January 20th, 2024Kyle’s Rant
As we all settle down into the rhythm of 2024, it is worth considering our New Year’s commitments and resolutions and if they are likely to be stuck by, or just drunken rhetoric and false promises.
Some statistics say that over 90 per cent of resolutions have been parked or failed by February and about eight per cent travel the course of the year.
If it is a fitness promise you made there is only yourself to blame if it fails and as to why we make these stupid ‘guaranteed to fail’ promises to ourselves, I guess it is the same reason we continue to buy Lotto tickets, chasing the elusive better life.
In terms of fitness my go to is Pilates. “What’s that?” I hear you ask. Well mostly the guys out there. So a quick bit of history from the ever-reliable Wikipedia.
Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates from Mönchengladbach, Germany. His father was a gymnast and his mother a naturopath.
Pilates developed a system of exercises while interned for four years during WWI intended to strengthen the human mind and body, believing that mental and physical health were interrelated.
Pilates accompanied his method with a variety of equipment, which he called “apparatus”. Each apparatus was designed to help accelerate the process of stretching, strengthening, body alignment and increased core strength started by mat work.
The best-known and most popular apparatus today, the Reformer, was originally called the Universal Reformer, aptly named for “universally reforming the body”.
So that’s Pilates, and by and large I seem to be one of the only blokes in the class while I see other 50-somethings getting around with bad backs and stiffness in the legs, knees and hips.
I started my Pilates journey when my back went on the blink. Bulging disc – you know the sort of thing. Very painful. I worked for quite a while with my surgeon to try and avoid back surgery but when it became inevitable I continued doing Pilates right up until the day of surgery.
(I know not everyone can afford private health cover but I can’t afford not to pay it now after starting it at the age of 30. And it worked out well. When I booked in for the surgery it was pretty much “what day next week?” and then “morning or afternoon”. It finally paid off.)
Anyway, I was given a post-surgery plan by the surgeon and as soon as I was able I was back on the Reformer and as a result I cut down my surgery recovery time by about half.
The sport is truly amazing and gets you thinking about how you move around including stopping you from lifting a fridge or table without thinking – classic big boy behaviour – and it has truly extended my flexibility and core strength.
But still it’s overwhelmingly a woman’s game and of course there are lots of jokes from my buddies about me sitting down the back of the class watching for the downward dog, but if they paid attention, they know that would be a Yoga move.
Pilates terms are more “the nutcracker” – which when you think about it is really a bloke’s move, or the “hello boys” as we stretch our thighs. And if you get the right trainer, hello Erin, it is a lot of fun while getting fit.
There are plenty of Pilates classes around in our villages and towns with an explosion in Daylesford among a plethora of other fitness pastimes, so there is no excuse not to get active in whatever sporting vocation you choose.
Yes, the first five minutes for the first time can seem daunting, but most of the fitness places also have breakaway social groups, so go on, get in amongst it.
Move into the New Year rant over…