I am at 12 of my 16 reps of double leg reverse kicks at Pilates this morning when my instructor says, "four more!"
I am feeling the burn in my abs each time I crunch up and kick my legs out to a 45 degree angle while pulling my hands to my hips and extending the springs attached to the straps they are holding. I feel the burn and it feels great. I feel strong. I am feeling centered.
"How about we do four more after the four more," I reply between breaths.
She has me do a new set of 16 instead. It is a new exercise I haven't done before. My legs shake as I struggle to keep them straight while lowering them to a 45 degree angle and lifting them back to a 90 angle. This time she has me hold the crunch while my legs shake in protest.
My abs have had it and we move to arms. We try new exercises there as well. The legs get their turn and throughout the routine I am enjoying the burn I feel and the growing strength I can see in my abilities. I add more weight to the springs to challenge myself and see if I can do it. And I can.
I am aware of my muscles the rest of the day. I feel them working in everything I do and I am grateful. Grateful for a body that can. Grateful that my center has been restored after an off day on Wednesday. Grateful to feel muscles and lungs and a heart in the space that was a gaping hole in the middle of me not so long ago.
Ditto to all the things mentioned in this video as well.