Thanks to my friend Michael, I got hooked up with a Pilates instructor who needs to complete some training hours for certification and will be training me for free for the next 6 weeks. Having never done Pilates before and always up for trying something new, I jumped at the chance. Although I have only recently started back at the gym, I consider myself to be in fairly decent shape and someone who knows a fair amount about how my body works. However in this regard Pilates was a fairly humbling experience. It takes a degree of balance and coordination that I have only a glancing exposure to it turns out. And even though I was just introduced to the basics yesterday, I was impressed by the degree of mental (as well as physical) coordination that is required. Breathing a specific way while holding a ball between my knees and sliding on a platform maintaining a certain balance in alternating diagonal movements — Jesus, if I can ever do this properly I should join the circus. But precisely because it mixes this mental and physical challenge, and blurs the mind/body training line, I think I will really like it. And I appreciate that it is a totally different kind of training than I have ever done before. At the very least I will be able to evaluate how it goes over the next 6 weeks and see about continuing after that. So far I think it is pretty cool, and Pilates equipment and studios (the ones I have seen anyway) have the added benefit of being aesthetically pleasing to me with their spare and Zen look. Not that this should matter, but it felt as much a place for meditation as it did for workout, and that seems a good summing up of the merged challenge of my first day.