we were ‘rolling down our backs’ – I’d call mine more unfolding than rolling – and lifting our heads, hands and legs. I could manage that. Then we had to sit up. I tried. I really really tried. I can’t even say I felt the strain because there was just nothing there. Nothing to strain at all. No part of my body which could aid me in sitting up without using my hands or feet. I looked despairingly at Scary Lady but all she could tell me was ‘Activate your Power House.’ But what happens if you don’t have a Power House? They must have missed out my Power House like they missed out my breasts at age 13.
I frantically questioned Husband Dearest who was bobbing up and down like a well-disciplined weeble: ‘Where’s the Power House?’ (he didn’t know), ‘What muscles are you using!?’ (he couldn’t say), ‘HOW ARE YOU DOING THAT!?’ The last question was responded to with ‘Well, can you do sit-ups? It’s just a sit up.’ He can just fuck right off. Suspended in mid-sit, mid-lie, did I FUCKING LOOK LIKE I COULD DO A FUCKING SIT UP!?
Alas we moved on, albeit, slightly traumatised on my part. I was beginning to wonder how the buggery I could expect my poor untrained body to get my through a pilates class without complete soul-destroying, mental health-obliterating and body-confidence decimating humiliation.
I don’t remember the next exercise, but I remember it was about rolling your spine up off the floor. Well. Don’t pilates people wear bras? And if they do, why don’t they scream out in pain when doing that exercise!? ‘I will not be wearing a bra to the class,’ I announced, glaring at Husband Dearest. Then I really took in his floor equipment. That lovely spongy duvet. Maybe the pilates quilt wasn’t such a thing of ridicule after all. He was demoted to the pilates throw and I snuggled down onto my new cosy surface.
We attempted some more exercises. One was rolling like a ball, forwards and back. Whilst he squealed in glee at how fun it was, I took the exercises one step further; unable to control my body to just rolling back and forth, I rolled all around the pilates quilt. Again, I questioned the suitability of my free-spirited body within a public class.
We began a ‘scissoring’ exercise. I thoroughly enjoyed aiming my kicking legs at Husband Dearest. He was immaturely pissing himself at Scary Lady repeatedly instructing us to ‘reach around’ (how is that even funny?).
I took great delight in scissoring with gusto and prowess and probably far too scissorly. I took more delight in the fact Husband Dearest was groaning with pain.
After 23 minutes (a mere third of the time the class would have tortured us with), Scary Lady told us it was all over. We slowly recovered from our uncontrollable giggles, got up off the living room floor and wandered into the kitchen.
‘Cheese?’ Husband Dearest offered, nibbling a chunk. ‘Nah I’m gonna have a pizza.’ ‘Ok, me too. Prosecco?’ ‘Yeah, why not.’
I’m clearly just not cut out for this fit body life. Within minutes I was, again, sedentary and gobbling greasy pizza (which I ate in record time) and glugging booze. Who the fuck did I think I was with my fucking pilates and pristine trainers!? If only we hadn’t prepaid for next week….