Fitness Face-Off: Splits (session 12)

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Are you guys tired of me yet? Because I'm not tired of Pilates (or you, dear reader). And I made a blood oath that I would post after every session. Yes, I am cultishly devoted, Brian. I'm also just really, really competitive. (A friend once said that my family could turn a restaurant bread basket into a forum for competition. I'm not sure how, but I'm sure it's true. Growing up, my brother and I used to have read-offs every summer for Dairy Queen sundae coupons—we would just sit and read, as fast as possible, all day, every day. Which explains a lot about both of us.)

Speaking of cultish followings, this weekend I took another trip to the recently opened Lululemon Athletica (1928 Broadway at 64th St, 212-712-1767). Born out of Canada, Lululemon is a yoga line at its roots, though it's expanded to encompass all sorts of other sports. It offers truly inventive fabrics, most of which are antimicrobial (they legitimately don't smell), sweat-wicking and sometimes moisturizing (one fabric is built out of seaweed, so as you perspire it delivers all sorts of therapeutic benefits to the skin). Sounds bizarre, but as someone who has never understood why threadbare T-shirts and running shorts aren't sufficient, I legitimately love this line. All of the seams are flat (prevents chafing, though I haven't found a way to test this); the fit is snug but flattering (ummm, I wore the Crop Slit Boogie pants [$84] on a walk through Central Park this weekend—I generally don't condone wearing gymwear outside of the gym, so this was a first); and most pieces have clever details like flat hidden pockets for keys and zipper pulls that double as hair ties. I also like the Spark Tank ($44), which has supportive crossed straps and a built-in bra, and is available in a slew of pretty colors. I wish it were a bit more fitted in the waist (so that Brooke could always see that yes, I'm sucking in my stomach as hard as I can).

I worked with Laura again today, who had devised all sorts of new exercises. When her training is complete (soonish), she's moving back to Fort Worth—seriously, book some time before Laura leaves. She's precise, strong and confident, a huge boon when intense stretching is involved. There have been many moments of panic in this first few weeks, particularly on the reformer when I've had to slide out into the side splits. It's not a position that makes you feel like you have a lot of control—it feels like you're going to just keep sliding, which is terrifying. It's the trust fall of Pilates, and Laura hasn't let me, you know, tear something important. And granted, I've gotten stronger so I'm now able somehow to pull and lift my stomach, which in turn, miraculously brings my legs back together (with a little help).

Moments of panic aside, I feel like I've moved past a certain important point in this last week or so, that my body is starting to open, and that instead of seizing up from the pain, I'm able to push through it, and well, actually enjoy it. This stretching business feels good. And every day, Brian, I'm inching closer to my goal.

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