Saturday, July 14, 2018

Christina Hollis—Called To The Barre

A Pixabay runner— not me!
After a break of many months because my arthritis flared up, I’ve started running again. What I do is actually more like trundling, but it’s all movement! I use a treadmill, as the forest tracks around here are too uneven for my unusual gait. At first I had a manual treadmill, but my OH bought me an electric one for my birthday. It’s much easier than propelling the belt myself.
After my lay-off, I went right back to the beginning of the National Health Service’s Couch to 5K. You can find details of the nine-week beginners' course here.

The first sessions of the course are more walking than running, but no matter how inexperienced, you’re soon doing more running than walking. Then before you know it you’re running for ten, twenty, then eventually thirty minutes without a break.

I can recommend the NHS system, but it concentrates on improving heart health and stamina. Greatly daring, I signed up for a new adult ballet course in our village hall to work on my strength as well. Son No. One and DD joined too, although they’ve both got several advantages over me—youth and slenderness, for a start. Son in particular did ballet from the ages of five to eleven.

I was never one of those little girls who wanted to be a ballerina. Watching The Nutcracker at Christmas is about as far as my interest went, until Son became interested in dance. While ferrying him to and from classes, I discovered how much hard work is involved. 

This is NOT how I was doing it...
Adult ballet for absolute beginners like me wouldn’t be such a full-on experience, I told myself. Wrong!  The teacher said we’d use up to 700 calories in  the session, and she was right. We didn’t stop moving for the whole hour. I discovered I have no co-ordination, and poor balance. I found it very hard to copy the teacher’s movements. Moving my body in ways I’d never thought possible was like trying to organise jelly! 

It wasn't all pliés and glissés. We did floor exercises, too, to strengthen our core. That's a fancy way of saying we did all sorts of variations on sit-ups.

The lesson was painfully good fun.  I can’t wait for next week, although I was quite stiff this morning. I managed to jog a slow 3k before breakfast. If I try to get in a few minutes of ballet practise each day before next week’s session, maybe I’ll improve. Let’s face it, I couldn’t get any worse! 

When this blog is published I’ll be away at the Romantic Novelists’ Association Conference. I might not be able to answer comments straight away, but I’d love to hear if you've ever tried adult ballet, or other group keep-fit activities.


dstoutholcomb said...

Congratulations! Great to get back to bring active.

Christina Hollis said...

Thanks, Denise!