by Keri O’Meara
I learned two things today and it’s not even noon.  First, I am a rib popper. Second, waking up at seven in the morning is not that hard. I did something wild and crazy ce matin: I went to an eight am Pilates class.  For most of you this may not seem that extreme but I am a writer who makes her living working at night (no not that- I am a server) so the earliest I ever get up is eight (and that’s rare).This was a huge accomplishment for me.  It was during this class that I learned I am a rib popper.  Actually, I already knew that I don’t curve my spine enough, flattening my back as I come up into flexion, and that I have trouble with Pilates breathing which requires you to breath in through your back ribs and breath out through your mouth knitting your ribs together. But I like saying rib popper. 

In addition to trying not to pop my ribs there are a lot of other things to think about.  I started this whole challenge last week with a private session with one of the CORE instructors so I could get a sense of my weaknesses and found out there is a lot to work on.  The last week has felt like back to basics, which is frustrating. I want to be able to go through the movements fluidly and with grace but instead I am going slowly and spending half the class just working on making sure I am breathing properly. Pilates really involves a mind-body connection and requires you to be present. That has been the real challenge so far.  

As has the smoking. I would love to say that I haven’t smoked but that would make me a bold faced liar. Some days I have only smoked one cigarette, others a lot more than one. I don’t seem to have any control and I have no plan other than by the 29th (just a reminder its my champagne birthday then – presents can be sent directly to SDTC) I will stop- that’s only two days away. Last night in a fit of frustration I broke every last one of my cigarettes- which I guess I should have done a week ago. I would also like to say that I am feeling frustrated because I am going through nicotine withdrawals but one has to actually withdraw from nicotine for this to be a truism.  

Yet there is only one way to describe me over the last few days – it starts with a b and ends with an itch.  Monica, the owner of CORE Pilate’s studio, told me that as your body detoxes you go through a whole bunch of emotions. She warned me of this impending bitchiness and told me I might start weeping unexplainably too- which I did last night.  The staff at CORE are so supportive.  Sunny, happy, pregnant Monica told me she would excuse my behavior and yesterday tall, lean, gorgeous Alice (hate them both) told me she didn’t push me too much, sensing I needed to be left alone.  I don’t know how much longer I can go on like this, though. I mean, folks- I am a real bitch. If it continues I will have to go on a reality TV show.   

I have cut down on the smoking, I have been drinking four times as much water than usual, I have had a couple of cocktail free evenings and I have made it through eight days and made it to an eight am class. But you know what- I don’t feel that special.  It seems like every participant in the classes I go to have the little red ’30 day challenge’ sticker on their membership cards.  Instead of feeling solidarity I feel as though they are stealing my thunder. I am excused though- eight days straight of Pilates is bound to make you have bitchy thoughts like that.