One of our gifted clients, the very talented writer Antoinette Walker, has written a poem about pilates. It's really struck a chord with our class members.
We hope you enjoy it as much as we do...
For Mary O'Shea
Monday evenings, like clockwork
slouching towards the church hall
past the alcoholics anonymous,
the Zumba dancers, the chatty mums
steadied for a scout onslaught.
Up the stairs, gripping the banister
like a handshake with an old ally.
Inside the room, blue foam mats
assembled in perfect formation
while agents of terror lie in wait...
spiky ball, rubber band,
steel ring, cast iron weights.
In fatigues of lycra and bright wicked vests
we await the drill sergeant’s command,
curl forwards, lean backwards…
bootcamp for wellbeings
beating the sedentary sins of modernity.
Music infuses our stretching and lifting
a spur to neither action nor meditation.
Would a military cadence dull the pain?
I don’t know but I’ve been told
Pilates is for the rolled and boned
But a silent cadence urges no one.
Even trite mantras no antidote,
no pain, no gain
no burn, no return
no moan, no tone
no tough-it, no profit.
Why not desert, go AWOL?
An honourable discharge
after six or seven years?
I look at you and witness no struggle
only grace and stoicism under duress.
It has always been so.
Long before talk of mind–body workout,
of core strength and sculpted muscles
we learned our trade in field hospitals
the wounded, sick, infirm
and vulnerable our cause.
We soldier on for that is
what we know, what we do,
holding the line.
The mission will end when it does.
© Antoinette Walker, 2018