Bleep! Bleep! Another text. “Don’t forget your free massage/Pilates session at 11am on Friday with Sam.” (see The MassageBase) This happened a few weeks back, and I HAD forgotten. Oh – of course, now I remember – I did sign up for something free at the Essex Winning Women’s Conference. Should I bother going? My best friend was due to pop down for lunch bringing her twin grandchildren. No. I would cancel. Then I changed my mind – it was the FREE massage that did it!
The text also said, “wear something comfortable . . .” So on that Friday off I went dressed in my black leggings and a sleeveless tee. Sam operates from a designated fully-equipped “shed” in her back garden. First she took my details and measured me up against a plumb-line hanging from the ceiling. Then she pointed to the bench which is only eight or so inches off the floor and instructed me to lie down on it. I looked down nervously. Er – how? It was an awfully long way down.
I took a deep breath and somehow lowered myself, then lay down on my back as required. That was – still is! – the hardest part. Getting on and off a very low bench. Something I could have done so easily a few years back but I am out of practice. After a session of focusing on different parts of my body and breathing and stretching I finished with a back massage. I am so glad that I went. This is just what I need to keep myself in shape for my “old age”. The Pilates promise is that “In 10 sessions you will feel the difference. In 20 sessions you will see the difference. And in 30, you will be on your way to having a whole new body.” So here goes!
“Now I want you to get your hips up into this former.” Sam placed a curved support on the bench and I looked at it doubtfully. “Start by sitting with you bottom against it then work your way back.” It is amazing what I can do when I have to. I ended up with my back supported on the former and with my legs in the air ready for the next exercise. As my Mother would have drily remarked, “position is everything!”
What I like most about my sessions is that each one so slightly different. So today I had to sit on the huge exercise ball. I totally freaked out when the ball rolled a little under my weight. The surprise triggered my cataplexy and it took me several minutes to regain complete control of my muscles. Sam was so patient – and now I am able to sit on it without any panic.
After performing my regular exercise on the bench I had to stand up while Sam made adjustments. She removed the bottom end of the bench to reveal a set springs attached to a bar. The Rack? No, thank goodness. Just another way of making me stretch my leg muscles.
At the very end of my last session Sam removed two elasticised handles from behind my head and stretched them so that I could place my feet in them and work on loosening up the tight muscles in my thigh. Sam’s exercise room is a veritable torture chamber!
Am I seeing any difference?
Yes, I am gaining confidence and improving the way I get up and sit down on low seats. And I feel stronger when I am walking. Any difference in my size/ weight? No such luck! But I am working on it . . .