I so love the Internet. The other day it turned up another friend of my youth, unseen for three decades. Which gives me an opportunity to plug Pilates, in which I invest a couple of hours every week.

Friends First · The rediscovered friend would be Renda, with whom I was an undergrad at the American University of Beirut way back in that last millennium. She was nice, and pretty, and a dancer; we may even have been on a couple of dates. It is so pleasing when a living link to your youth is suddenly there on your computer screen.

Anyhow, Renda has a Pilates studio near Hollywood in LA. You might want to check it out if you’re around there.

Flexibility · That’s what Pilates is all about. A typical workout, to oversimplify, is an hour of smooth, complex, low-pain stretching exercises. There’s not much cardiovascular to it and it’s not a big calorie-burner. But if my experience is a guide, it’s totally just the thing if you feel stiff and/or sore and/or brittle around the back or shoulders or neck or limbs. I think a lot of middle-aged people like me, especially former athletes or dancers, would seriously benefit.

A couple of other things have helped draw me in. First, unlike every other form of exercise that isn’t a competitive sport, Pilates isn’t boring; boredom is what’s driven me away from most other fitness-related activity. That’s because it’s complicated; the exercises require that you get a whole lot of moving parts here and there around your body going in just the right directions, sometimes highly non-intuitive, and they require all of your attention.

Second, a majority of Pilates practitioners, and a large majority of the instructors, are women. Many of the instructors, like Renda, are former dancers, and they tend to be lithe, fit, and graceful. Which means that the Pilates studio scene is by and large real easy on the male eye.

Friends Again · Cast your mind’s eye back a couple of decades in your life. Does it land on anyone that it might be cool to get in touch with again? Grab a computer and look ’em up; they might be happy to hear from you.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Derek K. Miller (May 21 2009, at 08:14)

I haven't tried pilates, but the yoga I take at the Inspire Health cancer care centre has similar benefits (although we cancer patients are less lithe and fit!). I'm still about as flexible as a slab of granite, but it helps work out the kinks.


From: Susan (May 22 2009, at 08:20)

<irony>Sounds like Pilates is the perfect thing for the Ruby crowd.</irony>

I can't believe you don't find any contradiction between this post and this other one you wrote earlier:



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