You Can’t Keep a Good Weeble Down

Not only am I starting to look like a Weeble but I also have the flexibility of one.   I’ve always known that I’m not a naturally lithe person* (being the only person at primary school to fail Level 4 BAGA when I couldn’t perform a crab proved that) but when I found myself thinking how great is this device to pull on socks, I realised some drastic action was needed.

So, in an attempt to become more Betty Spaghetti than Weeble, I’ve started going to a Pilates class.  At an Italian gym.  Where the teacher doesn’t speak a word of English and I speak only coffee shop Italian.  My Italian friend comes with me and, when she remembers, she translates the instructions.  When she doesn’t remember, I just try to copy what everyone else is doing.  Which is ok except that, apparently, in Pilates it’s all about doing it right, not just doing it.

The first lesson started off quite pleasantly: lying on a mat, which I could cope with easily.  Things got harder from there.  In a standing position, we had to grasp our left ankle with our right hand, whilst holding our left hand in the air.   It was humiliating.  The OAP next to me clutched his ankle effortlessly, whereas my hand could barely reach my knee.  The teacher kept repeating the instructions to me, loudly and slowly in Italian, in case my difficulties resulted from deafness, rather than physical inadequacy.

No one could be expected to remember everything – tight pelvic floor, loose shoulders, stomach in, breathe.  I don’t generally forget to inhale in the normal course of the day but I found myself on the verge of turning blue several times during the lesson.

The final straw came when we were using some sort of inner tube to stretch our leg muscles.  With the tube around both legs, we had to balance on our right leg, stretching the tube out with our left.  Whilst our hands were lifted above our heads.  And, of course, not forgetting tight pelvic floor, loose shoulders, stomach in, breathe.  After managing to hold this precarious position for at least three seconds, my balance failed and I toppled over, crashing into the OAP, who successfully took out a skinny, yet buxom blonde, dressed in shiny black lycra, who had been performing the exercises in perfect robot fashion.  My embarrassment was lessened slightly by seeing the smug smile wiped off her flawless face by a nimble octogenarian.

The next day, I could barely get out of bed, as there wasn’t a single part of my body that wasn’t sore.  Even my fingers hurt.  But I returned to the scene of my humiliation the following week.  It wasn’t too encouraging when the teacher rolled her eyes as I walked in, but the class was a definite improvement over the week before, in that I didn’t knock over any elderly folk.

This week was my third class.  We were working our thighs and stomachs.  Worryingly, I’d had a roast lunch the day before (complete with sprouts and cabbage) and there was far too much lifting bottoms off the floor and sticking them in the air for my liking.  We were doing an exercise that involved lying on our backs, thrusting our bottoms up and alternately raising one leg up and down.  The teacher had come over to my mat to manually force down my rigid shoulders.   My fears came to fruition as I gave a big push to lift myself off the floor and I let out a huge fart.  Huge.  Like Vesuvius erupting.  Complete with the matching sulphurous smell of rotten eggs.   Mortified, I stared up at the teacher who wrinkled her nose and eyeballed me like I was a piece of inflexible dirt.  I closed my eyes to shut out her expression of disgust but I could still hear the sniggers from the rest of the class.

Not too surprisingly, at the end of the lesson the teacher suggested to my friend that perhaps I should try something more suitable, like boxercise or weightlifting.   But she’s not getting rid of me that easily.  It should be her sworn duty, as a Pilates teacher, to encourage me on the path to suppleness.  She ought to look upon me as the challenge of her career; if she can help me to touch my toes, then her name would surely go down in the Pilates history books.

This is what I’m aiming for…it might be a tad ambitious

*Googling has since revealed that I suffer from a (self-diagnosed) condition called Hypomobility, where ligaments are tight and movement is restricted.  HWW, however, says it sounds like a made-up ailment and is refusing to believe that I’m not merely exceptionally unfit…

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41 thoughts on “You Can’t Keep a Good Weeble Down”

  1. I’m so sorry but I have tears of laughter in my eyes at that! 😀

    I remember attending an aerobics class ten years ago with my best friend. The instructor was an absolute sadist who’d have been better off in the army I suspect. She thrived on pointing out and embarrassing the people who flagged or gave up. To save face, my friend and I puffed and panted through to the bitter end- even though she put her back out in the process and I developed a stitch in my side that lasted for three days afterwards.

    We vowed never to go again! xx

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    1. Ha ha, it is funny how you wouldn’t just say, ‘stuff this’ and leave the class!! You’ve put a totally new thought into my mind – the instructor could be saying anything she wants about me to the others, I’d have absolutely no idea!! I wondered why they’re all laughing throughout the class 😉

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  2. Surely the fact that you fell over means that you are not a weeble, because we all know that weebles wobble, but they NEVER fall down!

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  3. Brilliant! Back to the quality and content that I have become accustomed to! Totally Miranda! In fact would be a great sketch for her!!

    Claire xxx

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  4. The teacher will probably bring a gas mask next week! If she doesn’t she should do, as I know the strength of your bottom!!!!!

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    1. Still working on the book but should give myself a big kick up the backside to get it finished…need the big ending, then edit everything as best I can before deciding what to do with it. The book is for children so nothing like this! But I have started another blog which features a character like this, I’m a bit behind but once I’m up to date I’ll give you the blog address 😉

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  5. Brilliant! You could invent a new fitness craze – Pilates Dominoes 😉 I can’t believe the teacher suggested you try a different class – how rude! I did Pilates for a while here – not easy in Latvian/Russian either!!

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      1. I had exactly the same problem! Or when she tells you to close your eyes but you don’t know what that is so you’re looking around seeing what other people are doing, then realise too late 😉

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  6. Oh man, those exercises sound like a cross between circus contortionist routine and medieval torture. I have been tempted, one and off, to try pilates, but never quite mustered enough motivation 😛

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              1. I have been museum-ing quite a bit 🙂 I actually tried to have 4 lessons since the fall and ended up in a hysterical breakdown each time. Thus the break. The body is ok, the mind – not so much.

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                1. Hope you feel able to get back to it at some point but, in the meantime, visiting museums is a lot safer and there’s usually a nice cup of tea and a cake involved (or that might just be how I do museums) 😉

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  7. That is brilliant and good on you for sticking with it…you will feel fab in a month! It’s all that bum clenching and pelvic floor activity that releases the farts, god knows I’ve done enough Pilates classes to hear bodies erupt, mine included! Teacher sounds like a piece of works..thanks for the laugh and I fully encourage you to stick with it 🙂

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