When I lived in NY, I almost exclusively took classes at the gym and rarely went otherwise. Since moving to Moscow, I haven’t taken any classes. First, my Russian language skills don’t include words typically used in a gym class. Second, the Russian women at the gym look like they haven’t had a meal to eat in a month and are so skinny. There is something intimidating about taking a class where everyone looks so thin.
Today, I finally worked up the nerve to take pilates. As expected, everyone else taking the class was uber thin. However, I think the only overweight young Russian woman in Moscow was the instructor. Really, it is so rare to see a young woman overweight here. In the States, it is usually the instructor who has a body you would like and everyone strives to look like that. The class started out pretty similar to classes I have attended before. I quickly picked up two new Russian words: up and down.
Soon the class turned into a flexibility marathon. The instructor would walk around and push down on everyone’s knees and back to make your body do things that it shouldn’t be able to do. Let’s just say in addition to being the largest person in the class, I was also the most inflexible. She kept on saying things to me in Russian that I did not understand. I responded by saying “ooowwww” every time she touched me. It didn’t stop her though.
The most interesting thing about the class was that there was a beam with a mirror in the middle of the room. The instructor sat in front of the beam so you could only see her from the side. She spent most of the time looking at herself and her form in the mirror instead of watching what the class was doing.
A few hours later I have muscles sore that I didn’t realize existed and my body feels like jell-o. Despite the pain, it was a good workout and I plan to go back!
From Russia with Love,