A pink taxi

A pink taxi

June 13, 2012

Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

I lead a double life.

I attend a pilates studio, where I remove my colourful sneakers at the door and walk in graciously, to a silent room, where concentration and meditation are de rigueur. I have been doing this for 7 years now. The movements and the effort are second nature now. Still, perfection remains an unattainable goal. Still, I work on body improvement, chisel, chisel, chisel, chisel.

At Club Stretch, pilates is a science. It is taught in an orthodox way and the various adjustments through the years have come because the purest version is yet at hand. I have learned to listen, to breath, to edit the drama, to abandon the smallest body language rituals, otherwise called tics.

Every class follows a rigorous choreography. Every transition is supposed to flow. Yet every class remains different because I have learned a detail, focused more deeply on an area of my spine or my core; added my arms and legs as other factors in the exercise.

Sometimes I am reminded that I am not at the gym. The place that has bulked my otherwise elongated muscles. It is frequently after the pilates class that I done my colourful sneakers and run to work out, to train.

When I walk into Evolve, which is at a stone throw from the pilates studio, I am focusing on my mood. I remind myself that I am here to express my energy, to test my strength, to "heal my wounds."

At the gym, music replaces silence. Drama facilitates performance. Here, limits are tested and boundaries are crossed. Time is against you, instead of being in harmony with you. At the gym, you are swimming against the current.

Sometimes I am reminded that "this isn't pilates!"Yet, I solicit my core strength, I hold my balance, I brace my spine. I am aware of the principles of pilates at the gym, in the same way as I focus on my muscular strength in the studio.
I belong to both worlds, caught between a rock and a hard place.


  1. And I thought PT went on a sabbatical but discovered again that life revolves around sports.Is not a healthy mind is in a healthy body?no matter what one should stay steadfast and overcome.

  2. I enjoyed reading this posting. I try to apply the principles of pilates when I do my intense cardio, during my indoor cycling classes. At Flywheel, my one and only favorite place to go cycling, the darkness of the room gets you into the zone. It takes you a song maybe two, to make me zone into a meditative place, not unlike one felt in a yoga class. But now that I have been doing this daily for almost 2 years, I am very self aware of my form, and my posture. Our teacher reminds us to elongate our spin, to open our chest, to breathe through our nose and out our mouths, to pretend like we are squeezing a water bottle between our shoulder blades. We are reminded of how the core supports our movements, and how our energy comes from our glutes and abs.
    Nevertheless, if you come out of the zone, just for a few seconds, and look at some fellow riders, you sometimes need to bite your lip at their appearance. Some are hunched over in the most unusual position, their facial expression almost in pain, their bodies rocking back and forth. It's as if the words of the instructor don't resonate. Those people don't think the words apply to them.
    And that's when I lift my chest, I relax my face even more, and I squeeze my shoulder blades back together. Because no matter what you are doing in life, form is so important.