A tingly numbness started in the heel of the left foot, through the hamstring and into the gluteus muscles. Mile by mile, I watched the pain move up and down my leg. I made note of each ache, compiling a full report for my next physical therapy appointment. I thought I wasn’t strong enough or something needed to work itself out. I kept running.
When I sat down, the pain pinched the hip and irritated the gluts and thigh with a stinging heat. During the workday, I was imprisoned by a ninety-degree angle, shifting in my desk chair and readjusting my hips without relief. I could not take a break or else I would fall behind. I kept working.
“Pain is a sign that something needs to change.”
The passage glowed, lifted itself from the page like a scene in a 3-D movie. Yes! There was a lesson here. There was a reason for this pain. If I could just find the right stretch or let go of my emotional burdens, the pain would lift and I’d be back on track again. I kept running.
Our lil’ baby Marriage is turning one today! We are so proud. We created her ourselves by signing checks and a marriage license. Amidst the postpartum excitement, we also swore we would run a half marathon together. Holy Commitment.
Our first run as a married couple was on our honeymoon in Tahiti. The scene was as picturesque as you can imagine. Blue skies. Bluer water. Tropical flowers and vegetation spilling on to the path, we ran. My face was less like blushing bride and more like beet-red. As I wished for a full breath in 95 degrees, 100% humidity, I reminded myself: That guy ahead of you is your Husband. Appreciate this.
I was perusing books about Pilates at my local library when one of the librarians shuffled over in her clogs to see if I wanted help. (Yes, people still go to the library. I like silence and books, so I am one of those people.)
I gestured to the open book in my lap, said no with an obligatory smile and noticed her nametag. Flexi.
She lingered and asked, “How long have you been doing Pilates?”
“Four or five years.”I willed Flexi away with my mind. No luck.
“You’re probably at risk for Orthiodosis, then.”
My brain scanned through a repertoire of Pilates postural alignment vocabulary: Lordosis. Kyphosis. Scoliosos. Orthiodosis? She saw my question mark and explained.
A prose poem for you! In response to Writing 201’s Poetry Prompt: Fingers.
That bar has an air of annoying superiority. An unnaturally violent reaction surges. Digit by digit, I press her cocky windpipe. My thumb closes around her black rubber. Choked. The floor drops from my feet. Dangling on hope. I start the swift ascent, exhaling out spongy lungs’ weight, fears and failures. Fresh found lightness lifts my chin above a lifeless bar. Ah! There’s the victor’s view. A moment on the top. Now gravity, my enemy. Muscles trembling, chlorophyll-less leaves in an autumn breeze. I am grabbed and grounded, releasing grip. The bar revives, she breathes and taunts, asks to be choked once more.
“Deep inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Let go of anything that happened earlier today. Let go of any thoughts and focus on your breath. Bring your attention right here, right now.”
That’s me, teaching a Pilates class at the Wisconsin Athletic Club. While I instruct participants to do this, I am doing the same. I am releasing the exhausting day at my full-time job and the rushed car ride to the gym. With a few deep breaths, I relieve my usual pre-class jitters and the guilt of leaving my puppy at home for another few hours. Then, my attention stays on cuing an exercise and the individuals in the class. Being a Pilates instructor might be my new Part Time “Work” but teaching doesn’t feel like work (hence the quotation marks).
Just over two months ago, I promised that the Fourth Time’s a Charm and that I would actually complete the WAC group fitness instructor program this time around.
I’m proud to report that I prepared for, showed up, and stayed awake for seven out of the eight classes. When I was rear-ended on my way to the third class, I cursed the Pilates gods who seemed to have a vendetta against me. Never mind the $1,000 of damage to my precious 2005 Honda Accord, the bigger tragedy was that I missed class while I waited for the police.
As you know, I’m an expert towel folder and locker distributer at the Wisconsin Athletic Club. While these are both highly sought after skills, I think that Professional Fitness Instructor would look a lot sweeter on my LinkedIn profile.
Shortly after I conjured up this idea, a class for Personal Trainers started. Here’s what happened:
- I signed up.
- I went to the first class.
- I didn’t do my assigned homework so I ditched the second class.
Round Two: A class for Yoga Instructors started.
- I signed up.
- I missed the first class.
- I begged the leader to let me attend the second class.
- I was intimidated by the expertise of the instructor and other participants and did not make it to the third class.