As it happened, this tiny foray into exercise (if you can call such a low-key thing exercise; it certainly wasn't in any way aerobic) was quite successful. I've always been attracted to the bendy-stretchy arts, ever since being the second-best girl at gymnastics in my class in school. (I was the best, until a certain curly-blonde-haired tiny firecracker moved to our town and started second year (8th grade, that would be) with us. She could do forward and backward walkovers without batting an eyelid, and I was suddenly a long way behind, albeit in second place.)
So I obediently put in a whole 20 minutes of pilates, and gritted my teeth every time Mari Windsor treated "vertebrae" as a singular, every day after work, with the longer workout at the weekends, and I sort of enjoyed it. And it seemed to do something good, as my jeans were quite loose by the time of the wedding, and I was happy.
I bought some DVDs for variety and continued this exercise regime (for lack of a better term) all the time we lived in Texas, until I got pregnant. Whereupon I bought a couple of pregnancy yoga DVDs instead and gave it the good old college try, with mixed results. Then I had a baby.
Yada yada. As you can imagine. Breastfeeding has the happy result of helping me lose pregnancy weight very easily, so I didn't really worry about fitting my jeans for another couple of years. By then we lived up here and I decided to take a class locally, as I had discovered to my irritation that if you lie down on the floor with a toddler in the vicinity, you're just asking for someone to come and play horsie on your stomach.
[Monkey just came to tell me I really need a Miche bag. It's surprisingly versatile and Uses Magnets! He must be watching Qubo again. What was I saying about infomercials?]
The local class had a great teacher but moved very slowly, because it was the beginners one. It was a prerequisite for the advanced class, and the brochure sternly noted that DVDs Did Not Count, so I just went with the leisurely pace and once again enjoyed being one of the top of the class again. (Overacheiver much?) Then I got pregnant with Mabel so I didn't go back.
And that was the end of pilates for me, until a couple of weeks ago, when I joined the advanced class without having put an iota of thought or work into my powerhouse for two and a half years. Amazingly, I didn't make a total fool of myself (except for the part where my ring went flying over my head as I tried to roll backwards with it gripped lightly between my knees; they have rings now in pilates - it's all newfangled these days) and was pretty pleased with myself.
There's just one thing I can't do. Right at the end of class, when we've done all the hard stuff and our middles and our legs and even our arms are feeling all self-righteously worked in new and exciting directions, we stand at the end of our mats and rise slowly to our tippy toes. Then everyone stays there, balancing effortlessly, while they look to the wall, to the window, back to the wall, centre, and slowly lower themselves again. Meanwhile, Maud rises (too fast) to her toes, goes teeter teeter teeter in one direction, teeter teeter teeter back again, and plonks back down, all smugness comprehensively wiped out of me. Lather rinse repeat.
Maybe it's all just designed to take me down a peg or two about my stretchy bendiness. They could have just got Blathnaid O'Byrne to come along and do a back handspring.