When I think about it now, I should have been prepared for this mini-crisis. I had, after all, heard numerous tales from family members who had attended pilates classes and either suffered the same fate themselves, or even worse, been on the receiving end.
But for some reason, I was blissfully unaware of the risks as I arrived for my one-to-one hour-long session. I may have missed it, but I don’t recall the health questionnaire at the start of the session including a question on problems of digestion or flatulence. Not a very comprehensive risk assessment, now that I think about it.
Anyway, it was all going swimmingly – I found I was particularly good at lying on the couch – the result of years of training. Breathing in and out also presented few difficulties, as long as I didn’t think about it too much. Before long I had progressed onto the trickier exercises, like rolling my head from side to side and lifting my arms up and down.
If only the session was half an hour, I would have stopped there and escaped without incident. It was moving onto the legs that caused the problem. Moving my long and rather heavy lower limbs around required a little more effort from my core region. While the teacher was very pleased with my ability to isolate my movement to this region, I was starting to feel a certain internal pressure that I was fairly sure would not impress her if at any time I lost control of my pelvic floor region.
But she seemed determined to make it happen. Pleased with my ability to move my legs, she now wanted me to roll my hips. “Keep your shoulders and ribs relaxed,” she said, “You don’t want to grip tightly”. “Oh, yes I do lady” I was screaming in my head. I was one untimely cough away from ending my pilates experience, and there was nowhere to hide. I couldn’t look around at anyone else accusingly, and Foley was too far away to be a suspect. Anyway, the teacher was standing right next to me, holding onto my hips. She was going to feel the full force. Nobody deserved that, let alone a complete stranger.
Thankfully, it passed. In a good way, that is, and I managed to complete my session with dignity intact. Apparently, next time she is going to try some more difficult exercises on me. :-0