‘Helpful’ Mr Hugo

“Forty is the old age of youth; fifty is the youth of old age.”

Victor Hugo

No doubt Mr Hugo was trying to make himself feel better about approaching his twilight years but, as a woman approaching forty, it just drove home the inevitable truth.  According to Mr Hugo, I am in the old age of youth.  But what’s strange is that I still feel so young.  Even when I look in the mirror, as long as I don’t blink for a while and let my eyes water, I think I can definitely pass for someone in their early thirties.  As long as I’ve had eight hours sleep the night before.  And moisturised.

One practice I’ve come across recently, that I don’t think I could ever live without now (no, nothing to do with sex or chocolate), is Pilates.  I used to be a scoffer, not just of scones, but of anything that seemed remotely holistic in its approach, but Pilates has opened up my eyes as well as my hips.

It focuses on working the core postural muscles which help keep the body balanced – pretty essential in providing support for the spine.  We are taught to breathe (although I always thought I was pretty good at that – seems not) and emphasis is put on strengthening the deep torso muscles.  Sounds pretty intense, right?  It is!

I’ve been attending 2-3 lessons a week for five weeks now and the lower back pain I suffered with for over six months has all but vanished.  There was a scary moment today when the resistance band wrapped round my feet nearly catapulted me to the back of the room, but other than that, it may be intense at times, but the feeling afterwards is well worth it (like with so many things!)

I’m hoping that this emerging strengthened body is going to allow me to show that treadmill who’s boss this week.  But I’m still nervous.  As much as my back is drastically improving, my knees still crunch as I walk.

It seems Mr Hugo had a point after all.

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