My sister has it.
My father had it.
I have it–mild spinal curvature–hereditary. It’s never bothered me, except on those occasions when I’d catch a glimpse of myself in a storefront window and be appalled at my old-lady posture.
Over the years, I tried many things to make my back straighter. I was jealous of anyone with perfect posture. I wore some weird things, tried various ergonomic solutions and sought advice from a physical therapist. Nothing helped and the exercises to correct it, did nothing but exhaust me.
Had the condition been more severe, I might have been forced to wear a full body back brace for a few years to correct it. Secretly, every time I saw anyone in one of those, I was a teensy bit jealous.
A chance encounter with old ladies finally provided the solution for my old lady posture.
Friends don’t sign-up friends for time-share presentations–at least if they want to be my friends. So, the day I received an engraved invitation to stay at a posh resort, if I would sit through a 90-minute presentation, I was immediately on the phone to the girlfriend who gave them my name.
Me: You can’t be serious. What were you thinking?
Her: Deb, you have to go.
Me: I hope you got a big screen TV or something really good for compromising our friendship.
Her: It’s on the cliffs, overlooking the water.
Me: C’mon, you can’t honestly think that I’m desperate enough for a weekend away to spend part of that weekend getting a sales blast for something in which I have no interest.
Her: You can walk to the beach.
Me: Hello? We live in San Diego. We can always walk to the beach!
Her: Deb, just say you’ll consider it.
Me: Who are you?? I don’t even know you. It’s going to take time before I can trust you again.
Her: Trust me on this.
The phone call with girlfriend proceeded like that. Not sure, how she did it, but soon after, Beloved Soul Mate and I were checking into a luxury condo at a resort overlooking the Laguna coast. I had 48 hours, less 90-minutes, to kill or fill.
It wouldn’t be hard, as each evening, a bulletin of countless activities was delivered for the following day. It was rather like being on a dry-docked cruise. At the top of the list for the first morning was a 6:00 a.m. Pilates class.
I’d heard the buzz about Pilates, so I figured I’d go hang out with all the SoCal beautiful people and learn the secrets behind those amazing beach bodies.
Except it wasn’t like that.
At 5:45 a.m., I walked into one of those ballrooms with an over-the-top chandelier. The room appeared to be filled with well-heeled dowagers–many of them sporting those shiny nylon jogging suits middle-age men in New York still wear. The median age seemed to be around 65, a glance at them caused me to do a pivot worthy of Kobe Bryant. This was not MY peer group. I was almost out of there, when I paused to consider my options. I didn’t have anything better to do and Beloved Soul Mate wouldn’t even be awake for a couple hours.
That hour passed quickly and pleasantly enough. Nil impact, no sweating, shoes not required–everything about it appealed to me and it didn’t seem that hard. I made friends with a couple of blue-haired ladies and we shared some laughs as we worked our core muscles.
When the class was over, I was non-plussed. No big deal, until I started walking back toward the elevators, I realized my spine felt amazing. Capturing a glimpse of myself in the large gilt-framed mirror in the foyer, I realized my back was looking more dancer, than dowager. That little work-out set me straight. I was a convert.
Upon my return home, I immediately sought out a Pilates class. I have been a huge fan ever since, and can’t resist talking it up to friends–but, life got complicated for a couple seasons and going became impractical. Last week, as I was telling someone about how much I love Pilates, I realized I couldn’t even remember how long it had been since I’d been–so long that I couldn’t even remember the instructor’s name. Was it Kiara? Nicole? Chandra?
I knew talking about it didn’t carry much weight, if I wasn’t actually doing it, so this week I ended my hiatus with a return. It was immediately apparent to me that I’d stayed away too long, as I didn’t remember it being so hard, but having finally gotten back to it, I can’t believe I ever stopped.
That single hour with the older gals changed my life. Makes me wonder what might have happened if that morning’s activity had been a pole-dancing class.