It was a cold Monday night when I decided that it was finally time to become the person I was always meant to be.
That person did pilates.
I’m 27 years old and I’ve done pilates precisely one time. It was on my lounge room floor with a friend when I was 15 and I got bored halfway through and so just sat there with a curved spine breathing deeply and patting my dog.
But something told me there was more to it. I read in a magazine renowned for telling lots of lies, that Jennifer Aniston does pilates. I’ve always imagined after one lesson, I would grow 10 centimetres taller, get a tan, prance instead of simply walk and have a body that was offensively toned.
For some context, I can’t touch my toes. A few months ago, after sitting on the floor for too long, I stood up and my knee collapsed on itself and I fell over a coffee table. My knees always look swollen and sometimes people comment. One time I sneezed and slipped a disk in my lower back. My physio doesn’t know why I don’t have quads or glutes or abdominal muscles, but is understandably horrified and said something about doing exercises that I promptly forgot about.
In short, I am a pilates instructor’s worst nightmare.
So on Monday, I found a class around the corner from my house. I imagined mats. Some… lunging. Maybe some laying on your back and breathing.
When I arrived, I had to fill out a form with any prior injuries. Given I only had three minutes until the class started, and don’t like to talk about my knee injury caused from sitting for too long, I left that part blank. Genius.
That’s when the instructor said, “Okay everyone, through here.”
That’s odd, I thought. We were already standing in a pilates studio. So where were we going?
And then I saw them.
Contraptions. With chains and stirrups and bars. Torture devices, if you will.
I double checked and, yes, I’d signed up for a ‘reformer pilates’ class but I obviously assumed that just meant normal pilates… and the ‘reformer’ part just meant ‘improving your body to look like Jennifer Aniston’.
There has been no mention of machines on the website.