Such a plank…

18 10 2013

I’ve had a dodgy back for a long time.

Things came to a head a couple of years back when doing some sit ups at BMF and my back gave up on me.

I went through a short course of physio, NHS paid-for pilates and a lot of pain.

The injury is non-reversible unfortunately.

So for now, it’s all about building up some core strength to help support the afflicted area.

The physio at the time recommended the best way to develop the necessary core strength was pilates.

A long time afterwards, I eventually got my backside into gear and did something about it.

Walking into the room was like stepping of the plane in a hot country.

It was a hot pilates session.

The temperature went up even further as the strapping instructor walked in.

A man hillock (I would say mountain but he was a tad on the short side) who put myself and the only other chap in the room to shame.

Muscles on muscles but obviously no bones based on the way he could bend around the place.

About five minutes in and I was already resting on a sweat drenched towel.

Everyone around me seemed to be coping absolutely fine.

Bending and swaying in the same manner.

I could just about touch my knees bending over whilst everyone rested their hands on the floor.

The girl next to me was incredibly flexible.

I tried to hide my embarrassment at not being able to touch my toes by mouthing “bad back.”

A reassuring smile was given as her head went through her knees.

Awkward.

But I had a small moment of victory.

Or so I thought.

Whilst sitting down with legs raised in the air and slowly leaning back to achieve a 2:50pm angle, if you catch my drift (no idea what the proper name was), we had to hold the position.

Bendy lady could not hold it.

Absolutely no abdominal strength.

As supple as she was there was no hope in holding the position.

Try as she might, she kept collapsing.

This was my moment.

She looked over as I held the position with brute determination.

An impressed glance was given and a big smile.

Unbeknownst to me, the instructor was sitting right behind me helping someone and held the pose with perfect rigidity.

Meanwhile I was shaking like a shitting dog trying desperately to maintain the position, not breathing and slowly turning puce.

I collapsed into my towel just as I thought I was going to exhale air that was not part of the breathing techniques we’d been taught.

I made no further eye contact after that.

And so it was that on miserable Wednesday lunchtime, I found myself in the plank position.

Feeling like a plank.

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