My husband and I have had a really hard time finding some way to exercise together. I like gyms, he’s not thrilled with them. He likes sports, I break out in hives over the pressure of Games. We both like to walk, but our schedules and our northern lack of daylight conspire against us.
But we want to spend more time together, and we both need exercise, so we keep looking for some way to make it work.
Oh, we’ve tried some classes, but we misbehave in classes. (By “we,” I mean Him, of course. I think it’s not a great idea to take one teacher into another teacher’s class.)
We’ve tried running, but either he’s in better shape for running, or I am, and the inequity of our pace and fitness makes the slower one of us nuts.
After 21 years of trial and error, we seem to have hit on something. Pilates. Now that he knows professional football players and Masters golfers do it, he’s intrigued. I’ve been studying Pilates for years now, and can’t say enough on its behalf for both strengthening you all over, straightening out what’s crooked, and giving you a good, sustained workout of heart pumping action. And ripped abs. And fixing glitchy office-neck spasms.
Our unevenness is going to be equalized this way: We’re both starting from scratch, adding one new exercise at a time, and doing our Pilates mat routine some time after dinner and before bedtime. Nice. Alycea Ungaro’s book and Romana Kryzanowska’s DVDs serve as our guides.
We’ve had one week of this, and I have to say we both seem to like it quite a lot. There’s much to like. It’s a nice time, doing these exercises together, teasing, egging one another on, slowly building more flexibility, strength, stamina. And if you can’t pant and sweat with your sweetie, then what good is panting and sweating at all? (Even I don’t know what I mean by that. I don’t really do oblique very well, do I?)
Oh I can foresee a time when we’re in a crabbier dip of the sinusoidal marriage curve when our workouts may become competitive or cursory or just not any fun at all. Then, who knows? Maybe we can work out our hurts and stings through dozens of gut-rendering teasers. Maybe not. But having something to do together that makes sniping impossible may be just what the counselor ordered. (I’m not being metaphorical here. I’m still talking about Pilates.)
What I’m enjoying more than seeing this guy glisten with sweat today is projecting outward to the image of our retirement and seeing a wirey and wizened guy next to me doing his “hundreds” among the palm trees some place tropical, or maybe in the aisle of our Airstream or under a giant redwood canopy as we take that fantasy tour of the Northwest coast. Pilates is nothing if not portable.
This workout looks great on his body. It would look great on yours too, I bet. Want to get a picture of what a Pilates body can do for a person in their 80s? Get ahold of the DVDs and watch Romana at work.
Have you tried working out with your spouse or partner? Tell us what works for you…