Of Pilates and Ego

We come in a single, tightly bound package, Procrastination and I.

We’re twins, actually; I was born a handful of hours before he even poked out his highly appealing head. But I have this feeling that, though I’m older, he seems to be the more dominant one.

Take for example this post.

The Pilates-related articles from my class will officially start to be interspersed with my fanfics and other random posts. (To those of you waiting for it, I’ll post the first chapter of the one set in the HP-verse sometime next week. And it’ll be long. Honest.) Actually it — you guessed it — should have been seen with my other posts since a few days ago. But, oh, you know, my twin can be very persuasive when he wants to be — and he always is. He managed to convince me to stay in bed, oncoming flu notwithstanding. (I have been known to be more jittery than a ferret in heat even when my temperature reached thirty-nine degrees Celsius. Don’t look at me like that. I like Draco ferrets.)

So it’s been established that in this post, I have to write about flexibility enhancing, core muscle strengthening, generally enjoyable Pilates. Which is fine, by the way, as I find the experience a fine blend of frustrating and relaxing. But here’s the thing: aside from the deadline — which no thanks to lousy internet and trying to salvage several loaves of bread and turning them into pudding (yes, I can actually cook), has already passed for me — and having absolutely no idea what and how to write, I have a problem.

My core muscles are next to nonexistent.

Well, not really in the literal sense; more like it seems to disappear when I need it most. Like when we perform the Scissors — an exercise similar to curl-ups but without the weight on your legs, and your arms performing a wide, sideways sweeping motion inward instead of just being stationary on your chest. I’d always end up a wildly kicking mess after each pull. (I very nearly ended up kicking our instructor on one of our first tries. Either he didn’t see me as he wasn’t looking down my level, or he correctly assumed that I was a hopeless failure. Either way, I’m more than happy that he didn’t comment on it.)

By the time we got to the second set — of five repetitions! What the heck is wrong with me?? — my abdominal area would feel like clumsy me accidentally poured a whole vat of hydrochloric acid on it. Or maybe not. Just going too near a wildly cracking bonfire after spilling whiskey down your front. There. That sounds more accurate.

Don’t get me wrong though; I’m not that helpless think. There are times when I can actually do it properly — pull up, exhale, push down, inhale — but whenever I do it in class, I can barely get myself vertical especially when our instructor is watching. And when I do, I’m greeted by a puffing figure with a disheveled dark mess of what might pass for hair.

Oh, wait. That’s a mirror in front of me, isn’t it?

Between you and I, I think I know the reason why Scissors is called the way it is. It works like it. It cuts down a lot — lowers fat, shortens breaths, and ultimately murders our pride. Every bloody time.

On a less embarrassing note, I find Roll Overs extremely enjoyable. (Yes, I’m capitalizing Pilates poses and exercises. They have a mind of their own and are particularly difficult when they have decided to not like you. Take a look at Scissors as it sneers at my pitiful attempts at execution, for instance.) It has by far been the most relaxing and least ego-damaging exercise we’ve done so far. Pity we do it only once every meeting.

Now you must be thinking I must be off my rocker. I mean, seriously, who would find it relaxing to lie down, lift your legs, bend, put your feet  together on the floor just above your head, pry them apart to point to the side, put your legs together again, and oh-so-slowly put your feet back on the right side of the yoga mat?

A mentally disturbed kid, apparently.

But it’s really fun though. I could probably fall asleep while doing it. Err, actually, I have fallen asleep while doing it. Roll Overs used to be my In-Your-Face-World-I-Got-Up-Again-Today greeting way back in elementary. More than once, I fell back asleep while holding the position, only waking up fifteen to twenty minutes later when my then-nanny came to check why I haven’t gotten my lazy arse out of bed. Needless to say, I was a little stiff for the better part of an hour after that. Oh, and my nanny was giving me looks the whole morning until I got on the bus.

In a comparison between those two exercises, Roll Overs wins hands down. Apparently, my back muscles are exponentially more functional than those of my core. Or, at least, it holds a healthier relationship with my pride and actually makes an effort not to make it suffer. It’s actually more a confirmation of my past suspicions and observations, rather than an actual realization. My core muscles has and will always be the bane of my pride’s existence, and the one that will bring me and my ego most pain. It’s a painful challenge that I should will be facing head-on, and I will continue this beneficial torturous exercise even after my classes conclude.

I’ll just be doing it where no one can see my forever failing Scissors.

Here’s a side note and a realization though: I abso-bloody-lutely CANNOT WRITE SHORT. This was supposed to be only 300 words according to our instructor, but, oh well. I don’t even know if he wants a formal, paper-type kind of writing, or something more personal like this where I can actually share the joys and pains of Pilates without sounding too…bland.

I have made this letter longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter.

— Blaise Pascal


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