With a light dusting of snow on the ground, the sleep polar bear voiced concerns over all-season tires versus winter tires, declaring that "more snow" hadn't been anticipated. I raised an eyebrow at this uninformed statement and matter-of-factly retorted, "It's Canada. You should expect the unexpected." because that is precisely what statistics have led us to prepare for.
How could I provide universally usable instructions without use of cardinal directions, without mention of street names, without trust, and without reference to nearby landmarks in the face of instantaneous forgetfulness? Stress levels were formidable, and I silently vowed to undertake the comparatively less tense, less risky solo commute for my sanity next time around.
We arrived at the studio later than preferred, but still in advance of the start time. The class, reviewed against the catastrophe of the eastbound drive, proceeded quite effortlessly.
- Feet together, extending the knees to jump, and landing on both feet
- Feet together, extending the knees to jump, lifting the legs towards the ceiling, and landing on both feet
- Feet together, jumping while maintaining a tabletop position with the knees, and landing on both feet
- Feet in turnout position, extending the knees to jump, and landing on both feet
- Feet in turnout position, extending the legs outward from the Carriage in a V-shape, and landing on both feet
- Upper body flexed upwards into a crunch, gaze at 45 degrees upwards, and feet together, extending the knees to jump, and landing on both feet
- Upper body flexed upwards into a crunch, gaze at 45 degrees upwards, and feet placed at hip width distance, bring in one leg for a single leg stretch, switch in mid-air, and land on the other foot.
Continuing the session while lying on our backs, we were guided through a few thigh and hamstring stretches (with one red spring) in preparation for lower body exercises. One foot was threaded through the hand strap and eased into a stretch by steady tugs of the tension cable towards one's body (hamstring stretch), across the body while resisting pelvic rotation (IT band), and away from the body (inner thigh) while resisting pelvic rotation. This was repeated on the other foot for symmetry.
Then, with two red springs affixed, both feet were threaded through the hand straps and lowered such that a neutral spine could be maintained. A pilates ring was placed over the feet to engage the gluteus medium. The legs would be lowered down while keeping tension of the ring, to the side, and with knees bent to form a tabletop position. I recalled executing a similar series at the studio's old location, recapping an unmistakable struggle to keep the legs lowered in the "starting position". Since then, the exercise has seemingly lessened in difficulty, though pelvic rotation and a quivering left gluteus medium remain as areas for improvement.
Most amusing was the instructor's next exercise. Standing behind the Carriage facing the footbar, we arranged our legs wide over the Reformer frame and eased into a plié squat position. A few regular wide squats were performed, then quickly transformed into single leg heels-up "bounces" - "pulses" in blogilates' terminology - and pulses/holds with both heels up. Familiarity with this move rendered less extreme of a response than my fellow classmates. That said, maintaining a wider stance than usual proved effective in challenging both inner thigh endurance and ankle stability.
The class concluded a bit earlier than expected with a standing rolldown.
I proposed their classic Corn Kakiage to start, along with newly-introduced appetizers of Salmon Tataki and Grilled Ika (Squid).
Eventually settling on the latter, I braced myself for the gusty trek south, being clad in spring/fall layers after stashing away my go-to down jacket for the season.
- Pineapple Bun
- Coconut Tart
- Black Sesame Roll
- Flaky Crust Egg Tart
- Napolean >
With unwavering desires to attempt their new drink duo, we waited patiently until the DoorDash orders halted. Behind the counter, we observed as the sole member on shift dashed between the cashier and kitchen to meet the bubble tea demands of the local community.