Seems all of my life I have been trying to “improve” myself, with the most obvious methods being diet and exercise. I thought, and to this day still struggle with the thought, that improvement means to look better – in a word: skinny. Through my never-ending quest however, I hit a rather painful set back when my back gave out, landing me with the kind of pain that has you making deals with God and the powers that be so you could just get off of the toilet without screaming. After a visit with my unimpressed doctor I was sent to physical therapy where I learned I was my own problem. I had forgotten the basics. I had forgotten my core.
At first I was embarrassed with myself. My back hurt because I wasn’t tightening my core and I was being taught the basics all over again. I was starting back at one and I just felt like an idiot. I was glad that my pain was something that I could manage and take control over but I was mad for getting myself into this position at all. Then I wondered: what other basics have I flown past without mastering?
And the answer was the same, my core.
Who am I at my core? What makes me, me? I skipped right on by the importance of knowing myself in the hopes of getting somewhere else faster. And where or what that somewhere else is I can’t say for sure, other than to realize now that it’s no place I could ever actually get to. All along the way I would be stopped, one pain or another interfering; holding me back, keeping me a step behind. How many times have I already encountered these missteps? When I think on it I can point them out, the ends I never reached because of the hiccups that got in the way. At the time I had excuses and genuinely believed them. Now I think I was hurting myself. I wasn’t strong at my own core.
As I progress with physical therapy, strengthening my core to support my back, I will also be working on strengthening my inner core to support my goals. I will remember my core and the power it supplies. I will remember that speeding ahead doesn’t equate to good form. I will remember that sometimes you need to slow down because that’s how you get it right; that’s how you know for sure.
It’s funny; I’ve spent years obsessing over how to make my tummy look taut and all this time I’ve actually been ignoring it. One sweet physical therapist tells me I’m not supporting myself properly and all the lights pop on. I won’t bother wishing I had figured this out sooner because I’ve got it now and the rest is up to me to follow through in being simply unique right from my very core.