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In Germany, they just call it exercise

By Robin Dearing

Next month will mark one year since I started taking Pilates classes at the Pilates Space. If you watch a Pilates class, you might think, “What the heck are they doing?” If you take a class, you’ll probably think, “Dang, this is hard.” I think, “Oh man, this is the best workout ever!”

Even after a year, I’m still challenged and excited to go to classes. There’s always something new to do and I’ve made huge progress. I can see and feel the difference in my body.

I’m still too chubby for my own liking. But according to the scale today, I’ve lost and kept off 21 pounds since last October (it was 24 pounds, but then I went camping and ate a couple dozen cookies — rabble scrabble cookies).

Pilates isn’t really about weight loss though. It’s about building long, lean muscles. It’s about developing flexibility, good posture and a strong core. If you poke through my belly fat, there are actual ab muscles in there. My arms are much more defined now and my back is strong.

German Joseph Pilates developed his exercise regimen in the early 20th century while being held in an English internment camp at the beginning of World War II. He came up with mat routines and he created specialized machines, such as the reformer, which work specific muscles in just the right way. Apparently, in Germany, instead of windmills and jumping jacks, they do Pilates. Only they just call it exercise.

The Pilates Space is run by Suzanne Lavender (such an awesome name — it smells good just saying it). I’m continuously impressed with her intricate knowledge of Pilates. There are also other equally experiences instructors who all bring something different to the classes.

I’m often intimidated in exercise classes. Everyone else is always smaller, skinnier, stronger, blah, blah, blah. But the students in these classes are all supportive and friendly. There’s no competition, just camaraderie.

Sticking with Pilates classes for this last year has been essential to my physical and mental well being. Exercise always makes me feel better — even though I can often convince myself to stay in bed and eat cookies. Having regular classes to attend had been essential.

I didn’t know anything about Pilates when I started last October and I still have tons to learn. But I’m better for having added this exercise regimen to my daily routine.


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Great Job Robin! 21 pounds is pretty impressive—I think you look great!

Such a great reminder that there’s always something new to learn (and enjoy) in the quest to take good care of our mental and physical selves.

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