June 6 – Hundreds

So Mr.Pilates came up with a way of creating a high rep, low impact exercise called “hundreds”….don’t know if it means 100 reps or 100 seconds or what.

I am told to put my legs in a position called table top.  Frankly, there is no table made in the Western World that looks like my lower legs parallel to the ground with knees over hips.  I look more like a chair that has been knocked over than some sort of table.  So, let’s call it knocked over chair. (KOC, for short).

Next, I am reminded to keep my shoulders relaxed and a raised chin…like I am looking at a dog lick my toes as I am waking up in the morning and don’t have a pillow.

Don’t know if this visual works.  Didn’t work for me, either.  It is the KOC combined with a raised chin and relaxed shoulders.

Then, I move my arms in little pulses up and down while someone counts to 100.

Hold it.  This is NOT a solid core workout.  I don’t get to that “burn” stage very quickly, if at all.  I am never grunting, nor am I daydreaming as I deal with the pain that comes from doing real core workouts.  No daydreaming about other things to deal with the pain.  In fact, I often count in other languages while the teacher is counting in English, so there is at least some sort of stimulation going on.  The other day I asked if it was OK to do another set of hundreds after finishing the first one.  I am given a resounding, “NO!” and got the message not to bring it up again.

Next thing I know, I am done with that Pilates session and am driving my car home.  As always, I go too fast and round corners on small roads.  But things are different in my lower abdomen.  Normally, I would sway to and fro as I round corners, with my shoulder sometimes touching the window or floating across the center of the car.  I have always concluded that it is better to bend than to break when moving.  Without even thinking about it, my body now chooses to remain rigid and my lower abdomen resists the shift in posture.

Where did that come from?  Hundreds?  If it is something else, I haven’t seen it or felt it consciously.

Later, I sit at my desk, talking to people, providing directions and assuming that as president, I am at the top of the food chain.  But I am sitting differently. I am sitting up straight, and my darn core is partially engaged.  The moment I intentionally disengage it, my shoulders slump forward.

What used to be normal now seems odd.

Where did Mr Pilates come up with the idea for this….how do all those little movements make me want to change my definition of upright.  Upright is still a vague word, but it includes “core engaged”

I am not yet used to this.

I try doing some of my older core exercises, and they are still the same grunts and sets and weight related successes.

Then I do hundreds at the end, and my core seemingly gets happy, like an engine that hasn’t been started in a while.

What are hundreds?  Don’t know yet.  But I do know my core is different because of them.


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