Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Random Thoughts – The Pilates Method Alliance Edition

Economy Comfort is an airline oxymoron; four extra inches of leg room doesn't make up for the fact that the seat cushion reached only to the middle of TBG's thighs. I wondered why I was so comfortable, sitting in the middle seat, my feet barely reaching the ground. This leg length discrepancy has been an issue for us ever since we bought our first couch. Paying for the discomfort is an entirely different experience, though.
By the time we unwound ourselves in Houston, we were half way to pretzel-dom.

The Houston Airport is almost as busy as Atlanta. This trip we had the privilege of changing planes in both of them. We rode monorails between terminals and tried to find something neither fried nor candy coated to eat, having learned long ago that airplane food is less than fresh or tasty. I treated myself to a Popeye's chicken breast and was pleasantly surprised by the juicy texture and the crispy coating.

It's a good thing that there are no calories on vacation. The nutritional information on the side of my paper container was frightening.
Heat is one thing. I've learned to deal with high temperatures and blazing sunlight. Humidity is another can of worms, entirely. We exited the Ft. Lauderdale airport and could barely breathe. The bellman at the hotel told us that we'd just missed a rain shower. I couldn't tell the difference; the air was thick, the perspiration was dripping down my face and my back and my legs, it could still have been raining for all that I knew. I was wet.
PMA sent me flowers, thanking me for participating in their conference. It warmed up the rather sterile hotel room and made me feel loved. I had no idea how much more love was in store for me as the week went on.

We put them on the end table in front of the window. Our ocean view room was gorgeous during the day, but the night time view was darkness. We could hear the waves, but without a moon or stars there was just a black void beyond the balcony. Seven stories up, with nothing to be seen below. Vertigo made its presence known. I went back inside and drew the curtains.
Westin's Heavenly Beds are fabulous. The Marriott's beds are not. Too soft, ditches where the prior tenants had slept and left their mark, much too high to get into and out of without careful preparation and planning, even the pillows were disappointing. I missed my own bed from the first night.
Wednesday dawned bright and breezy. Heidi and Doc drove down from Jupiter to spend the day and distract me from any nervous tension which might be brewing. The boys lay on lounge chairs, catching up on fraternity brothers' doings all over the globe. Heidi and I bounced gently in the waves, talking kids and work and memories. We were out beyond the crashing of the waves, watching the cargo ships and the ocean liners and the mega-yachts cross the horizon.

I was more at peace than I've been in months. Old friends and warm water will do that.
There was a school of razor fish between us and the shore. Did we walk through their path and disturb them? Did we wait til they swam past? Would they bite us? Would we cut ourselves on their scales?

They were gone before we could decide.
TBG and I realized that we don't sun-bathe anymore. It's always bright and clear here in Tucson; we get our Vitamin D just by living our lives. Somehow, last week the beach and the hotel's pool beckoned us to lie like slabs of meat on a barbeque grill, toasting our flesh. I lasted about ten minutes, then headed for an umbrella.

When I was young, the thought of missing even a moment of sunshine was anathema. I greased up with baby oil and often held a reflector beneath my chin, sending the sun's rays onto my face, scorching my skin, telling myself I was tanning when in fact I was scorching. I guess I'm officially an old person now; baking in the sun has lost its allure.
We made ourselves comfortable by the family pool, and giggled as young parents tossed footballs and children into the water. We remembered the Cuters swimming between our legs, being tossed like rocket ships high into the sky - “A Pluto Shot, Daddy!! Send me to Pluto!” In Spanish and Danish and English, light and dark and somewhere in between, Mommies and Daddies and babies were frolicking and we were taken back in time to summers past.

Those memories are so strong, the images are so vivid, it was as if our kids were right there with us. I could feel Little Cuter in my arms, going round and round on the merry-go-round, slippery and smelling of lotion and snuggling into my arms. I could have stayed there forever.
The main thing you notice about Pilates professionals is their posture. Despite their individual sizes, they hold themselves erect, effortlessly, long necks supporting heads far above shoulders resting comfortably on strong shoulder girdles.

It forces you to stand up straighter yourself.
There were 700 people in the auditorium, and they stood and applauded as I climbed the steps to the podium. They clapped and they clapped and they smiled and I stood on the stage, drinking it all in. They were proud of me, they were inspired by my words, they will start Pilates Youth Programs in their own towns, they will become involved in GRIN.... but mostly I felt the love.

Hugs from strangers still feel great; there were a lot of them last week.
The Pilates Youth Program presentation was greeted with a standing ovation as they ascended the stage and sent off the same way.  The audience cheered and ooohed as the girls went up and down with strong arms and straight bodies in five narrow stance push ups.  Their smiles were contagious; I stopped sniffling and wiping tears of joy long enough to cheer with everyone else.

I know that my story inspires people; it's nice to hear it in person, though. Somehow, hearing from others that I've made a difference in their lives eases the burden of galumphing through life.

It's better to give than to receive, I know, but every once in a while it's nice to be on the getting end.


  1. LOVE that comment about no calories on vacation! ;) Will have to use that.

    I'm glad you had a lovely time in Florida. It always seems to be humid there. We go at least once a year to Disney and even in the winter days, it's humid. I think I'm just used to it being from DC and our hot, humid summers.

    I'm hoping a lot of people start their own pilates youth programs. AND YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION TO MANY OF US! :)

    Sending hugs.


  2. Oh, Megan... it's the same as "no calories in cookie crumbs".... a truism that lets you enjoy life to the fullest <3


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