Just over a year ago, I wrote in this blog about Marina’s Pilates class at the Ultimate Fitness gym in Port Moody. Pilates has improved my core and back strength, balance, and flexibility. Just as importantly, my four years of Pilates classes have given me a special evening workout that is about relaxation, meditation, and friendship as well as exercise.
Now it’s over. Last Tuesday, with no warning, the new owner of the gym (who took over about six months ago) told us that the class was terminated as of that night because of low participation.
This wasn’t totally unexpected; we knew the class was too small. I never understood why this class, taught by an expert and pleasant instructor, and providing so many benefits, wasn’t more popular with the gym members. It was a free class open to all gym members, or available for the drop-in fee of $15.
The problem was that the class wasn’t publicized at all. There were no posters or signs about it in the gym, and no mention of it in the gym’s simple membership brochure. During our brief and bitter discussion with the gym owner last Tuesday night, it became obvious that both the gym owner and Marina felt that the other person was responsible for advertising the class.
I felt personally guilty because I should have foreseen that this would happen. I should have made posters and signs at my own expense and asked the gym owner if I could put them up in the gym. I should have fought harder to keep something that mattered so much to me, even though it wasn’t technically my job.
I will greatly miss Marina’s class. I was looking forward to the warmth of winter classes in the studio, when our space was illuminated only by the soft, dim glow of a single lamp. The music, our conversation, and our group exertion was a welcome break from my often-solitary days and evenings as a writer.
Last Tuesday, after our futile talk with the gym owner, we had a class that was exactly like any other. I think we were all partially numb and unable to accept that this was the last class.
“The last time” has been a dominant theme in my life for the past year. The loss of this Pilates class is just one of many losses. But I’ve had wonderful new beginnings, too, and I’m already planning how I’ll be continuing my Pilates.
I’ll be writing more about the theme of “You never know when you’re doing something for the last time” in upcoming posts.
Meanwhile, Marina is off to spend six weeks at an ashram in India. Life is throwing endings and beginnings at her, too.
Today is Remembrance Day. I’ll be going to Stanley Park today to try to run a much-loved, traditional Vancouver race, the Hershey Harriers’ Remembrance Day 8K cross country run. I thought I had run my final 8K race at this event two years ago. My arthritic knee has limited my running to two 5–6K runs a week, and I’ve done a total of three 5K races (and nothing longer) since my second knee surgery in January 2011. But today I’ll try to finish the race, though I’ll be much slower than I used to be.
- I’m running for those who can’t.
- I’m running because I watched a horrific Australian war movie called Beneath Hill 60 (2010) a couple of nights ago at the Port Moody Inlet Theatre. I watched men who sprinted across No-Man’s-Land and were blown up. I watched men trapped deep in underground mine shafts, who saw their candle’s flame die knowing their own lives were about to expire too. (View trailer here.)
- I’m running in memory of my coach, George Gluppe, who used to come to this race and make videos of all our Phoenix people running. George died on April 21, 2012.
P.S. Remembrance Day 8K results were finally posted yesterday. View here.