In Pilates

I have just less than two months before my sister gets married, and I’m her Maid of Honor.  I’m so excited for her big day, but I keep thinking about the dress I have to wear and the pictures that will last forever.  I’ll be standing at the altar between my two sisters, both my height and 15 pounds lighter than I am.  After talking to Allison about her Pilates BeatCamp, I’m going to give Pilates a try and see if Joseph Pilates’ quote holds true, “After 10 sessions you will feel better, after 20 sessions you will look better and after 30 sessions you will have a new body.”

About me:
Female, 24 years old, 5’9” and 160lbs.  While I used to be athletic in high school (5 years ago) I rarely exercise now, but try to eat healthy. These change have come because of my full time job in Harrisburg. I have not made the time I need to inorder to take proper care of myself without the appointemnts. .

I was so excited/ nervous for my first session with ABSolute Pilates.  I completely trust Allison and know that if anyone can whip me into shape, it’s her.  I’ve only been to a Pilates class once in high school and I haven’t been back since.  Today I showed up in my yoga wear – black stretch pants and a t-shirt.  I immediately love that Pilates require me to be barefoot.  We start on the reformer (a flat surface on a track with ropes on pulleys).  The very first thing I do is footwork and learned the Pilates V.  As Allison tells me which exercises to do she demonstrates and describes what I’ll look like (a mermaid or a parenthesis).  I realize that I am beyond uncoordinated, but Allison jumps in to make sure that I am in the correct positions.

Day after my first session – I am beyond sore.  Sunday I can barely move.

August 26, 20009
Came Back for More
Even though my body is so sore that I can barely walk (I’m not used to this new exercise regime).  Today we work on the reformer and we also do exercises on the floor with a mat.   On the mat I do sit ups, leg circles and other exercises you might recognize from class.  I like the Magic Circle.  It looks like a steering wheel that you put your foot in to stretch you leg before you do leg circles.  I’m learning the my favorite words to hear Allison say are, <em>go ahead and give yourself a big stretch

August 31, 2009
A Monday Afternoon Session
Today Allison and I met for another session – working on my Pilates V, my pretty mermaid and something that makes my body look like a parentheses.   My body has not changed from <em>Flab to Fab,</em><em> </em>but I have noticed that my mental attitude is changing.  Doing my workouts with Allison has made me more excited about exercising in general.  I look forward to my sessions, while they kick my butt, and now I’m going to the gym on my own more often.   I don’t think that my friends or family will notice my a change in my body yet, but I feel better about myself  which matters more to me.

September 5, 2009
My New Favorite Chair
Today was my fourth session with Allison.  She warned me last time that we would be working with The Chair.  Of course I didn’t think that it would be easy, but it was much harder than I expected.   We started right away with the chair – no fun reformer today!  Towards the end of my hour, Allison had me attempt an exercise with the chair, me on the floor attempting a push up.  My body was shaking and I  literally couldn’t lift myself up.  For the first time in my work outs, I blurted out, I can’t do this.  Allison just said, I think you can, and helped me to do it correctly.  And when I did it on the opposite side, it wasn’t easy, but I was able to do it.  I wanted to stop the exercise, but I was so happy when I was able to do the other side.

September 17, 2009
Back From Vacation
Allison was on vacation for a week and I haven’t done Pilates in over a week.  MISTAKE!  The first half of the session reminded me of a way more difficult version of my very first session.  By the end of the session, it was like I hadn’t missed a session.  The best part of my session was trying the chair push ups again.  They weren’t easy, but they weren’t as scary or hard as the first time I tried them.  I’m starting to notice muscle definition in my arms!

September 19, 2009
My Favorite Chair Part II
Saturday morning, I’ve had a cup of coffee and I’m ready for my second lesson this week.  Allison invites me to sit on the chair, and I know already that this is not going to be easy.  We go through the usual warm up that I usually do on the reformer, but this time on the chair – not too hard yet.  We go into mat work outs and then lunges.  The fun really began when I learned the side divers. An interesting position which required me to lift my lower half in the air (you can only truly understand this if you see it and Allison made it look way easier than it really is!).  My push up regime is getting better!  My arms still shake, but I’m getting stronger.

September 22, 2009
Getting Into A Groove?
I’m really getting the hang of Pilates.  And I was happy to have NO chair exercises today!  Although, I am confused why I think the sliding machine is any easier.  I am happy that the exercises are becoming more familiar and my body is becoming more coordinated with those that I am repeating.   The new exercises still initially confuse me.  Here is a one I attempted today– while laying on the gliding machine and your hands in the straps, you press your feet and hands forward and then make a motion that resembles elementary backstroke. I was anything but coordinated while I attempted this, but Allison guided my feet and helped me to correctly do the motions.  The best part of my session was on the drive home, while scratching an itch on my forearm, I noticed my newly formed muscle!

October 7, 2009
Two Week Count Down
Today I felt completely lazy and was worried that this will affect my performance at Pilates.  It didn’t.  Once I got to Allison’s studio she turned on the music and I was ready to exercise.  I did the Teaser on the reformer.  Laying on the reformer with my arms over my head, I had to use my momentum to pull my arms, legs, head and chest up and hold it there. Describing it as hard would be an understatement, but with Allison’s help I actually made it through the movements.  I really worked on my arms today on the Reformer.  The usual set of upper body exercises with a couple of new arm workouts mixed in.  As I complain, Allison reminds me that I have less than two weeks until I wear my bridesmaid dress.

October 9, 2009
Have A Seat
I worked on the chair today doing lunges, working my triceps, and push ups.  I can actually do push ups!  They’re nothing beautiful or close to pretty, but I can do them and that makes me happy.  I did the dive exercise today, not the side dive as before.  For the dive exercise you place your hands on the seat of the chair and your feet on the bar.  You lift you butt into the air.  It makes me laugh to do it, but I keep getting better and better each time I do it.

October 12, 2009
Last Lesson Before the Wedding
I can describe my final lesson before my sister’s wedding like the final study session before a big test.  At this point I have a solid base knowledge of the movements in Pilates and my ability to perform them has increased as well.  Allison and I went through each exercise more quickly, and gracefully, than ever before.  I finally made it through Coordination feeling coordinated!  Although I won’t be in Allison’s studio before my Maid of Honor debut, I plan to do some mat exercises at home this week.

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