I have to admit. I had no clue what it was. I knew it was exercising and I knew it was kind of like yoga. After a quick google search, I came up with the definition below, which I could jive with. I also knew, as a HUGE Orlando Magic fan, that when JJ Redick played for the team, he was spotted doing Pilates every now and then around Central Florida. So since it worked for JJ Redick, it has to be cool, right? With that in mind…on I went.
The class started at 8:30 a.m. at my local Central Florida YMCA. By the time I arrived after dropping my son off to school, it was 8:25 or so and the room was filled…with ladies…who were there for one thing and one thing only…to start their day off right with a workout. Boldly and without fear of what anyone else thought, I proudly laid out my wife’s purple yoga mat (because I do not have my own) and pulled off my shorts to reveal my Pearl Izumi bike shorts and was ready to go! Soon Lorraine, the instructor, asked: “Do I have anyone new to class today?” Only one person raised their hand. Wanna guess who? I proudly answered her question, “The only dude in the room!” This got me a welcoming round of applause. Lorraine told me that there is usually one “token male” in the room and that she wanted me to try to change that. I would do the best I could, but first I needed to deal with the task at hand, getting my Pilates on!
We began with a few nice stretches and then we incorporated a squishy ball that we used between our legs and under our backs for sit-ups and many other positions. A great deal of core strength is required to do pilates, so it is wonderful for triathletes. When I talk about core strength, I mean ALL those muscles that are from your chest to your butt. The stuff inside that seems less important when we are busy. Did you know that core strength is responsible for helping you to keep your spine straight and supported? Many injuries can be prevented by keeping your core up to par, but we often neglect it because core muscles are not always the “pretty” muscles we can see. Core muscles are inside your body. For more on what/where core muscles really are, check THIS out.
I am happy to say that I was able to hang with the class pretty well. I did all of the exercises and was able to stay with Lorrraine as she brought the pain on with each new exercise. The pain was a good pain, not a serious hurt and that was good. It reminded me that I was doing something good for my body. Yes, I might feel it the next day or two, but the key is to change it up from time to time. I love when I am not training for triathlons (in my off-season) to be a well-rounded athlete. I do all types of different classes and focus on things that I might not be so good at. Who knows…maybe next week I will try Zumba?!
So my question to you is simple. What do you do to step outside of your comfort zone in the interest of your own health? Do you let what other people might think define a choice you make?
- For 10 awesome core workouts, check THIS info-graphic out from my Pinterest page.
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