Is your core stable?
If you don’t know for certain that it is, then it’s probably not, or perhaps you are like I was a while back — you don’t even know you have a core. Basically, your core is the trunk of your body, and core stability is the ability to control the position and movement of this area. It involves muscles deep within the abdomen that connect to the spine, pelvis and shoulders. It includes the diaphragm, our breathing muscle. Core stability is important for good posture and the movement of your limbs — the way God designed your body to move.
Bill and I have been regulars at the same gym for years, but I found myself at some kind of workout plateau and decided I needed a trainer. When I approached this trainer and told her what my goals were and asked if she thought they were do-able, she looked me straight in the face and said, “I don’t know, are they?”
I trembled a bit and thought, “So, it’s going to be like this?” Apparently her teacher never told her to respect her elders and that it is not appropriate to answer a question with another question. But hers was a serious inquiry, and a question that only I could answer. Our conversation ended with, “Yes, you can do this IF you do what I tell you to do.”
That was a while back, and I’ve made great progress because I did what she told me to do; but I’m still working at it. It seems rather ridiculous to be flirting with your sixty-third birthday and having to spend several minutes a day learning to squat. My trainer noticed in certain exercises that involved the squatting position, I was stooping forward to avoid falling on my obvious. She checked me out — the hips weren’t the problem, and neither were my knees. She proclaimed it a core stability issue, and said she was going to teach me to squat. Now that’s really something to look forward to. She then explained if you look at other cultures around the world, they have no problem squatting because they don’t spend so much time sitting in chairs.
I told her I wasn’t planning to move to Thailand, and that I had several very comfortable chairs at my house. My argument fell flatter than I do when I try to squat, and she proceeded to tell me how important core stability is, especially as we age and lose muscle tone. It’s been most interesting to learn how important breathing is in strengthening my core, using that diaphragm to breathe deeply and rhythmically. Since I cannot squat with my heels firmly on the floor, I use a two-by-four as elevation for my heels when I practice squatting and breathing. The plan is that one day, the two-by-four will return to Bill’s stack of lumber because I’ll be squatting without it.
Got me to pondering … “Core stability” is critical in other areas of our lives. As long as I’m upright or seated in a comfortable chair, my core instability is unnoticeable, undetectable. But, oh … when I have to bend or stand on one foot, my weakness is revealed.
Isn’t that the way of our faith?
It comes easy when everything is upright and comfortable, but when problems come right through the door without even knocking, we find out quickly how stable our faith is. It reveals if we’ve exercised those muscles of spending time with God and breathing in His Spirit. Our Father basically says to us just like my trainer did, “Yeah, you can do this. Just listen to Me, and do what I say.” He’s right. It works.
So check yourself. Can you squat? If not, I have a few extra two-by-fours. Then spend a few moments with your Trainer, and ask Him to assess your core stability in His department.
Image: CC Flickr Vook