Episode IV – The First Class

It was finally time to put these motivational thoughts into practice. We had done enough to get ourselves excited. We knew why were doing this, why it was necessary, and why Apogee was potentially a great solution for us. But now was time to actually do it, and I have to admit I was nervous.

I had never done Pilates before and didn’t really know what to expect. In the past I had also had motivation issues when trying to stick to a workout plan – my personal best was probably five consecutive months, and other than that, the workouts were infrequent and with no regularity. 


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<<< Photo of Mamaroneck Avenue entrance of Apogee

I had also never worked out in a studio as nice as this before. Perhaps I had conceded to myself a bit too early that I would forever be stuck working out in the dungeon-like atmosphere of other gyms, feeling the disgusting presence of grime and old sweat. But maybe a lack of motivation went hand in hand with not wanting to work out in an environment close to unsanitary.

As expected, it’s our first day to work out at Apogee, and the place just glistens cleanliness. Gina and I did a little shopping in the store in the front of the Wellness Center to buy some Pilates gear. Apparently the shirts are intended to be slim-cut, so instructors can better see your abdominal movement, but this was something I didn’t expect. Oh well, when in Rome…. and they actually do look good, but it took me a second to get used to. As expected, Gina loved this little shopping experience.

GINA: Oh yeah! Got to love that combination of being able to shop, work out, and be with Mike all at the same time. In fact, this little stroll was probably the most amount of time we have ever spent clothes shopping together. Love it!

<<< Gina showing off some of her new workout gear

Now that we’re all geared up, it was time for the first workout. As Amy suggested, we would be best to start with a beginner mat class to get the movements down. The plan was that after learning the basic, we would better utilize our time when on private instruction.

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The instructor for our class was Lisa, who was so very nice and welcoming; she was also in dynamite shape herself. She knew in advance we were first-timers and went out of her way to solicit us, make us feel welcome, and to inquire whether we had any injuries that may limit our activity. We reassured her we were good to go, so we grabbed our Pilates mats and took a seat.

Gina: For all you first timers, you should know that there are no socks or sneakers in traditionally Pilates environments, though I saw some people with those Pilates socks, with toe support. I’m so glad Apogee is so clean, because you can really embrace the intended environment of being barefoot without worrying about the cleanliness of your surroundings.

I should also mention that the class was essentially all females and me. I started laughing to myself, because I worried that being spotted here would be the equivalent of being spotted at home working out in front of the TV to 1980’s Jane Fonda workout VHS cassettes, or Richard Simmons’ Sweating to the Oldies, which might even be worse. But that wasn’t the case at all, everyone in the class was so friendly and welcoming, and didn’t give me the, “look at this pathetic jerk” look which I will reluctantly admit to receiving in the past, when in a similar mostly girls class environment.

Gina: I have in fact seen Mike sweat to the oldies! But usually that’s us dancing like crazy at one of the many weddings we’ve been to recently. Also, I could see this place being such a good environment for guys to meet girls. Because Mike and I are dating it’s not an issue for us, but you could easily see a single guy meeting some really nice people here.

Back to the class, and its clear we are rookies, but we are learning quickly. Lisa deftly provides instruction, and insightful commentary on the purpose of each exercise. We learn that each exercise is intended to flow into the next, and that smooth purposeful movements are most helpful to develop a strong core.

Gina: Wow! I was feeling the strain on muscles I didn’t even know I had. Some exercises were easier for me than they were for Mike, but I felt such a great stretching of my body and such a thorough workout, I loved it. An hour went by, and I didn’t even know. By concentrating on the movements, it was meditative and very relaxing. It was a great first day.

To say that Gina had an easier time would be an understatement; she is so much more flexible than me. I loved having Lisa there as an instructor, even though she was watching over the class, she was able to correct our mistakes, and the mistakes of other class members. This was a great first class, but I got crushed! I know it will only get better from here.

Next Week: The Cleanse! Mike and Gina do the Apogee Nourish cleanse to detox our Thanksgiving gluttony.

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