When I Walked Into Pilates Class Yesterday…

I thought I hit the jackpot. The teacher was speaking English as she was a substitute teacher! Oh my goodness – a new exercise class in a language I could understand. How lucky is that?

Unfortunately, that happiness was short-lived. On my way out of the gym, I was told that they weren’t sure if she would be taking on more classes or not. Sigh, talk about torment!

Having lived in Norway for 3.5 years now, it’s not that hard to understand Norwegian – but it’s like the icing on the cake when these exercise classes are conducted in English. It’s like most of my brain can rest (and stop trying to decipher the difference in language) and focus instead on the exercise itself.

How was Pilates? It was very different. I never thought I’d be going for these classes but my gym makes it so easy to try out different classes and see if they suit me or not. I liked the class as it’s non-competitive exercise, unlike the treadmill where you are actually competing a little as you have to up your speed, up your inclination, etc. Pilates is a bit like yoga – just you getting to know your muscles and learning new moves, etc. The main difference I noticed was the breathing – in yoga you inhale and exhale only with your nose, in pilates you inhale with your nose but you exhale with your mouth. I really liked the calmness of the exercise and how it mostly revolved around repetitive movements which were mostly stretching and trying to control your core.

Having almost no upper body strength, pilates would be useful for me I guess. Let me try another class with a Norsk speaking teacher and see if I can follow it or not.

I’m quite disappointed in myself actually – whenever I find myself a little confused on what the teacher (at gym) is trying to say, I feel this sense of frustration that leads to disappointment because all I can think of is “I should have made more effort to learn the language”. Oh well, that’s being taken care of :) Hopefully 6 months from now I won’t be so lost.

On the upside, yoga is starting to make more and more sense the more Norsk lessons I take.

Who said life as an expatriate is easy? :)

I’m having a bit of a strange feeling to be honest – as I haven’t really gone on a real vacation since Venice (which was in March/April). This (October/November) is almost the time where I prepare for my annual trip to KL but unfortunately I can’t afford another trip there (as I already was there in February). It’s like my mind is in need of a vacation :) Thank goodness there’s SF to keep me motivated – but I have to keep reminding myself about it. I’m homesick though – keep dreaming about Malaysian food and places. Perhaps it’s time to attempt to make onde-onde?

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4 responses

  1. I just got home from my Italian lesson, after a 7 month break, and BOY am I feeling left behind and oh-so-pressured. I told myself I’m gonna spend at least 2 hours a day doing Italian exercises at home. I do wish I had someone to practise SPEAKING it with though :( At least you have colleagues you can practise it with. I’ve stopped hoping for ANYTHING to be in English here. *sobs*

  2. Glad you liked pilates! The breathing somehow disturbs me, as I feel very embarassed if others can hear me breathe (or hear others breathe) in that kind of setting. But I think it’s fantastic for the core muscles – I hope you won’t give up! Reading up on the techniques of pilates is also an idea, as I had quite an epiphany when I did that, instead of just relying on the instructor, who maybe doesn’t explain everything thoroughly every single time :)

    And good luck on your Norwegian! Listen to Norwegian music! My favourite is Knutsen & Ludvigsen! Just don’t try to make sense of their lyrics ;)

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