It's a nice break to look forward to in my week. There is plenty of work to do and it demands my full concentration. For the entire session the only thing my mind is on is Pilates, which is good for my body, and that's a nice break from multi-tasking.
What have you found most challenging?
Getting my body to do as I am commanding (or requesting) it to do can be momentarily frustrating. I'm used to just overpowering things when they don't yield. Sometimes I come at them from a different angle. In Pilates I have to keep the balance and angle and somehow find muscles that don't really seem to be cooperative or are hard to find. Instead of playing to my strengths I have to discover a way to recruit my weaknesses if that makes sense.
Have you noticed any improvements in strength, balance, posture, flexibility or any other areas so far?
It's amazing how many past injury areas have revealed themselves. Busted ribs, separated shoulder, and all manner of things are maybe not quite as fully recovered as I thought they were. For instance, my bottom ribs on my left side are finally starting to tuck in so I can twist down past my hip bone again. It's great to have that range of motion back again. I thought it was fine until I had to do some of the exercises and wasn't able to do them on each side symmetrically. I'm pretty close to even now already which is incredible. I guess my abs/obliques or whatever had kind of a flinch and weren't engaging before.
What would you say to other guys who think that Pilates is just for women?
I'd say they're entitled to their opinion. Then I can go back to listening to sob stories about their backs hurting, etc. I always thought complaining about stuff and not wanting to hear about how to fix it was kind of a chick-ish thing. I'm more of a "fix it" kind of guy, but I guess some guys would rather complain: such is masculinity these days. I'm sure there are plenty of guys that would check it out if they knew it was open to men though. I had no idea it was open for guys until I saw about a study on men in Pilates in the paper. Come to find out it was started by a German boxer. Who knew?