Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Memo from the mat

I am ready to apply to the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. Or one of our famed local companies, Configuration Dance or LehrerDance. I am sure I qualify.

That was because I went to Pilates class after work and we got killed because the teacher was not our usual teacher. It was Jim! And whatever the dancers in Configuration, LehrerDance or Alvin Ailey go through, it cannot be as strenuous as this.

Remember Jim? I used to take his class downtown.

Then I ran into him that night at Founding Fathers.

Zounds, that was almost three years ago!

How long have I been keeping this Web log, anyway?

Will I get this book on Leonard Pennario done by the day I die?

I sure hope so because otherwise when I get to the other side he is going to be there waiting for me and he will not be happy. If I even get there. A big if, especially if I do not finish this book.

How did I get onto this? Back to Jim and the gym. This class I went to, it was at the Buffalo Athletic Club for Women. We are not used to guy instructors and Jim used that to his advantage.

He was way tougher than our usual teacher, Jill. Jill is a great teacher but she pretty much leaves you on your own, whereas Jim walks all over the place, adjusting you, policing you. He used me for the model a couple of times. I loved that. "Mary's a downtowner," he said. "She's used to the drill."

Then he would twist me this way and that and I would stand there obligingly on my mat and let him do it.

"Imagine there are 20 of me," he told the class as he did it. "Imagine I am pulling on your arms the way I am pulling on Mary's."

Ha, ha! At one point I glimpsed a figure all tied up in a kind of knot. It was me! I was looking in the mirror and I did not realize it!

We were all sweating and miserable and by the end of class there were these girls just lying there. I was not lying on my mat but I confess to having cheated a couple of times. I always imagine a magazine called Grueling Pilates. It would contain articles on how to deal with these stretches and poses.

I have to say though that Pilates is worth it. Zumba is easier and more fun and sure, you can say Pilates is boring in comparison, but Pilates tones you up, if you stick with it. And it makes you strong. Which, as the authorized biographer of Leonard Pennario, I have to be.

The things we do to stay healthy and strong.

I am telling you!

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