Monday, May 18, 2009

A Weekend of Pilates and After-Parties...

I spent the past few days in Alexandria, VA for the Beginner Mat Certification for my big pilates endeavor. After months (ok, years) of talking and debating the teacher training, I finally decided to take the plunge. I chose Power Pilates for my training program. The classes are not offered in Albany so I have been waiting for a class to be offered in a city nearby and a weekend that would work with Adam's schedule. I found a course in Alexandria, which was perfect as my friend Melissa lives there. I had a place to stay and a wonderful host that took me out to fun places after my class each day! She even let me practice teaching her which was very helpful!
I arrived Thursday night with one request- to revisit the speak-easy that I raved about a few months ago. I snapped a photo this time- as you can tell, the blue light was on so we rang the bell. It is just such a lovely bar. It's beautiful inside and cozy. We had just driven through a powerful thunderstorm prior to our arrival so it seemed particularly inviting. There is just something about the intimacy; the dark wooden bar, the rain dripping down the outside window panes, and watching the bartender mix up something magical right before your eyes. I obviously can't say enough good things about the PX in Alexandria. You'll just have to see it to believe it!
The certification program began on Friday afternoon and went through Sunday evening. WOW! Learning to teach movement is really like learning to teach a foreign language. It was extremely intense. There is a lot of vocabulary to learn in order to set up proper technique for the 18 exercises that make up the beginner mat workout. We spent 6 hours each day practicing drills. First we had to learn the correct terminology. We then had to learn to make it flow together with energy- i.e. "and kick, kick! and kick, kick!" "and switch! and switch!" "Inhale, 2, 3, 4, 5 and exHALE!!!, 2, 3, 4, 5!" It was craziness! We even had a take-home exam filled with anatomy questions! Even though it was way harder than I anticipated, I feel like I progressed pretty well through the weekend. I should have the results in a few weeks. In the meantime, I will be offering practice mat classes at my home for a few of my friends! Poor suckers!

I finished the course Sunday evening and Melissa took me out to a wine festival at Mount Vernon to celebrate. It was so beautiful! The evening was magnificent- watching the sun set over the river and touring the mansion. I still can't believe that I walked through George Washington's house! It is so cool! The beds are all very small and short! He had the tiniest desk in his office. It was just a perfect way to end my trip- although, I must say that Virginia wines are really not very good. As my friend Toyin says, I'm a west coast wine snob. The growing season for grapes just isn't long enough in the Northeast. The wines are all very sweet- we tasted quite a few and I think there was just one that we liked. It didn't matter, the venue more than made up for it. Here are some pictures but none of them do Mount Vernon any justice. Sometimes it's hard to capture atmosphere with the camera. Aren't you just enticed to go visit Alexandria now?!?

This is the side of the house- the place is enormous!
Cheers to a perfect spring evening!
What a view!


Dielle said...

Yay! How cool that you were finally able to do the training. I know you've been wanting to do it forever.

Emily said...

I can't wait to take a Pilates class from you! I hope your life plan includes moving back to Seattle and opening your own studio. I'll be your first customer! Looks like a great weekend with Mel - I miss you guys - so jealous!

laura said...

wow! George Washington's house would be so cool to visit! I read most of the book mom bought for me in Boston about the first ladies. Martha Washington was a rich widow. Georges love was someone 1700's gossip. Looks great though and as if you are seeing some amazing things. How cool!