Hipping Through Life 15: Plop Plop Pilates
Summer is here! The yard is freshly mowed and the birds are chirping from the trees, porch banister and even from their perch on my car tires as they peek from under the wheel area. It’s also a time when I look at myself in the mirror and realize it is once again time to try to rearrange some of this fluff that I’m carrying. I do prefer “fluff” as opposed to “fat.” It’s softer and sexier in my mind. We all should have a word that helps us describe our image with a positive flair.
Possessing the thought to begin getting healthy, my daughter purchased us a membership at this marvelous new place that provides a Pilates workout on a movable bench called a reformer. To my delight, I discovered this interesting apparatus while watching one of the energetic morning shows. I never thought I would have the opportunity to try it. It is an exercise routine using Pilates based breathing and strengthening without any jumping whatsoever; as you all remember, I can no longer jump.
I have been going now for a couple of weeks and after surviving the shyness that comes along with trying something new and containing my big personality so no one would think of me as one of those loud, obnoxious super workout fiends or an overly happy I-want-to-be-your-best-friend type. I realized that the pressure I was putting on myself was unnecessary.
We were all there for the same reason. Discovering that I wasn’t the only one present with issues such as bad hips, knees, and backs was a relief. I could be me. There is only one problem. With exercise comes endorphins, with endorphins comes happiness, and with this happiness comes laughter. For some reason, I can’t contain it. Seriously, the entire time the class is in session, I have this urge to laugh. I have jokes galore, and I possess comical thoughts when we have our feet in the stirrups pulling and pushing the reformer, such as, “I wonder if the chick in Fifty Shades felt like this?” Or, when the little ball is placed on my back for support, “Is it going to burst?” Or, “Do I look like loose chocolate pudding shaking around?” Even when I positioned myself on the bench, I wondered if my exercise bra reminded people of Madonna’s bra where my boobs look like torpedoes aimed at the sky. Nevertheless, as we proceed to breathe while lifting our butts, spines, stomachs (we are literally lifting everything off this bench), I’m in such a state that my thigh cleavage (yes, I said it, I have thigh cleavage) is giggling until I’m just busting at the seams.
My reaction seemed as if I wasn’t serious about the workout. I truly was, but my joy was like the sweat pouring from my body. It just flowed. Not only that, these wonderful people play some of my favorite R&B Neo Soul artists like Jill Scott and Maxwell. Of course, I get extra womanly with both; therefore, I work even harder.
There She Blows!
One day the humor attack happened, and all of a sudden the little ball balanced between my knees darted across the room nearly hitting the instructor. All eyes stared at me. My instructor was calm and reassuring. I burst with laughter and, “There she blows!” To my surprise, everyone else laughed, really laughed. The lady beside of me couldn’t control herself, and she said the sweetest thing. “You make my day. You laugh through the pain, and a lot of days you say what we want to say.” I was so touched and responded, “This is why we’re here doll: to laugh, share, and get healthy together.” I then apologized for sounding like a kumbayah commercial. She chuckled again.
Since then, I let out my grunts, moans, groans, and I call on the Lord quite a bit. Sometimes, it gets spiritual when one of the ladies says, “You can say that sister.” I’m glad I opened up. I’m glad that, when I plop down on the Pilates bench, I’m not the only one plopping. This is major effort, and that effort is better shared with a group owning the same common goal. Yes, I still have a ways to go to fine tune my fitness. I’m amazed that my cute instructors are the size of one of my thighs. I’m even more amazed that they identify with us fluffy girls, proving there is a connecting thread through every experience. But, the best part is being able to laugh at ourselves through every journey whatever it is. It is true! Laughter is good for the soul and the abdominals. Tt is a wonderful thing to be ourselves at all times. But, please understand, I still have my Spanx! LAUGHING!
Janet E. Blakemore
Janet is a former full-figure model, former director of a modeling school, retiree from TN State Government, and an awesome, vibrant spirit of a person. In addition to writing, Janet is an entrepreneur who enjoys retail therapy, being a Tennessee State University alum, and time with her adult daughter.