Are we having fun yet?

It is freezing cold in London today. The sky is sometimes a beautiful blue, the sun shines weakly and the tawny trees are shivering so much their leaves are falling off. My words freeze like stalactites as they leave my mouth and my fingers and toes feel numb. But at least my leaves haven’t fallen off.

I braved the freezing weather to go to my Pilates class last night. I figured it was worth the walk and the frostbite on my ears because I love my Pilates classes. However, when I got to the gym, settled myself and my mat in my usual spot near the front of the class, I discovered that our lovely Pilates instructor couldn’t make it to the class. So we had a cover girl. Not that kind of cover girl, but a young woman who was sent to cover the class. Small problem – she was not a Pilates instructor. So she said she would give us a core strength workout…

Expecting a Pilates class and being offered a core strength workout? We all kind of looked at each other, bemused, and decided, unhappily, to get on with it. I thought I might as well get warm, if nothing else, to brave the frozen walk back to my flat. But I was not happy. It was like ordering a double thick chocolate milkshake and being given a glass of lukewarm tap water. Oh the disappointment.

So our Russian taskmaster instructor proceeded to torture us with work her way through floor exercises that could make you weep. We would groan our way through, like, a hundred leg raises, followed by two thousand leg crunches and then a gazillion pulses of the same thing. She would then say, “Okay, let’s repeat all of that. Set yourselves up. And we’ll start in one, two, three, four …”

A guy near me started to giggle because he was straining his oats so much he nearly burst. Giggling was the next best thing. Our unmoved instructor said, “What’s wrong? I can’t feel anything.” I guess that happens when they remove your heart and replace it with a metronome.

We moved from leg exercises to ab exercises and then she made us do the plank*. The first time we did it, we had to move our feet outwards, then inwards, then outwards, then inwards, then do the same with our hands. And then we had to hold the plank for an hour. She then said we’d repeat all of that and, I swear, she made us hold the plank for a month. It was November by the time she said, “relax”, and the clocks had gone back and everything.

So I muttered into the frozen air all the way home, and my muscles are reminding me today that I had a bootcamp session instead of Pilates. And it’s nearly Christmas. mutter mutter mutter

Sunshine, stiff-muscled and frilly-lipped, signing off for today!

*The plank: for those who don’t know, you start by lying flat on your stomach bent elbows under your chest. Lift yourself up by propping yourself up on toes and forearms. Stay like that until the summer. Oh, and pull in your abs and keep your back flat.


23 thoughts on “Are we having fun yet?

  1. Sounds tough. Sounds like an unpleasant surprise. Sounds like something I’d grumble through and then be very pleased with myself for having done it. Kinda like you sound. 😉

  2. Screech! Love the exaggerations of time. Bet you’ll all be glad to see the Pilates teacher back. Cooler here too only it’s reached temps warmer than the Cape. Pretty cool hey? …… NOT! Xx

    1. Did you think I was exaggerating? 🙂 The Pilates instructor will be welcomed back with a hug, I reckon! Your cool doesn’t sound very cool, but cool that it’s warmer than here! xx

  3. Ugh. Total ugh (not your post, the subject matter). I have been hitting the gym regularly for 35 years. I hate it. I’ve written posts about my trainer, Pilates, Body Flow. I’ve had experiences like that, including one trainer who decided it would be good to act like a Drill Instructor. I told him if he did it one more time, I would never show up again. Or I would show up, but it would be with an assault rifle.

    1. I think my “are you serious?” looks were deadly enough! I’m usually quite flexible (physically and attitude-wise!) but that workout and me, we were not a good match! Duh, I think you can tell! 🙂

  4. Loved this post…reminds me of a fishing story…it gets bigger every time the guy tells it! Hope your recovery is speedy and your Pilates instructor returns soon!


  5. Loved your blog! Was the instructor called Jodie? Sounds just like the Monday morning class at SSI! Made me laugh out loud. Thanks Sunshine.

  6. Love this post! I very much get your chocolate milk shake vs. luke water comparison. That was great! I used to teach spinning (stationary bike class). I was known as the hard core, going to kill you, but had good music so they endured the pain of the class instructor. I would hear it when I would get a sub and you know what? The were usually Pilates instructors 🙂

  7. Lovely! I used to shiver and weep when my favorite yoga instructor was too blissed out to show up, and the stand in would take the class…
    what should have been a sweet, gently, challenging flow practice would turn into all of us, swimming in lakes of our own sweat, cursing (very non-yogic) his existense…

  8. I’ve never done Pilates.

    (If you had done it), is Pilates more for toning and such? I’m trying to lose the last ten baby pounds, so I’ve been doing cardio.

    Well, when I say I’ve been doing cardio, I mean I’ve been doing it since last night when I finally got around to start exercising again. I figure it’s been almost 11 months since the baby was born, and my weight sympathy from others won’t last forever.

    1. Pilates is great, and a good complement to cardio as it is about toning and building core strength. But just not in bootcamp style! Well done for starting the exercise regime again – that’s always the hardest part! Thanks for the visit! xx

  9. The Plank must be the worst exercise ever invented! I’ve decided to cut it out of my exercise programme until I’ve got a little stronger. All I’d be doing at this stage is injuring myself.

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