Getting Stronger

I’ve been at Elevate studio for a week now–started going right after I came back from Vermont–and the verdict is:

I’m in love with this!

Ten years, forty pounds and several injuries ago I was a Pilates mat instructor at a dance studio in Berkeley. I started off being quite the purist, then gradually started introducing moves into my classes that Joe Pilates had not introduced, to keep things interesting. I’m not that fond of yoga, though I have had a chance to take the occasional class and enjoy it. And old-timer readers may recall that, despite admonitions that I should start lifting to get stronger to improve my swimming, I just could not get myself to go regularly and work the machines.

At Elevate, I get a workout comparable to the gym one using their resistance straps. Each class is 55 minutes long and they pack pilates, yoga, TRX, ballet, and cardio moves into them. Since no two classes are the same, over the course of the week I got lots of upper body, lower body, and core work done. It is frustrating and scary to feel how much less I can do now than ten years ago, but it’s also pretty great that every morning that I go I beat that other Hadar, who stayed home to sleep, and become stronger and more flexible.

Coming to terms with the fact that my weight and injuries are likely not going away anytime soon is easier when I have hope of functioning well and being strong for years to come, and that prospect is infusing my days with happy calm. It is also great encouragement for my swimming–this way I’ll be able to self-care for my body in ways that swimming just does not allow and enjoy the two complementary activities.

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