It Wasn’t Pretty But I Did It

It seemed so scary and intimidating. Every time I would walk by the room I tried to avert my eyes but I couldn’t help but peek in. It’s weirdness called to me. What was this contraption and why did it have steel bars, pulleys and then two fuzzy things attached?

The whole thing looked like an old school jungle gym got jiggy with the hardware section at Home Depot. There were pulleys, springs, and steel bars all connected to what appeared to be a twin bed that would be considered luxury living in a torpedo room on a submarine.


The finishing touches were two furry objects that resembled extra large novelty dice from an 18-wheeler big rig convention. Yeah, it was that kooky with a bit of a creep factor.

I finally, after months of hemming and hawing came to the conclusion that I had to investigate. I was going into the belly of this best. Never mind that it could put me in personal peril and plunge me into abject embarrassment it had to be done. I had decided to go one-on-one with the frightening looking thing in the private sessions room at my Pilates hang out. I was going to conquer something called the Cadillac Reformer.

The Cadillac Reformer was invented by Joseph Pilates way back in the day. It’s a more, let’s say heightened, version of the basic reformer, which is a platform that runs on a track. Because I’m not that big of an idiot (and it also wasn’t allowed) I started my journey with a guide.

Her name was Olivia and she seemed unafraid.  This Pilates Goddess was the master of this large, unyielding apparatus and it appeared to obey her every command. She could flip on it. She could swing on, turn herself upside down on it and every step of the way she was in total control.

I tried to stall getting on the Cadillac for a long time. I chatted, I asked questions, I took a water break but the moment of truth had arrived. I had to get on the apparatus.

I know over the years I have shared with you how ungraceful and coordination challenged I am. (My whole P.E. career, I’m talking kindergarten through 12th grade I was picked last for every single team sport. Bonus – I’ve also never been able to touch my toes or sit crisscross applesauce.)

This reformer represented every athletic related fear I’ve ever had. Now add in that I can’t hide my failings because I’m one-on-one with an instructor and you have an all you can eat buffet of humiliation spread out before you.

I was shaking as I climbed on the reformer. When Olivia showed me how my lower half was going to be hanging off a bar I got so scared I couldn’t remember my right from my left.  But ever so slowly I managed to do it.

It wasn’t pretty but I got my backside some air. After that I was able to do some other stuff that I didn’t think would ever be possible and then for the grand finale I got to experience the thrill of the fuzzy dice which are really wool lined thingamabobs that help stretch your legs. I shoved my cankles into those bad boys and felt like Elastigirl. It gave me hope that one day I might even be able to touch my toes.

After my session I felt like a boss. All I can say is take that bad P.E. memories because I just did the Cadillac reformer. It wasn’t pretty. I was, at best, remedial, but hey, I did it.