Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Discovering Pittsburgh: Verve 360 Pilates Pittsburgh

What Saturday mornings are typically like here in the Betty and Boo household:
  • Occasionally sleeping past 6 a.m., if Betty and Boo don't greet the day by fighting amongst each other.
  • Couch potato-ing about on our respective laptops and electronic devices.
  • Reheating Friday night's pizza for lunch
  • Schlepping out to the grocery store in mid-afternoon.

What Saturday mornings are NOT typically like here in the Betty and Boo household:
  • Rummaging through still-unpacked (from our move 4 months ago) boxes for something that a) passes for a workout outfit and b) passes for a workout outfit that fits.
  • Driving into Downtown Pittsburgh to meet up with people I've never met (but who I know online via our blogs)
  • Taking a Pilates class at Verve Wellness with said people I've never met.
  • Lunching with the ladies at the Fairmont Hotel. 

The latter was my day on Saturday August 11, when I met up with a group of Pittsburgh bloggers for what turned out to be a great morning at Verve Wellness and a fabulous lunch at Habitat. (I'll have a review of that in a separate post.)

Claire (Live and Love to Eat) had organized what she called a 'Burgh Blogger Bash. Being a reader of her blog and interested in meeting some local bloggers, I emailed Claire.

Which is how I discovered that our day was to start at  Verve Wellness ... where the studio was generously providing us bloggers with a free, one hour beginners Pilates class. (You can have an opportunity to partake in this too. More on this in a bit.)

I immediately became nervous. I'd never taken a Pilates class. I am woefully out of shape. (I have the cholesterol numbers and triglyceride counts to prove it, baby!) Did this mean I'd have to start TRAINING for a blogging event? (And by training, that would be walking around the block. Maybe even TWICE.) Maybe this wasn't the best idea after all. Maybe I could change my mind and maybe just go to lunch.

Right up until the morning of the event, I was still unsure about everything except the certainty that I was going to make a complete fool of myself. It was a voice of reason that gave me the confidence I needed.

"Maybe someone will help you," my 10 year old son Boo offered.

For new readers to the blog, my son has a form of autism called Asperger's Syndrome. I write about him and autism here often. So this awareness, this very IDEA from him that someone would be able to help, that I could ASK for help, was beyond huge and the confidence booster that I needed.

At Verve itself, we were greeted warmly by the front desk personnel. The first floor of Verve is a salon and spa area, offering hair care, cut and style, manicure, pedicure, and massage services. Probably a lot more. We were shown to the comfortable changing area on the second floor, which is where the spacious workout studio is also located.

We met our enthusiastic instructor, Linda, who took a few moments to ask each of us about our exercise history, especially with Pilates, and any pre-existing conditions. (As the oldest person in the group, I was, of course the only one with an ailment. My creaky left shoulder that I "did something to, maybe slept on funny" got me out of an exercise or two.)

As she led us through the mat exercises (are they exercises? moves? positions? I don't remember), Linda interspersed her cues to us with bits of history of Pilates and the differences between this and yoga, as well as other workouts. Several participants in the class, for example, were swimmers.

One of the things that I was most surprised about was that I wasn't a sopping wet dishrag at the end of the class - meaning that, I expected this to be like my 8 a.m. college aerobics class that left me damn near unconscious for the rest of the morning. (Of course, I was in a lot better shape 22 years ago, but that's besides the point.)  I expected to be gulping water nonstop, not to mention the oxygen tank that I assumed the paramedics would be bringing. Don't get me wrong: as a newbie, this was hard (I felt it the next day, believe you me) but there were parts of the Pilates class that were ... dare I say it? Relaxing.

So. Let's just cut to the chase. Did I like the class? Well, yes and ... maybe not so much. I liked how it made me feel afterwards, and I suppose that is the most important thing, right? I liked that Linda was incredibly patient with me when I was a bit (OK, maybe a lot) uncoordinated and I'm grateful that my blogging friends were patient with me, too. Is Pilates for me? I don't know.

What I do know, though, is that I am glad that I gave it a try and I am appreciative to Verve 360 Pilates Pittsburgh for giving me the opportunity to do so.  Now it's YOUR TURN. Verve 360 Pilates Pittsburgh is offering one of my blog readers the chance to win a free Pilates class at their studio, which is a $40 value. This is a great opportunity to try Pilates if you're a beginner, like me. Verve is conveniently in Downtown Pittsburgh. To be eligible to win, you must leave a comment on this blog post. I'll draw a winner on Friday, August 31, 2012. Thanks again to Verve 360 Pilates Pittsburgh for offering the class and the prize!

Me and my new friends post-Pilates class: From top left to right: Claire (Live and Love to Eat)Angela (Health’s Angel), Alex (Brain Body Because), Nikki (Life After Swimming). Seated: me and Katie (K.E.P.T. You Fit).

Discovering Pittsburgh is my occasional blog feature on The Betty and Boo Chronicles about the places and things that we're, well, discovering and doing here in our new city. 

copyright 2012, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Alex @ Brain, Body, Because said...

It was great to meet you that day! During Pilates, we were all too busy worrying about ourselves :)

Eliza Thorne said...

I am glad that you found a place to practice Pilates that you are comfortable in! That has been the biggest challenge for me so far! There are so many places to try Pilates in NYC, and it took me so long to find one that was the right fit! Great post, I enjoy your writing!