Having a Ball

Okay, so who else here has been conned, er, persuaded to buy one of those big “fitness” balls? Me, me! Though I have to confess that the idea was all mine, well, maybe.

I’ve been in therapy lately for my back, which has gotten quite weak over the years (but we won’t blame the computer games, okay?) Along with sessions specifically targeting the back, I’ve also added some personal sessions for re-training my core muscles, which are also weak, and are contributing to the diminishing mobility in my back.

The exercises so far are ridiculously simple, at least should be. My muscles are in such poor condition that we had to go right back to the basics, starting with the “Transversus abdominis muscles“, which are vital to providing stability and active support to my lumbar spine. But compounding the problem and hindering my progress is arthritis in my knees, ankles, hips and wrists. Many of the exercises require me to be on hands and knees, putting weight on one wrist and/or one knee. It was getting to be quite excruciating, until my therapist showed me the ball.

Right away I could feel the difference, although my first experience of the ball was a bit precarious. Not yet having developed those core muscles to the point of providing enough stability and balance, it was difficult to get that ball to stay still. In fact, I’m pretty sure I rolled around MORE than the ball itself. But I immediately noticed how much easier it was to do the prescribed exercises on the ball rather than on the floor.

And so I ran right out to the nearest fitness store and bought one. My exuberance faltered when we discovered that the only ball in my size was not red. I really wanted a red one. The guy assured me that the blue would work just as well. So rather than exhibiting too many little tidbits of my latent OCD’ness (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which I don’t really have, just little traces that pop up now and then) by running around all over town looking for a red one, I closed my eyes, swallowed back those niggling little naggings, and bought the blue one.

Hubby blew it up and it looked much bigger in our tiny living room than it had in the huge gym. But it was the right size, and so I started using it right away. After the first rather graceless flip over onto the floor, I got up and closed the drapes. Ahem. I didn’t need the neighbourhood children peeking in and having a good laugh at my expense at that moment. After a few more tries, I finally managed to keep myself upright for more than a few minutes at a time. It did kind of make me motion sick after awhile though. I might have to try wearing my sea bands and see if that helps.

It hasn’t been the easy breezy fun exercise adventure I thought it would be. Even the seemingly simplest exercises are baffling because I can’t really tell if I’m doing them correctly. Part of the problem is that I simply can’t always find the power to “zip up” my belly button as instructed. I don’t know if it’s because there’s not much left in there after my hysterectomy, but I’m beginning to think that the surgeon took out all of my zipability too.

But I keep trying. I sit, I sprawl, I stretch and I zip whatever can be zipped. And that big blue ball keeps rolling me around my teeny tiny living room with boundless eagerness. It’s a good thing I’ve learned to laugh at myself, because I might well be getting more exercise from the laughter these days than from these futile attempts to zip whatever is supposed to be zipping.

Right now, while people all over the world are gazing up in wonder at the “blue moon”, my big blue ball is sitting in the lazy boy chair across the room (yes, it even has its own chair now), raring to go, bravado glinting off every fiber of its blueness, daring me to try again. I can hardly wait. Let’s get this ball rolling!

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Copyright © Sharon C. Matthies, Meanderings (blog), 2012. All rights reserved.

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About Sharon

I love to write. I love to write myself into being right here right now. Writing releases something in me that needs wings, writing opens doors and windows that I often don't even realize are possible, writing helps me breathe out the dusty old, and to breathe in the new and possible. My hope is that maybe writing here in this blog will bring new light into these dusty old hallways and help me to clear out the thinking processes and mindsets that just don't work for me anymore. I seek to breathe new light and life into the nooks and crannies of a soul that has been feeling somewhat lost and frayed because of the last few patches of road I've had to travel.
This entry was posted in aging, body changes, courage, determination, empowerment, Exercise, health, perseverance, self help, survival and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Having a Ball

  1. Loved this one, Sharon! Had me laughing ’till I cried.


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