bubble bath and candle

Hour of Power

It calls itself the Hour of Power (HOP). I’d call it the Hour of Pain and Suffering, but it’s not quite so catchy.

A friend asked me if I wanted to try it. I googled it. It looked horrendous. I said ok.

We decided that last night would be the night. I admitted I was dreading it. I wasn’t the only one.

We got there, and went in the hall. We talked to the instructor, Aimee. She looked very strong and very fit. She asked us about our fitness levels and if we had any injuries. We said we did Pilates and a bit of running. There was plenty to be said about injuries — I hoped she’d go easy on us if she thought we were dropping to bits. She said not to go too low on the squats. We glanced at each other. We’d heard about the squats.

We started warming up and we did a squat and stayed there. We stayed there for ages. My legs started quivering. Then we had to go up on tiptoes without falling over. Then we did 210 squats. Two hundred and ten. I didn’t think I could go on; I’m too stubborn to give up after five minutes.

After that, we lifted weights up and down. We had been given a pair of 0.5 kg weights each because we were beginners. We did many reps of those. We did many more reps of those while jogging on the spot. At one point, I started giggling. It seemed so ridiculous. I forced myself to stop in case it gave the impression I was enjoying myself: I wasn’t.

Then we did floor work to get the core muscles going. We did many reps of sit-ups that became more and more evil as we progressed through the set. Pilates helped me with this and Pilates didn’t help me with this.

Pilates helped in that my core muscles had been strengthened enough to do the basic sit-ups and the easy versions of the hard sit-ups. Without the Pilates, I wouldn’t have been able to do this. Our Pilates instructor has even commented that I’m stronger now.

Pilates didn’t help in that we’d done core muscle work on Monday, and my abs were still sore from that. On the plus side, the amount of pain and suffering I was feeling while trying to sit up masked the Pilates-related pain.

After that, we did Supermans. Aimee said she was going easy on the group because of us two new people, so we didn’t do many. Ironically, we can both do Supermans. We do Supermans at Pilates. We like Supermans. It’s all relative.

Then we did a cool-down and some stretches and it was all over.

“I’m broken,” I told my friend.

“That’s the word that came to my mind too,” she said.

We’d arranged to go to the bar afterwards for a drink and a catch-up. We realised the flaw: we had to go up the stairs. Then we had to lift our pints of lime and soda. Then we had to sit down. Then we had to stand up again. Then we had to go back down the stairs. Then my friend had to drive. She asked would I do the gears if she did the steering.

“But who will do the pedals?”

This morning, when I woke up, it hurt. I turned off the alarm; it hurt. I stretched; it hurt. I got out of bed; it hurt. Walking, stairs, driving, sitting, standing, moving, staying still; it all hurt. The word of the day has been “ow”.

I’ve been recommended a bath with Epsom salts. Radox will have to do till I get some.

The question now is: do we go back next week for another Hour of Pain and Suffering?

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