All set to hit the Pilates mat
Published August 17, 2005
Dear Joseph H. Pilates,
I realize you’ve been dead since 1967, but please hear me out. I’ll put extra postage on this if necessary.
I wanted to thank you for developing the Pilates technique. For some time, I’ve been looking for an exercise program that involves lying on the floor. I don’t quite get yoga, so Pilates it is.
Finding an exercise program I don’t hate has turned into a life-long quest for me. The only one I’ve honestly attempted is aerobics, which consisted of trying to imitate an overly hyper instructor who hopped around the room and yelled about how great all the hopping was making her feel.
Once, I was even out-hopped by an instructor who was six months pregnant. Who also yelled about how great she felt. Personally, hopping doesn’t make me feel great. It makes me want to take a lot of naps.
Because I live with children, any other exercising I have done has been quite by accident. Like the times I have walked to my daughter’s school to meet her for lunch and left the house so late that I ended up tearing through Lakewood pushing a stroller containing a baby who was probably wondering why her neighborhood suddenly looked so blurry.
This caused the lunch conversation to be restricted to my 6-year-old asking, “Mommy, are you OK?” while I guzzled water and fought to catch my breath. It was helpful to have that stroller to lean on for the way back home.
And then there are the muscles I have developed from lifting each child. It’s no secret that if you play “The Noble Duke of York” enough times with a twenty-pound infant, you will end up with some rather nice biceps. I’m sporting a couple of impressive “Jenna muscles” right now. I’d show them to you. If you weren’t dead.
But lately, I’ve needed something a little more consistent. It’s not my weight I’m worried about. In fact, I weigh less now than I did when I got pregnant with my first child.
(I must pause here to allow time for readers to glance up at my little black-and-white picture and hate me for a moment.)
My problem is that things on my body are drifting from their assigned places. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but when you wake up in the morning and have to look around in the bed for certain body parts, it’s time to do something.
So I’m starting Pilates. I have the tape. I have the clothes. I have a giant silver Pilates ball that took me a week to blow up. I even bought what I call “running shoes.” My husband assures me they’re not. That’s OK. The only running I’d be doing in them anyway is if my house catches on fire while I’m doing Pilates on the living room floor.
Turns out you don’t wear shoes while doing Pilates. But far be it from me to pass up a chance to buy shoes.
Anyway, all I need now is enough time away from my children to get through the entire tape. My youngest leaves for college in 17 years. So I look forward to starting your program in 2022.
Deana Nall’s column appears every Wednesday. Her e-mail address is