This actual Hot Pilates episode has been recorded by Hannah in the style of Craigslist Yoga Mat Guy. Note: Some names have been changed to protect the satirized.
[4:15pm] We arrive: Auntie Kim, Sarah, and me. It is an 80-degree day and we are already sweating. Sarah and I are accompanying AK to her hot Pilates class out of a combination of bribery (dinner and froyo after, if we survive) and blackmail (“I bought you shoes last week; I can take them back.”)
[4:20pm] We walk into Yoga Vibe. The receptionist has us sign something – a death waiver, I’ll wager, by the fine print.
[4:28pm] After putting our shoes and other belongings in lockers, we equip ourselves with mats and towels. AK grabs three face towels, which troubles me. I take four. We enter the studio. It is stifling. “How about the back corner near the door?” I suggest too loudly and too hopefully.
[4:30pm] Val the instructor walks in, swinging her muscular, tanned arms. She cranks up the heat. I am faint already. Dehydration or fear? I cannot tell. The music starts and we begin.
[4:33pm] Perhaps I will evaporate before my will does.
[4:37pm] Any sweat collecting on my abdomen is getting squeezed out by the sheer amount of crunches and core work. The redundancy of a “warm-up” routine becomes too clear.
[4:40pm] It is ninety-flipping-five degrees. The last of the ice in my canteen has melted under Val’s fiery gaze when she catches me lying on my back, not doing leg lifts, huffing and puffing out my last will and testament.
[4:44pm] Epiphany. I could pay off my student loans by selling Febreze outside the studio.
[4:47pm] Planking on my stomach counts as planking. IT’S ALL I HAVE.
[4:49pm] As we do tricep push-ups I stare at my reflection in a puddle of sweat on the floor. Why is my reflection someone I don’t know? She is so…red and angry-looking. The conditions under which I am able to observe such details elevates my level of nausea even more.
[4:51pm] I see mirages in the rippling heat. A Jamba Juice goes sailing by.
[4:53pm] I can no longer see through the film of sweat on my irises. I grab something and wipe my face with it – a soggy tortilla? Nope, just Towel #3. Sarah has long ceased to return my pained glances. Her eyes are unfocused as we do modified burpees. We should have worn our swimsuits and scuba gear.
[4:55pm] Mountain climbers, hips close to the ground. I try to pretend I’m mountain-climbing to Yogurtland. I pity the fools who wore makeup to class.
[4:58pm] Tell me more of this Joseph Pilates so that my kin may avenge me.
[5:00pm] We’re barely halfway done and I already smell the strong stench of defeat. And feet.
[5:02pm] The girl on the mat in front of Sarah must often be mistaken for Jillian Michaels. If she takes a break, I’m automatically entitled to five.
[5:03pm] My flesh is melting off like Raiders of the Lost Ark.
[5:05pm] A woman in a magenta racerback tank top gets up and leaves. We all subconsciously lean towards the door for the draft of air.
[5:08pm] Val announces we will be doing several rounds of 15-second intervals of high knees, jumping jacks, butt kickers, and jump squats. I think mean thoughts.
[5:10pm] Magenta Racerback Tanktop returns from the restroom. What does that make her? Not very smart.
[5:11pm] As I run in place I wonder if we are like the citizens of Pompeii, running from impending ash suffocation and Vesuvian heat.
[5:13pm] Quasi-Jillian-Michaels pauses for one breath; I collapse with a wet smack on the floor. I am covered in white towel fuzz like a newly-hatched chick.
[5:15pm] Are these tears or rivulets of sweat?
[5:17pm] More disconcerting, whose sweat and tears are they? The vigorous jump squats have prompted an unwelcome projectile-exchange of salt water.
[5:20pm] Val instructs us to lie down. As if we had a choice anymore. We do the bicycle exercise on our backs and pedal to the next ring of Inferno.
[5:22pm] The foam exercise brick goes between our knees for side crunches. If that brick falls, Val warns, everyone does 10 burpees. If that brick falls, I respond mentally, she’s getting an IOU. Good thing the brick is plastered to my skin.
[5:24pm] We are told to set the bricks aside. My aim is unlucky and misses Val entirely. I try to wrap my arms around my knees and pull them to my chest as instructed, but my skin is so slick with sweat that I nearly end up punching myself in the nose.
[5:26pm] Are those…angels twirling above me? Praisellujah, Val has turned on the ceiling fans!!!
[5:28pm] We end up in the child’s pose. I use the moment to wipe the waterfall streaming down my face on the towel beneath me, so it appears that I am shaking my head facedown in utter despair.
[5:30pm] Val turns down the room temperature. My pores shrink so quickly it’s almost painful. I grab my saturated towels and mat and swim towards the exit.
[6:00pm] I have showered and drunk an adult rhinoceros’s body weight in water, but I am still sweating.
[8:00pm] I spend the rest of the evening trying not to agitate my abs—no laughing, crying, moving, or breathing. And I google a lot of… Arctic wallpapers.
This is a modified reprint of af a post that first appeared at sandhannahtizer.tumblr.com. Reprinted with permission.
Photo by Robert Bejil, Creative Commons, via Flickr.7