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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

You want me to do WHAT with my hips?

I DON’T own a leotard. Or any leg warmers. Or a headband, ankle socks, or videos with the title “Get fit with...” in them.

EM Peter Grenville column
Peter Grenville

But I have been to a Pilates class this week. Kill me now.

I’m still attempting to recover from the physical, and emotional, damage. So how did I reach the stage of needing to purchase some joggy-type trousers, and finding myself lying on my back in a cold village hall thinking “I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to get my leg to...” *Crack* “Ow. No. Definitely not.”?

Having been discharged from the care of a physiotherapist last year, his recommendation was that I took up some gentle stretching exercise for my back, or spend forever looking like a hunchback, and frightening children by yelping suddenly.

Upon checking my warranty, it appears it ran out some considerable decade or two ago, and I therefore have to fix the problem myself, without being able to get a refund or replacement parts.

Getting older would definitely suck, if I could lean forwards far enough to get to the straw.

After considerable persuasion, and a couple of flimsy-excused false starts, I finally went along to a session, attempting to remember not to call it “Plartees” out loud. If I was hoping for sexy-exercise video shenanigans, with attractive and shapely young women, I can confirm it wasn’t like that at all. True, I was the only bloke, but I reckon the eight ladies present were mostly older than me and, in some cases, by a long way. When you take into account how ancient I am, you can see how the glamour was slightly lacking for me.

Being in a chilly Cumbrian village hall in January hardly helped either. Still, it wasn’t long before I was being instructed to “Really open your legs and thrust”, which was coincidentally the point where I had to try really hard not to laugh out loud, but also revealed I’m considerably less flexible than at least four elderly ladies.

Hiding at the back of the hall, I was at least able to partially hide my embarrassment. It’s hard to look buff and sexy when you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing, no coordination whatsoever, and the agility of a three-legged tortoise with a permission badge to park in the bays right by the shelled creatures shop entrance.

To be honest, I’m not sure the instructor knew what she was talking about either. She kept mentioning the pelvic floor, but I’m pretty sure it was some sort of linoleum.

I feel like I’ve been trampled by a herd of elephants wearing hob-nailed boots, who then went back and got a steamroller, because they weren’t sure if they’d done enough damage. Still, by comparison to the rest of me, my back isn’t significantly more painful.

The next session is on Tuesday. If I don’t survive, tell my family I was brave to the very end – the groaning was someone else, honest.

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