Foreshadowing the tidal wave was one of my favourite lessons, for anticipating these crashes would allow one to make the appropriate preparations, to check in when symptoms are present, and to remediate before the situation grows dire. We have family doctors for physical illness, yet may not be as capable of depicting invisible warning signs to the same degree of detail.
Beyond deducing the preferred methods of information presentation and work tactics, making meticulous observations has assisted me greatly in the workplace, identifying areas of concern and predicting next steps of action needed. In a personal setting, toning down the saviour function has meant gradual steps to relieving satanic chaos. It hasn't been easy, but it's proving easier with each effort made. The first step was identification, followed by acceptance and rehabilitation - no "rectification", as the aim is cumulative benefit rather than instant rebate.
1) Chestnut Tart
With a penchant for purposing the holiday ingredient into a seasonal dessert of sorts, I took to the late-night construction of a Chestnut Tart. A faux Mont Blanc, so to speak, was formed from a no-oven, graham cracker crust instead of sponge base, then coconut rum-infused chestnut cream in place of airy whipped cream and threads of sweet chestnut paste piled sky-high.
Authentic it was not, but delectable it was, in light of its relatively straightforward procedure.
Sautéed with softened vine tomatoes and freezer-bagged cherry tomatoes was a plentiful portion of finely chopped onion and several cloves of minced garlic. This, along with white wine, ketchup, and rice wine vinegar, assumed the foundation for a tangy, sweet pasta sauce. Lightly scorched shrimp were tossed in for a dose of protein. A dusting of dried parsely finished off a midweek lunch.
The triangular sections broke apart with minimal effort, though a boost of richness was deemed necessary for the next iteration.
Despite the dreaded snow removal process of the subsequent showers, the first snow tends to bring about enchantment - a change of scenery fit for the season.
I inched towards the entrance, and a fellow student followed. Before entering the establishment, we paused - as if on cue - and stomped heavily on the floor mats, syncing our footsteps as well as sharing a knowing gaze. "The things we do for pilates." She remarked with a smile.
Later conversation would inform me of her dedication to the studio, which comprised of a drive twice as lengthy as my own.
With our entry came delivery of splendid news: the much-delayed moving date was confirmed! My old instructor also informed of Christmas closures and a distinct drop in class attendance in the face of subzero precipitation.
The class did not use the Reformer Box, nor did it involve the gear bar/stopper check. With none of the previous class' students showing, it was likely that the settings hadn't been altered.
Core exercises were foundational, yet formidable (otherwise read as "killer"). With hands threaded through the tension straps and legs in tabletop position, the palms were brought down to beside one's hip. My neighbour was reminded to refrain from hyperextension of her wrists, which acted as a gentle reminder to myself as well. Tabletop crunches followed, with extension of legs at the end of the sequence. We then transitioned to 45-degree hundreds, where one would inhale for 3 counts then exhale for 3 counts. A total of ten were performed, introducing tremors. Keeping the legs stationary was challenging, but holding the imprint position throughout was the most difficult aspect of all.
- With bent knees, upper leg lifted to hip height and back to meet the resting leg, keeping the Carriage as still as possible
- Knee circles in both directions; I was reminded to make circles wider both times
- With bent knees, upper leg lifted to hip height and extend out, keeping the Carriage as still as possible
The class concluded with a similar cooldown sequence: mermaid ("turnout") position) for reaching one arm over the body and rotating for a lower back stretch. Lunges were also performed with no springs attached to the Carriage.
I departed a few minutes late due to further inquiry of the studio move and potential increase in fee schedule, leading to unintentional intrusion of the semi-private lesson that followed. The girls were observed performing the same Marching warmup sequence that we had commenced with, yet their chosen apparatus was the Reformer Box as opposed to the Bosu. "Well, that's a lot easier!" I thought to myself.
Turning for the door, I realized, "So ours is already (a more) advanced class." The objective of lessons is to spur growth and, with that process, introduce new hurdles.