Last night while the rest of America was watching large men in tights hurl themselves at each other, I went to Sunday night PIlates class. I used to be a regular at Sunday night Pilates class, but I hadn't been in a while. I expected it would hurt, in a good way. (<- we got your foreshadowing right here, folks)
The parking lot was empty and there were only three people on the cardio equipment, so I was expecting a cozy group for class. There were seven of us, and as the teacher counted heads she said, "Would you guys like to go up and use the reformer equipment?" We agreed.
It was all right at first. The abs exercises were different but not brutal. The upper body stuff hurt, but then I don't have a lot of upper body strength. The teaser is easier on the reformer than the mat. But then we used the Chair of Doom, a torture device that left me gnashing my teeth as the lactic acid washed through me. I thought I had reasonably strong legs. I guess not.
After class there was an unexpected test of strength and balance. Under ordinary circumstances I would call it "walking downstairs to my car," but these were not ordinary circumstances. I got home and called a weak hello from the back door. I was hoping Elwood would come and rig up a pulley to get me up the four steps to the kitchen. Alas, I had to hoist my own sorry carcass up those steps.
Usually the mat class leaves me with a pleasant soreness in my abs and triceps, starting around noon the next day. The reformer class has left me aflame: quads, hamstrings, glutes, triceps. The ab soreness is almost incidental.
I was determined to run tonight, and so I plowed my way through 2.3 miles while counting every tenth. But I tell you what: I am more sore than I was after the births of my three youngest children. I am limping around like an old old lady who got hit by a couple of trucks. Come to think of it, I am more sore than I was the time I actually did get hit by a truck. (Have I ever told you that story?)
The marketing materials for reformer classes all say "You won't believe how quickly you see results!" and so I've been curious about what went on in the reformer room, but I never wanted to pay extra for a reformer class when mat class was included in the membership fee. I was pleased to be offered a chance to try the reformer, but it has shown me an important truth: sometimes when they offer you something for nothing, the thing they're really offering you is a hernia.