2004, $1.99, at St. Vincent De Paul, Downtown

First Impression: This is how you practice hurdles in a sensory deprivation chamber.

Second Impression: While starring in a toothpaste commercial.

This workout is performed in a Closet World showroom, with some potted plants scattered around the floor for you to trip on. The instructor assures us that “Pilates is safe to do every day,” without adding, “provided you clear all obstacles to avoid accidents.”

There are 5 ten-minute routines to mix and match however you like. In the Abs and Bun/Thigh segments, the teacher’s hair is tastefully pulled into a ponytail. But when we get to the Sculpting Pilates section, her hair is down, but held back with a stretchy headband made out of braided fake hair, like the ones from Cinema Secrets. I always wonder who would wear one of those plaited muskrats, and now I know! The secret is out!

I soon discover the reason for the hairstyle change is a practical one. There’s a move called Shave The Head, where you brush your dumbbells close behind the back of your skull to firm up those bingo wings. When my weights keep catching on my piled-up bun of hair, I think, “Aha! Mystery solved!”

Also… and this may sound narcissistic, but to me the most interesting thing about this workout is that the instructor, Lara Hudson, has the same body type as I do.

I worked with a woman years ago, who kept enthusing about how big my shoulders are. She insisted that she wished for my shoulders, because they function as a hanger that makes clothes fit well. Myself, I wished that I could go back in time to before that woman made me aware of just how noticeably big my shoulders are. I was never self-conscious about my shoulders until that day. Thanks, Lady.

But Lara Hudson has my coat hanger shoulders, Laura Ingalls butter-churning biceps, and little square face with a pointy nose. She is rocking all of it, and I actually find it very inspiring. She could probably play me in the movie version of this blog. She doesn’t have blue eyes or wavy hair, but that’s what Cinema Secrets is for!


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