Pilates, the Ron Kirton way

Prime adult female Caucasians in yoga class.

It’s been far too long since brother Ron contributed to the blog so I’m glad to have him back. (However, not glad to the extent that I’ll respond to his final, italicized and cunningly disguised exhortation.) So share here an hour of his life. All yours, Ron

Pilates is a relatively slow, low impact activity. In the room where the five of us lie, whale song inspired music invites us to relax. We will spend the next hour strengthening our core muscles and thereby enhance every physical aspect of the week to come.

And, for that gain, I am happy to pay the coach his outrageous fee. I’m also happy that he doesn’t create too esoteric an atmosphere – as there might be for Yoga students, say – in this intimate gym. Part of his ‘keeping it ordinary’ style includes filling the moments between instructions with an account of some of the lighter moments of his week. His delivery is loosely similar to what you might get from a stand up comedian, except that he’s got the worst timing of any comic you have ever heard. It goes a bit like this:

‘My four year old daughter says she’s got to have a princess party…….bring your right leg up to the knee fold position and let that knee fall gently sideways….’

Then a long, music-filled pause, with us waving our legs about like stranded crabs, not knowing whether his next words will be a punch line or an instruction and therefore not knowing whether to giggle or obey.

‘…..turns out the shop that used to sell wedding paraphernalia is now running these fairy events…….let your hip rotate as you push your foot towards the wall…..It threatens to cost me an arm and a leg…..arms by your side as your legs slide back up.’

Attempts at joining in are ignored. I tried: ‘It sounds like a junior version of these high school proms’. He just uttered a whole string of instructions by way of shutting me up. His tales usually end up with him being a Solomon-like father. In this case, he asked his daughter to choose between the princess party and a bicycle (which he’d already bought). She chose the bike and we all sniggered in ugly, grown up collusion.

But it is his latest anecdote which best fits a literary blog. It is the stuff of horror stories and concerns nut allergies. He recalls a conversation with a friend whose teenage daughter had suffered for years with a nut allergy, carrying her epipen with her everywhere and using it more than once to save her life.

….both arms pointing at the ceiling….’

This teenager has gradually responded to treatment and can now safely eat all nuts except Brazil nuts. The parents’ initial rejoicing apparently turned to dismay and then a growing horror when they learned from a doctor that whatever it is in Brazil nuts which leads to anaphylactic shock….

‘Push your tummy away from the mat…’

……remains in the systems of men via their seminal fluid.

‘…..let everything suddenly feel as heavy as lead.’

So that woman to woman chat mum was going to have with her nubile daughter suddenly got a bit more complicated.

Apologies to those of you who knew of what still sounds to me like an urban myth and huge apologies to those who may be directly affected but, to be mercenary – as writers surely have to be at times – doesn’t this offer a plot for the perfect crime? I’m not even going to start hinting at the possibilities but none of them make for a little light reading. In the hands of a master like Bill Kirton, surely this is the germ of another Jack Carston mystery.

‘Let your hand drop to your wallet in advance of a generous brotherly gesture.’ 

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