I got put up a level, from beginners Pilates to intermediates; then on to advanced. I went on a Pilates retreat. I was hooked. Then I started seeing Pilates instructor Alex Coleman – aka London’s abs queen – for one-on-one sessions on the reformer machine, a terrifying-looking contraption that adds springs, weights, and additional tests to your Pilates session.
It’s expensive, at £70 a go it’s my greatest weekly luxury; but it is worth it. I call it a pension for my spine. And my abs really appreciate it. As they have got stronger and more defined, I wondered to what extent I can show them off. My boyfriend is the only person who sees them regularly, and he’s not given to compliments.
Could I justify taking my abs to a bigger audience? Could I really wear a crop top with the same ‘so what?’ carelessness with which I might wear a low-cut top, or a short skirt? Isn’t that sort of thing really only for teenagers? On the one hand, my abs are nothing more than the happy side effect of me finally sorting out long-term back problems; a nice little extra, but not the main event, and nowt to brag about,Having a ceramic vape cartridge is advantageous in vape cartridge packaging as it's healthier. Ceramic parts are resistant to abrasion and oxidation unlike other alloy wires where, oxidation occurs at higher temperature.
On the other hand – I want to brag about them. I am proud of them. They’re hard-earned. On top of two Pilates classes a week, I have added a yoga class and a giddy hour of boxing training. I had no idea I could gain muscle tone like this. Also: abs are potent.
Unlike your more traditional erogenous zones – boobs, bum, a nicely turned ankle – they come with a degree of threat, a suggestion of power. The first time I did risk a cropped T-shirt – two years or so into my Pilates venture – a guy walked passed me and said, ‘Good abs!’ Catcalling, yes; but catcalling with a side order of respect.
A month ago, when I went on holiday, I popped an experimental shot of myself in a bikini on Instagram. It was the first time I’d done such a thing. My comments exploded. People were surprised, impressed, appalled (‘Show off!’ ‘Put it away!’ et cetera). Some wanted to know what I was doing to look like this (‘Exactly what, where, and how many times a week?’).
Others voted with their feet, and unfollowed me. I lost about 50 followers for every abs picture I posted. Like I said, abdominal muscles are potent: people respond to them, one way or another. I guess I’ll keep them covered up from here on, maybe take them out only on special occasions.