Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How a Fatty tried Pilates

For years I've been saying I wanted to do yoga. I once spotted a climber, Chris Sharma, at the now defunct Phoenix Boulder Blast, I remember asking him what he did for workouts besides climbing. He replied, "Yoga," while hanging by his fingertips from the problem he was ascending. I've never forgotten that. I worked MLB Spring Training for 7 seasons and I've met baseball legends from Frank Thomas to Sammy Sosa and I've yet to mean anyone who impressed me strength-wise as much as Sharma.

So ever since then I've said that this is the type of body that I want. Not one that is overly bulky or able to push a bus but one that could pull myself up a cliff with some measure of grace. I went to the gym tonight to try yoga but I had the times wrong and it was a Pilates class instead. Now I am nervous, it's obvious pretty quick that I am going to be the only guy in the class and definitely the weight of 3 of any of the other participants put together. We arrange our mats, me somewhat more awkwardly than the others, and begin with a breath in and a breath out and then downward dog to cow pose. What? About this time I started to get confused and my embarrassment began to grow. I was thankfully well positioned at the back of the room but that was serving to add a different type of anxiety. Maybe they all thought I was there to oogle them? Maybe they weren't focusing on what they were doing because it was second nature to them and maybe they all hate men. Doubts began to grow and the movements began to get way beyond what my body can handle. All levels my ass, this is a class for bendy people.
"Now lay on your back and bend your knees up, place the heavy bar behind you knees and pull your groin into your face. Hold and breathe. You'll feel your spine begin to snap in 3, 2, 1...."

I may be exaggerating a little bit but it was a very awkward hour for me. I stayed because I thought leaving would be more awkward than staying and trying to emulate their movements, without looking like I was staring at them I tried desperately to keep up. I was more than relieved when the 55 minutes had passed and I could unpretzel my body and hobble out. Pilates was a lot rougher than I anticipated and I was only able to do 20 minutes of cardio before my body screamed "ENOUGH!"

Maybe tomorrow I can try Zumba.


  1. Love your description! Congrats! Yoga is awesome and will do wonderful things for your core strength. Right guys are not as flexible as women but so what!? I do yoga and it's always nice to see a guy in the class even if he can't touch his nose to his toes!!!

  2. Jake no one would ever think that you were just going to the class to oggle them. Keep it up! Yoga is supposedly wonderful for your body. Maybe bring a buddy next time? It might make you feel less uncomfortable