Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sit n' Reach

I’ve never been a very flexible person. Physically speaking, at least. I’m usually fairly calm and laid back (though J would probably beg to differ), but what I wouldn’t give to be able to touch my toes on a regular basis. Why, you ask? Because, I vaguely reply.

To that end, I’ve begun attending pilates class again. I was a regular last spring, but slacked off in an epic and astonishing way all summer (preferring instead to crash certain cocktail parties and stuff my face with tiny cream puffs).

So here I am, back in pilates. There is a semi-creepy guy who always sets up mat next to me…have you ever seen the Three’s Company episode where Janet is taking dance lessons and her leotard-clad instructor hits on her? Well, my mat mate looks like THAT guy. Creepy gray-bearded leotard dance instructor. All he’s missing are the leg warmers. I absolutely hate it when we have to lie on our sides doing the leg-swingy moves, because inevitably, we end up facing one another. But I’m not sure I want him looking at my flip side, you know?

Last week there was a woman in front of me who quite possibly spent her formative years in the circus. Seated, she had her legs splayed wide apart, split at exactly 180 degrees, and she was bending easily forward, then left and right, nose completely meeting her knee or the floor. Whatever she pushed her face against, it met. Imagine that kind of flexibility! When I tried bending over to touch my toes in a seated straddle, I was lucky to achieve a 45 degree angle, straining, red-faced and pathetic. Because my hamstrings have the flexibility and length of a plastic spork from a kitchen play set. They always have…I was probably the only kid in gym class who had to practice the Sit-n-Reach each night for a week before the Presidential fitness award testing so I wouldn’t get an F. Let's not even discuss the rope climb or Flexed Arm Hang.

Now, before you men think, “Oh, that’s so hot!” imagining Stretchy Pilates Woman all spread out and bendy, know this: she looked like a man-boy with a terrible haircut, and she was wearing a turtleneck embossed with Christmas wreaths, plus brown socks. She was also dancing to the seventies tunes played by our instructor. Well, ‘twitching, bobbing her head, and scrunching her toes while showing off’ is more like it.

So I’ll continue to work on touching my toes. I won’t be wearing a holiday turtleneck, though.

I’ll be back tomorrow night with more Fun with College Students.


  1. I don't like show-offs about as much as I don't like holiday themed clothing.

  2. Oh, the flexed arm hang...the bane of my forth grade existence. I could fold myself in half, but do you think I could keep my chin above that bar for more than five seconds? No way.

    So when people make fun of your 45 degree hamstring stretch, just tell them, "But I'm REALLY strong...I can dangle for hours..."

  3. Argh, the Presidential Fitness Test! I HATED that thing! Totally not flexible or athletic in any way, that's me!

  4. I *totally* remember that episode from "Three's Company". When Janet tells him to bug off, he tells her that she "doesn't have what it takes to make it as a dancer (crushing all of her childhood ballet dreams). She fires back that he "doesn't have what it takes to make it as a human being." Then Jack is there to give her a big hug. I totally watched too much t.v. in the '80s.

  5. I actually joined a new gym, closer to my casa, so now I can't hold back gass with you.

    But I AM trying my hand at the old jogging thing again. Perhaps we could train via satellite for a 5 K?

  6. You know... I used to be put-your-face-on-the-mat flexible, but not so much any more. But I could never do that flexed arm hang.

  7. THE ROPE CLIMB!!!!!!!!!!! I've now passed out.