The gym classroom

I’m not a gym junkie but I do love the feel of a good work-out.
When your muscles burn and you feel every atom in your body vibrate – to me it’s a beautiful and exhilarating reminder that you’re alive.

I started going to the gym last November and six months down the line I can feel the changes in my body. Before that, my ideal exercise was running. I loved (and still do) the feel of the wind on my face as I took each running step. I loved exerting and pushing my body even when it sometimes hurt. Crazy, I know but what can I say? 🙂

So giving that up for the gym was really quite emotional. I still take walks whenever I can (which is something else I absolutely love) just so I can feel the fresh wind on my face and the soles of my feet sink into the natural earth. The thing is, replacing natural air or light with artificial versions doesn’t appeal to me very much. That said though, the gym isn’t all bad.

Sometimes when I’m on the treadmill or cross-trainer…actually, let me rephrase that; every time when I’m on the treadmill or cross-trainer, I’m watching people, listening and observing what’s going on around me.

The gym for me is like a classroom and sometimes you can even learn valuable lessons. Three weeks ago, I did.

I was struggling in one of my group exercise classes so after the class I went up to the instructor and bemoaned my woe; “why can’t I do that?!” I complained. Calmly and quietly in that gentle voice of hers, she said to me, “it’s because your core is weak”.

You know we often pinpoint moments that change our lives in retrospect. But to know that your life is being touched and changed somehow in the moment it is happening is truly spectacular. I felt stunned by her answer and I knew something was happening inside of me as I stood there.

I went home but my mind wouldn’t let it go. I had to figure it out. Weak core? How on earth did I get a weak core? In my instructor’s words, it takes lots and lots of practice to strengthen the core.

When they talk about the core in anatomy they are referring to the body minus the legs and arms. So, it’s the area of the stomach, mid and lower back. The muscles in these areas are fundamental to our posture and movements.

The core is the centre of the body when it comes to external movement and functioning. Your legs, arms, head and buttocks all spring and are attached to your core. In regards to movement, without your core, you are as good as dead.

Your life functions in exactly the same way. There is that part of your life that determines and establishes what you do, your drives, passions and inclinations. That part is your core;your centre.

Now, imagine if that core was weak or worse if it was broken or unstable. How would that affect your life?

Life gets its significance and measuring from the centre. You are whatever your centre is. And you will get to see this truism show up in your life time after time after time.

From that gym lesson, I’m learning the importance of strengthening the core – both my body’s and my life’s. And as I’m finding out, this is no small or easy matter. It involves work and dedication.

I am being schooled and I beseech you my dears to watch your core.

2 thoughts on “The gym classroom

  1. When I was writing this I was actually so focused on the spiritual element. Like you, I believe in God and I have Him as my centre. And like you say, becoming centered and aware of myself also allows me do the work I’m meant to be doing.But reading your comment made me realise that this core principle also applies to my talents and skills. I had over looked that in my thinking which is insteresting because recently I have been focused on being a jack of all trades when I should be focusing more on the thing that lights up my soul. Thank you so much for sharing. You couldn’t have said it at a much better time! And here again I see God’s providence! 🙂

  2. What an incredible lesson! Thanks for sharing this truism.Over the last year, I’ve made the conscious decision to NOT be a jack of all trades and a master of nothing, and part of that process involves strengthening my core. Finding what truly motivates me and what lights a fire in my soul. Without that I’d be lost and feeling adrift.There is also a spiritual element to it as well. I believe in God, and I believe He put me here for a reason. Becoming more centred and aware of my self, allows me to fulfil the work I’m meant to do.

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