I Thought I Was Fit Until I Took A Pilates Reformer Class

I Thought I Was Fit Until I Took A Pilates Reformer Class

The woman next to me encouraged me that the first class is always really hard – something that became the theme for the duration of the class.
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I have been wanting to try a Pilates Reformer class for a while. I have heard a lot about them via Instagram, and the results people get are incredible. The difference between normal Pilates and Pilates Reformer is that Pilates Reformer is done on a bench that has sliding components with pulleys.

Normal Pilates is often described as yoga with repetitions, while Pilates Reformer adds a stronger element of balance that helps to better tone and target. Basically, it adds more elements to the workout. I work out often – during school about three to four times per week – and I usually can handle 30-50 minutes on the elliptical followed by 20 minutes of weights.

Pilates Reformer seemed like something to try to incorporate into my regimen to focus less on cardio and more on toning.




With all that being said, I located a cute Pilates Reformer boutique in Dallas with a special for newbies and signed up. I walked in wearing my leggings and tank top ready to go, bought the sticky grip socks required for classes, and had the reformer bench explained to me by the sweet receptionist. The room consisted of about eleven reformer benches with a ballet barre upfront and weights. There were also springboards in the back of the class that we didn’t use. All of it was great - it seemed easy enough.

At 10:30 am on the dot the class started, (which I appreciated) and we got to work starting with low and slow targeted moves for our right legs. I was already confused. Although the instructor was encouraging and forgiving, I never seemed to get the right color combination of cables attached or my leg in the right place. The woman next to me encouraged me that the first class is always really hard – something that became the theme for the duration of the class.

Next, we moved on to a combination of abs and arms. I was starting to get it, but my wrists were beginning to give out, and I probably looked like a flailing sweaty hot mess. The other ladies in the room, a mixture of 20-40 somethings, gracefully executed the moves. I was seriously impressed.

As we moved into the final 10 minutes of class, we were repeating our first exercise targeting the left leg this time. That’s when I began to feel light headed. I decided to just stand in a forward fold for a minute until the teacher suggested that I sit down. She then passed my towel and water for me and led me outside to the locker room where it was cooler. As I was walking I started to feel woozier and nauseousness began to set in. I made it to the bench in the locker room where I finally passed out while laying down.

Yes. I passed out 43 minutes into my 50 minutes long Pilates Reformer class. Something I have never done before. It was only for a second, but it was long enough for every Momma in the locker room (all of whom I'd like to mention made it through the entire class) to jump into action. Within seconds I had two cold towels on my forehead and suggestions about how to regain my full conscience whirling in my brain. For that I was thankful.

I was dumbfounded. I am a 19-year-old who works out regularly and eats healthily(ish). What happened? Had I forgotten breakfast? No. Was I dehydrated? Not really. Was I low on electrolytes? I mean I could go for a Gatorade. Had I forgotten to breathe? Haha. Bingo.

As the ladies in my class left to go home they all checked up on me and applauded that I made it farther in my first class than any of them had. My instructor did the same and invited me back. I was grateful for their graciousness, especially considering how embarrassed I felt for passing out mid-workout.

Along with receiving a nice slice of humble pie, I really did enjoy my Pilates Reformer class, and I will be back. The people were lovely, the workout kicked every bit of my tail, and I genuinely pushed myself to the limit (maybe a bit past my limit) I was reminded that I am not as fit as I think I am, and doing your best doesn’t equate to being the best. Becoming good at something takes time so sometimes you just need to sit down and be humble (cue Kendrick Lamar) before you designate something as easy.

Cover Image Credit: Grace Lazenby

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I Tried To Lose Weight All My Life But Couldn't Shed The Pounds Until I Turned To God

Now it's easier than ever and I'm never looking back.

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It's amazing how good it feels to get rid of something that has felt like such a tall barrier in your life for so long. For years, and years, honestly, as many years as I can remember, I have felt held back by my weight. It's something that never truly left my mind, whether it was how I looked in my school uniform skort compared to other girls, how I looked in pictures, the thoughts that raced through my head lying in bed that night, or if what I ordered off the menu would make me look fat. It was always something.

Now I have tried, or so I thought I had. I had tried giving up carbs for two weeks, doing workout videos, or eating healthy, occasionally running, or honestly, anything I thought might help a bit. But there I was after a full year of college, heavier than ever.

It was then that I found my secret ingredient, it was then that I found the ultimate weight-loss secret: Prayer.

I found myself amidst a challenge that I didn't know if I was mentally strong enough to handle, faced against temptations of my wildest food dreams. Canes, pizza, chocolate, ice cream, oh my!

I had never thought once about offering up my prayers to God when it came to my weight. I'm not sure why, honestly. It was something that I had struggled with for so long, that it almost felt normal.

Now, when I feel tempted I ask myself a lot if this is the "abundantly more" that God promises us. If it isn't, then I don't pick it. Strength is a process, just like endurance or habits.

I have learned that by offering up the comparisons I feel at the gym, listening to podcasts while running, or Jesus music while practically swimming in my sweat, I am motivated to keep going, not dragged down by the progress I haven't made. I have learned to thank God for the journey He has taken me on so far, and for giving me the capability to overcome these hurdles.

Jesus Didn't die on the cross and tell us to get our butts out there and make disciples of all the nations just for us to sit and be upset with ourselves and compare ourselves to those tiny pictures on our screens. Let's go, we don't have time for that. We have work to do.

No, I'm not saying that if you pray for Jesus to make you lose 15 pounds, the weight will fall off, but I am saying that through Christ, all things are possible, and with Him by my side, the running doesn't feel as difficult.

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself In Quite A While

I know how you feel, because I am you.

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It's amazing that one day you can wake up in the morning, go look at yourself in a mirror, and fail to recognize the reflection. You can stare into the deepest parts of your outermost being without fully being able to crack the surface to see inside, while others ask you consistently what's wrong.

There's never really an answer to that.

It's most comparable to an out of body experience. You walk around and go about your daily life without truly realizing what you're doing. You feel completely disconnected from the world around you, as if you could simply leave it and the wind would continue swaying its usual sway. You are not yourself.

The problem with getting back to yourself is that you're not sure who that even is anymore. Sure, you can see the same friends and do the same hobbies as you used to, but at the end of the day as you take the pain off of you, you're not even sure who you are anymore.

The pain of being unaware of yourself is more excruciating than the pain of others being unaware of you. When you're not yourself, you don't want to go out in public. You don't want to meet new people or join new clubs. You don't want to give others the impression that you're completely fine because the reality is that you don't even know yourself right now.

One day, someone told me the famous quote, "Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself."

I lived by that for a very long time, but as I continued thinking about it I realized that life is about finding that person you had once created. It's about staying in touch with that creation that you made, not about continually re-creating someone as you forget who the "old" you was.

You are hurting. You are hiding behind the mundane parts of life as you continue finding commitment after commitment so that you don't have the spare time to sit around and think about things like this. You start hanging around only yourself because you don't know who you are, but as time goes on and you try finding the answers to those questions, you immediately become someone else.

You stop caring about the world around you and the world inside you.

You fail to recognize the life that is in the depths of your own being and complete actions that you may never dreamed you would have. You are not you, you are someone else, but the fact is that you are now who you have become. You just don't care.

I am you. I am not myself. I am unsure of the meaning of the world and I am unsure of the meaning of the world within. If you are me, you know the feeling. You know the constant questioning, headaches, pain, and hunger. You know the feeling.

Finding yourself is hard. The journey is one of constant struggle and never-ending pain, but someday you may be thanking yourself for trying instead of giving up.

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