I do Pilates in bed

Well, sort of.

Making the bed

Back in 2016, I made my bed. This is a rarity for me in any sense, but in this case, I mean from scratch. My sister and her husband helped me design and build it, and I loved the result.

The platform is made of 8x10 boards and designed to fit a queen mattress plus about 9 inches on each side and 10 inches at the foot. (If the math doesn’t add up to you, note that dimensional lumber is measured pre-shrunk, so the actual size of an 8 foot by 10 inch board is closer to 78 by 8.5 inches or so.) Underneath it is supported by 4x4 posts (that is, 4 inches by 4 inches), with runners like ceiling rafters going from the head to the foot of the bed.

I made it in two sections (cutting those 8x10 boards in half), and I use heavy lag bolts to attach the two halves run through 4x4 posts on each side. The bed is too large to fit through the door when it’s fully assembled, but each half is about the size of a large bookcase and can be moved up stairs and through doorframes. All this lumber is quite heavy, and it can withstand a great deal of weight. Really, I built something more like a stage than a bedframe. That said, a team of two per half can manage it well even up stairs and such.

(Sometimes it looks like it’s stained different colors from photo to photo, but it’s not; the lighting in my old apartment was bad so the results are inconsistent.)

Pilates in bed

During 2019, one of the ways I helped to manage typing-related repetitive stress was through Pilates. At work, we had a Pilates studio and a teacher would come every day for anyone who wanted to show up. I had never done Pilates before, but when I started to experience RSI that year (see also keymap.click), I could tell a difference on days I did Pilates and days I didn’t. Today, I only do Pilates once a week regularly, but I typically notice discomfort within a day or two of skipping a class.

When the pandemic hit, my instructor agreed to teach me over Zoom, which works out pretty well. However, I wasn’t going into the office, and so I no longer had access to our nice studio and equipment.

The bed I made suddenly became a useful place to do Pilates. I can just lean my mattress against the wall and I have a perfect place for my mat.

The iPad by the window on the right side is how I see my instructor. Her view is something like this (taken from a recording of a session she made):

When I’m done, I just roll up my mat and put away the equipment I was using, and pull the mattress back down.

It means I don’t have to take up the living room or the office in our house for my classes, which is much nicer for A, who is working from home as well.