Fitness Face-Off: splits (session 20)

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There you have it: I've completed 20 sessions of Pilates. And as Joe P. promised, my body is starting to look different. I'm standing up straight for one, despite a long and established history of rolling my shoulders forward. (Brooke, who is 6'1", also suffered from tall-girl syndrome—her father used to say, "You're still a tall girl, just a tall girl with bad posture." Well put.)

And I'm getting tighter. If I may be bluntly honest, dear reader, I've always eschewed traditional exercise (I think my price-use ratio at Equinox came out to about $200 a treadmill session) because I'd rather be a skinny fat person than a big person. And by this I mean that every time I got onto some sort of fitness regime, I felt bulkier, rather than thinner. As vain as it sounds (my heart, my lungs, whatevs), that result struck my willpower dead. But, as Laura (who moved back to Texas last week) pointed out, Pilates builds the tiny muscles, buried deep beneath the big muscles. You don't get big. You get tight. And for a girl, that's a significant and desirable difference.

Debbie took me on for another round today—a mixture of all the front split, Russian split, side split reformer moves, and powerhouse-strengthening exercises. I am sore. Sore from our session yesterday. Sore from today. Debbie, who is extremely humble, claims to feel intimidated about teaching (I think that officially she has one more exam to pass for her complete accreditation). But she is excellent. And she kicked my ass in the nicest way possible. All those British ladies will be lucky to have her.

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