Pilates & Cheap Beer

As posted from LivingInCin

There is a level of self surprising that I am starting to go through. If you would have approached me 2 years ago and said, “Giac, soon you will have more hobbies than you can count. More adventures than you can dream up. More miles explored. All you have to do is move to Ohio.” I would have simply laughed at your obviously intoxicated diatribe and moved on. One of the many jaunts in my personal self discovery was an interesting bit I like to blame on the Sunshine Complex. The Sunshine Complex is quite simply this. Being an East Coaster that works east coast hours (roughly 9 to 9, 6 days a week, give or take a full day), you learn to give up on a few things. Namely, sunlight. It’s the easiest thing to cut out. Surrounded by tall, dark and unhandsome monoliths of concrete and steel, sunshine is easily taken for granted. Many urban offices don’t even have cubicles along a window, let alone a few slivers of natural light creeping through to your desk plant. Regardless, your activities quickly become those of nocturnal. Drinking. Dancing. 24-hour diners. Those things just come easy. What can be more difficult, especially if you are not inclinded to use some of your precious time, could be actual, healthier aspirations. Thus, experiencing the Mid-West slowdown, leaving work at 5..ish. and seeing all the wonderful people out and about in the sunlight, can give you a complex.Yes. The scenic vistas filled with active joggers, cyclists, hikers, and generally attractive Mid-Westerns brought this city boy to wonder about his own personal goals. So what started as a simple design experience in activity theory on my own personal behavioral drivers, quickly turned into a game of catchup to the German infueld, blonde haired blue eyed marathoners of the Zin. Diets, workouts, sports teams. p90, Insanity, jogging, running, sprinting. Quickly, I surmised. This sucks. While the benefits have been awesome, higher energy, weightloss, less depression, truth is I am not much of a creature of habit. I can’t do the same day twice. Which, is actually kind of a requirement for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. No, it took a pulled stomach muscle from volleyball to kick my ass in gear. And when my ass landed firmly 3 doors down at Pure Pilates, the fun really began. Now, I by no means intended to turn into a health nut. I live for beer, burgers, and about a 30 other ingredients which may or may not involve bacon, Doritos, ranch dressing and maple syrup. But something happened a session or two into my Pilates training with Jaime Zender. I liked it. I’m still terrible with the terminology and the focus, but my body seems to enjoy the fact that it can do a sit up. Now, mock me if you will, but for the observant, most successful exercise routines, or fads as I like to call them, are based in some similar techniques. Form. Will. And a trainer able to keep you recognizing both of these can change your life.


I’ve dabbled in various motivators over time. Visuals. Music. Turns out I just needed a little faith in myself, and the soreness of unknown muscles brought about by the absurd resistance Pilates puts onto your body. Tree. Swan. Midlines. The assortment of unique equipment leaves me wondering if it was plucked from an 18th century designer torture chamber from a castle somewhere along the hills of Vendée. My motivator is now simply proving I can do it, more so than anything else. So this core is spoken for, now what of the rest of my routine?

Cincy has some of the most absurd landscapes I have personally lived in. Philly is dirty and dingy and odds are, the view from your bedroom window leaves you feeling something similar to aversion/conversion therapy from Dr. Oliver Thredson. The shore, well, I took it for granted. The shore has a beautiful serenity. A different serenity. But no, Ohio is grand. The sun creates beautiful paths slicing through mountains and rivers. Looking out at them I actually have the urge, no, need, to run. To chase the creeping nature like a child in a field. I felt young again. Alive. Well, my shins and chest and knees…all reminded me that I am not a child. Anymore. But, I am getting stronger. The weight is slowly slinking off. I eat slightly, better. No breads, little dairy, lots of beef, greens and beans. I have become conscious of what I intake, and my colon has responded in kind. Now, what I have not given up, is beer.

Between all the beerfests, beer weeks, beer-ness that is this lovely Losantaville, I simply cannot ignore the lovely nectar that Ben Franklin himself lived on daily. And if that wisecracking, pudgy, problem solver can throw it back and still get the ladies, then by God I can figure it out too. Now, craft beers have a high carb/calorie count. I could go into a symantic breakdown of what is better for you, more shit beer, or less craft beers. We could philosophize to no end about such a thing. Truth is I go by the “clear liquid” theory on most nights out. But there is one fabulous moment that I look forward too after an hour of Pilates, and a 3 mile sprint. The glorious cold wash down my throat brought about by pounding a cheap ass beer. Cheep ass beer, as defined by anything that comes in packs of 30 for under $10, is gloriously drinkable. Unlike a fine craft where you want to savor the roasted hops, regional barleys or nods of fruits, cheap ass bee (aka shit beer, cat piss, natty or the like) gives you the thirst quenching pleasure of water, with the devilish back-of-the-mind-snickering-like-a-schoolboy-that-got-away-with-cheating-on-trig feeling of downing a cold one after just putting your body through hell so that all the little lines apear between your muscles before June hits and your now redneckified ass is going to be floating, on a boat in a lake, with all the other highly attractive people of Ohio.

So damn you Ohio. Damn you for being so attractive, and giving me my little Sunlight Complex. And thank you. Now, throw me a Hudy.

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