Pilates Kicked My Ass!

Yet another fitness routine falls victim to my convenient excuses

Every new season I go through a phase where I tell myself this is the (insert season here) that I’m going to get really fit by doing (insert type of workout here). I don’t know why I still believe myself after all these years, but I do. So now it’s the beginning of fall and I’ve convinced myself (after a summer of failing to get über-fit by swimming laps) that I will now take up a new workout, and this time I will fall in love with it and it will stick. Yeah, right.

It’s always a new workout. I never go back to the same one. I’ve logged a gazillion hours in downward-facing dog, kicked and flapped in water aerobics, stood on the flat side of Bosu ball and done the Pilates Hundred a thousand times. I’ve been a devotee of free weights, weight machines, and weight-bar classes. You name it; I think I’ve tried it. I even built the world’s smallest gym in my basement that houses exactly one very lonely elliptical machine and a weight bench. It’s confined and has the lowest ceiling ever, but if you don’t lift weights standing up, or do jumping jacks, it’s fine. Not that it matters since I never go near that room anymore. [SIGNUP]

Last winter I decided I would do the On Demand cable workouts. They’re great, by the way. Totally convenient, you can choose the type and length according to your energy level and time constraints, and even pause them if the phone rings. But like all workouts I’ve found a way to avoid doing those too. You just don’t turn on the TV. Just like if I don’t go downstairs, I don’t have to see my gym. Easy! This past spring I took up jogging. Okay, they were only one-mile jogs, but running was involved. Until I decided it was too hot and gave it up for my summer season of swimming. That lasted for a few weeks until I came up with lots of excuses to not get wet, such as “it would ruin my highlights.”

I love the idea of working out. I like the being skinny part of the fantasy. I like the routine part. I even don’t totally hate it while I’m doing it. I know I always feel awesome afterward. But somehow this all gets lost in my brain when it comes to the actual execution. I can’t seem to make myself go and do it for any length of time. Motivation is a big problem.

Which brings us to this week. Being that it’s September, I’ve been plotting my next seasonal exercise strategy and decided to try the Lithe Method. It is billed as a combination of Pilates, yoga and barre. Sounded good and doable. They didn’t mention the cheerleading component until I got there, which makes it cardio and involves jumping. You can’t even take their regular classes until you’ve had a few weeks of the intro classes, which should have been my first clue that this would be really hard. I’m not the fittest person you’ll ever meet, but anyone who has tried as many varieties of workouts as I have must have some skills. Or so I thought. I was wrong. This class kicked my ass. And my legs … because I could barely walk to my car. I hurt everywhere, and now I’m afraid to go back. Which is really a great excuse to not keep going, isn’t it? On the plus side, I have a few months to figure out what my winter workout will be. Maybe it’s time to try karate.