At the Barre- A Florida post card from my gym

Well, it’s happened. I did ballet today.

I’ve joined a big (18,000 members in the winter) YMCA here. They have back to back classes in 4 studios, a multi purpose room, and a pool. It is so crowded that we practically stack on top of each other. Don’t be the last to arrive.

I’ve tried lots of new classes: aqua zumba, restorative yoga, boot camp pilates, classical pilates, fighting your outer demons, jump if you believe in Jesus, spin until your butt screams, and today— ballet at the barre.

Of course the instructor today had a rubber band body, perky breasts, feet that bent backwards, and those graceful hands. I didn’t see a bull’s eye on her back.

The classic move of ballet- the plie is an amusing thought for someone who is knock kneed and pigeon toed. Then we stand on tip toe like that. Since I was nearly late for class, I got to stand in front of all the 40 and 50 year olds who had been touching the floor with their noses for years. We used weights for the arm portion. Since the light weights were gone, I got the heavier ones. Say hello to quivering arms.

We faced the barre and did leg lifts and circles. Thanks to Pilates, these were easy for me. The instructor was lifting her cute little toes to the light bulbs. I stopped watching her.

At some point we got down on the floor. We did stretches. She talked about our inner thighs and HIP ABDUCTORS and a few other little used parts of our body,

The real fun part for me was the mermaid. Of course, I haven’t done mermaid since I was 10 so she said “You can adapt by doing bridges.” I opted for that choice. I looked around. No other bridges but lots of mermaids.

The end was the funnest of all. Our sweet and disgusting instructor said “We will end by doing the classic Pilates end to class; the Pilates push up.” Down for 3 push ups, stand, down for 3 more, up, down,” I’ve done Pilates for several years and never did the push up thing. Those of you who know me getting up and down on the floor is a hilarious challenge for me and I usually arrive at the count of 2 or even 3. I looked around and saw a few men in the back who were thrilled with this one.

I swear this gal said “This is the last set” about 50 times but she always lied. It was always 2 or 3 more sets. ( “Oops! Sorry. One more” or “I lost count. How many more?”) Is this some kind of training ploy? I’ve noticed almost all instructors do this. Of course, I NEVER did this when I was teaching.

But you know after 5 days of going to the gym and stretching, I could almost touch my nose to my knees. I haven’t smelled my knees in a loooooong time.
Meanwhile, we were putting our equipment back and and our instructor was dashing off to teach TA DA  a Pilates class.

But here is the best part: on the way out a young woman said to me’ ” I heard you at the beginning of class ask the instructor if you need to be real flexible because you were not. Are you kidding!?! YOU WERE GREAT. I’m 38 and I couldn’t make it through the class. ( I did notice she looked like a fried egg back there). It made my day.
Next week I’m doing the Dances with Cobras class. HIIIISSSSS.