Perhaps it is an obvious consequence of time being invested elsewhere, but I had optimistically hoped not for my endurance to wither within such a short period. Returning to regular pilates sessions was not particularly difficult, though chills were frequently felt, as were moments of abnormal warmth. The mind and body were drained despite little engagement with the outside world.
I also adhered to the gentle cooling process, but broiled the surface for two minutes instead of baking at 350 F.
Even the evening prior to my return flight, the sleepy polar bear had made me aware of a completed PC. I had been eager to commence editing in a new environment, one with ample RAM to prevent crashing, adequate space for the installation of updated software, and, naturally, boosted speed. The only obstacle that lay in between was the status of my desk.
I obtained the exact dimensions of the unit for reference, then bit the bullet and began the process. Despite occupying no more than one eighth of my desk space, the clutter was quite impressive, unpacking itself to be far more extensive than it appeared.
It wasn't entirely irrational either, since I could benefit from form reminders and also purge predominant petroleum payments.
We began the session with static stretches, my most despised "warm-up" series, especially given consistently their proven risk to injury. On the Barrel, one leg was placed by the ladder rungs, while the other atop the curved cushion. The stretch was held for as long as I could bear without the toes tingling. Next up was a figure-4 stretch, which was also held until cramping kicked in (and was vocalized).
A variety of other low-impact exercises were conducted for a full-body session. On the Reformer were oblique stretches in mermaid position, then the Cadillac for upper back, side glute, and leg exercises. Frequent reminders were extended to keep the pelvis pressed into the mat, tailbone tucked, and core engaged. With the hands placed beneath the forehead, I was instructed to lift the upper body while maintaining contact between the stomach and mat, as to isolate the upper back.
Flipping onto my side, we proceeded with side leg lifts. By limiting the range of motion, one was urged to focus on muscle engagement rather than momentum. Holds were less common in this instructor's routine, though a five-second hold was called out on the last left lift count. A variation of this move involved lifting the upper leg, then the lower leg to join it; keeping tension in the obliques and pelvic stability was crucial to work my areas of weakness, specifically the left hip and right inner thigh.
Flipping to face the wall, tricep, and chest exercises with hands threaded through the tension straps. Reminders were uttered to keep the "sternum down" and "scapula flat". It was, unsurprisingly, another difficult position to maintain, making effective execution of the move more challenging than meets the eye.
She concluded on a positive note: that the mind-muscle connection was impressive, yet the imbalance was staggering.
Lunch needs led me to McDonald's, where the limited lineup of Minions: The Rise of Gru Happy Meal toys had just arrived.