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  • Jenna Beall

My wrists are sore.

My company offers lunchtime workout classes, which is totally awesome. And while I've enjoyed yoga, bootcamp, cardio HIIT, Zumba, tai chi, and even kickboxing, there's one class I've always been too afraid to try.


Pilates.


All I've ever heard about the pilates class is this: It's hard.


"Maybe it's only a rumor," I told Adam, gamely packing my workout clothes last night. I'd chosen my most slimming yoga pants (to create the illusion of being toned) and a 5k t-shirt (to create the illusion of being athletic and fit). "Maybe it's actually the best class ever, and people just say that to keep the size down."


I was the first person to arrive to the 12:05 class, which was strange since I only got there a few minutes early. If you try and pull that in yoga? Well, get ready to apologetically sandwich yourself between two other yogis' mats.


I smiled at the instructor, thinking, Pretend like you belong here. Pretend like you belong here.


"THIS IS MY FIRST CLASS!" I blurted the moment she introduced herself.


"It's a hard one," she replied with a smile, which I found incredibly disconcerting. "You're really going to feel it in your shoulders and wrists."


"Ha, okay!" I chirped back.


Once again, I stupidly thought, But how hard can this be?


Only two more associates joined the class. They were guys who looked way more in shape than I've ever been in my twenty-nine years of life.


Another bad sign, but I was committed at this point.


We started off walking our hands out, dropping to our forearms, and then walking our hands back up. We repeated this exercise an absurd number of times.


I watched a bead of sweat hit the mat.


We moved into plank pose. I took a nervous glance at the clock.


Five minutes had passed.


I still had forty to go.


Let me tell you what, I felt those next 2,400 seconds with every cell of my being.


As we moved into various adaptations of the dreaded plank pose, my body shook, sweat, and nearly cried. At one point, the instructor tried to coach me on a certain form, and I practically gasped, "My body just isn't there yet!"


By the end of the class, I was simply lying on my stomach, a defeated, beached whale.


"You did it!" The instructor beamed afterwards, giving me a pity high five that I did not deserve. "Great job!"*


"How did you get so strong?" I stammered, wondering how it was possible for your wrists to ache this way.


She said that she'd been teaching this class for years, all cool and casual, but I remained amazed. She was a true fitness goddess.


I changed back into my button-up shirt and Old Navy pixie pants and hobbled back to my desk.


"Well," I announced to my seat mates, plopping my bag down. "The rumors are true."


"At least you tried!" my colleague said supportively.


"I'd rather be fat," I declared (dramatic).


The moral of this story?


Always believe the rumors at work. Because they're probably true.


*Lie.


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