I booked a one-on-one Pilates equipment session this morning. When I have too much time on my hands I get into fitness mischief.
Perhaps the funniest part of the whole experience was the questionnaire they ask you to fill out. On it, there is a list of body parts and you are to check which ones you've broken, injured or had problems with. I checked them all! Foot? Check - broken toes. Ankle? Check - I've rolled/sprained both of them. Leg? Check - fractured tibia. Knee? Check - torn ACL reconstructed with a hamstring graft. Back? Check - tricky disc. Chest? Check - cracked ribs and torn cartilage. Shoulder? Check - rotator cuff injury. Elbow? Check - both have been hyperextended in arm bars. Wrist? Check - stress fracture. Hand? Check - boxer's fracture. Neck? Check - it's crunchy and sometimes my face tingles. Head? Check - blunt force trauma, concussion, vertigo.
By this time I was rocking back and forth giggling to myself. I knew I'd done some damage over the years, but I'd never realized the Evel Knievel extent of it. Yes, I believe I'm a good candidate for rehabilitation and un-crunching.
After I filled out my questionnaire, I got a tour of the place. There's a large equipment room, a big class space, and several private rooms. I had my session in one of the private rooms. My instructor and I discussed my injuries and then she did a thorough assessment of my strength, flexibility and weaknesses. I'm damn strong, more flexible on my left side than my right, and my lower back won in the weakness department. She was able to point out my hinky alignment and explain why "neutral" hurts. She showed me how I compensate for the weakness and what I would need to strengthen to fix it. Then we did some very basic exercises on the reformer. They were hard! Not in a throw-up-a-lung way but in a concentration and alignment way. I worked some muscles that I didn't know existed. She helped me with form and scribbled lots of notes. My mangled right knee seemed to be of particular interest.
Anyway, it was fun! It was not what I expected. It was not a workout. I'm sure that once you reach a certain level of proficiency, it can become a workout, but for me at this stage it's all about rehabilitation and injury prevention. There was none of that crazy hype I've heard about Pilates. She didn't tell me that it would make me taller, change the shape of my muscles, or replace all other forms of exercise. She didn't tell me to stop lifting. In fact, she's a kettlebell fanatic!
If there's a drawback to this fabulous one-on-one attention, it's cost. Solo sessions are $65-$75 for 50 minutes. So, uh, I don't think I'll be going every day! But there are plenty of options. Mat classes are very affordable and group equipment sessions (4 people) are half the cost of private training. I'm intrigued enough that I booked 5 more private sessions and then maybe I'll switch to classes. Or maybe I'll see something shiny and wander off. I'm not known for my attention span.