This is the guest room in our house. Most of the time it just sits quietly, anticipating a visitor. I tend to use the closet as a great place to hide Christmas Gifts and hang bulky clothes like pea coats and other chilly weather outerwear that frankly doesn't get used often here. (But when you need it you are glad you have it and therefore cannot dispense with entirely). We use the guest room bathroom occasionally, but otherwise it's just a rarely used, extra space in the house.
It's a small room (with an even smaller but attached bathroom) and there isn't much in it by way of furniture. The bed, obviously, and a nice 3-drawer side table is about it. And there are a few nice pieces of art on the wall. It is a very simple, pleasant and mostly unused room. Normally, the bed isn't pushed up against the wall like this though. Most of the time the bed is in the center of the room so that anyone staying in the room can get in and out of either side of the bed with ease. Just logical y'know?
So why oh why, would I shove the bed to the wall? Well, because Tim had an Excellent Idea! A way to utilize this room better, get more use out of it. Heck the mortgage is for the entire house, not all but one room, so we may as well use the entirety, yes?
Pilates is the reason. I started taking Pilates classes a few years ago. The classes were local. Really local. I could walk there and did! And the teacher is a friend of mine - which is how I heard about it in the first place. Normally I am not an exercise class sort of person. I do not do particularly well in crowds even when there is not a potentially deadly virus circulating the planet. And honestly, I'm not at all graceful. It's downright scary sometimes. Far worse, whenever I tried taking any sort of exercise class, I never felt as if I was getting any benefit from it. So I was doubtful when I began but Pilates turned out to be different.
First off, the classes were smallish. It differed throughout the year of course. During High Season there were a lot more attendees than the peak of summer, but it was always manageable. The workouts made me feel as if I was actually working out. In time I could actually see the benefit I was getting from the class. I really enjoyed it. So much so that when the instructor was away on vacation, I did the workouts on my own at home. On Purpose! That was a first!
I had the mat, the ball, the bands and even some ankle weights (which are not Pilates related but sometimes I use them anyway). What I didn't have was a good place to store all of this stuff. I've mentioned before that our house is an adorable little beach cottage. Which suits us right down to our toes. Except for the lack of storage. There is a utility room which holds Christmas stuff, washer/dryer, tools, and everything else under the sun and is packed to the Max. There was no room for my Pilates stuff. So I ended up tucking it here, there and everywhere around the house.
The matt was rolled up and shoved into a corner of the Family room. Likewise with the Pilates Ball. Though occasionally it was shoved into various closets. The bands and the ankle weights ended up in a carrybag slung over the back of my desk chair most of the time but not always. So anytime I wanted to work out, I spent a little time hauling stuff out from all of it's hideyholes, finding an empty spot big enough to spread it out before even starting my workout. Then of course doing it all in reverse to put it away when I was done. Every time. Which, at first, was no big deal. I was attending class at least twice a week (sometimes three times) so I didn't feel the need to do home work outs most of the time.
And then last March we were suddenly in lockdown and, no more Pilates Classes. Dang. At first I was pretty good about dragging stuff out and putting it back, but eventually I would just do the workout on the family room carpet which is less than ideal by the way because it involves moving furniture. And ultimately, I found that I was working out less and less frequently just because it was all a big pain in my gluteus maximus - which was getting maxier and maxier as the shut downs continued.
My old Pilates class eventually became a Zoom class but my computer is in the living room, right in the middle of the house. There is NO room there to do a workout. And the noise of the Zoom class could be distracting to those folks in this house who actually work for a living. Sooooo no zoom class. I was determined to do this on my own. After giving myself a thorough scolding, I have been back at it.
It's not as good as an instructor driven class of course, but it's better than nothing. I continued working out on the family room rug after pushing the giant ottoman to one side. Tim observed this quietly one day, unknown to me, and later made a suggestion that kind of made me embarrassed that I didn't think of it myself.
The Guest Room! It is rarely used for anything else so with a little furniture rearrangement I now have a permanent spot for all my stuff! The mat stays on the floor, the ball rolls easily into the corner when I'm done and my bands and ankle waits are handy there in the bottom drawer of the side table. Taadaa! Brilliant!
I find that I am working out almost every day now, which is awesome. And sometimes several times a day. Not the full workout multiple times, but I can do 20 minutes in the morning while I'm waiting for the dryer to be finished. I can knock out another 20 minutes when I have that extra bit of time before I need to start dinner. You see? It's Perfect!
The dictionary? Oh I use that as a weight. It's the heaviest book we own.
So there you have it. My own home gym of sorts. I am so tickled with my new workout room! And if in the future we should actually have a guest? Easy to tuck it all into corners and closets like it was before, just for the duration. I'm not going to be working out when we have a visitor anyway. Nope, I will be enjoying our guest, cooking and touring and entertaining and all the things a good hostess does. But afterwards, when they've gone on their way with a bag of home made cookies, sand in their shoes and memories in their hearts, that guest room will go back to being my Pilates Room! Yay!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.