While I am confident some of your thoughts need to be rescued from the cultural slang, I am not making a political or feminist statement with the title. Nor do I believe there was a shortest of balls to attend during the Presidential Inauguration. I speak at the behest of back pain, and, more specifically, to the politics of posture and the strength of stability. After a very personal and scientific study last week I am making a stand; we need to be sitting on stability balls!
The old adage, “The mind can only absorb what the bottom can endure” is so true, and the very reason I considered taking my stability ball to the two day conference in Franklin, Tn. I seriously considered packing my ball, but at the last minute decided to let it rest at home in my office.
Honestly, can you imagine the group of 30 strangers looking at some lady walking into a conference room called the “Sanctuary” carrying a big blue stability ball? I didn’t want anyone to think I was some “ball carrying weirdo” trying to draw attention to myself; it may give the wrong first impression.
It had been over ten years since I had sat in a real chair over eight consecutive hours. Thank goodness Dan Miller’s Coaching with Excellence seminar was well worth the pain in my posterior. Dan Miller of 48Days fame was a wellspring of wisdom. As we listened you could almost see the dreams of those in attendance growing wings.
That’s another good reason why he has an eagle in his logo. His training was great, the people interacting were great, even the food was great, but heading back to the hotel I began to notice something that wasn’t so great. The effect of eight hours sitting in a chair was manifesting itself in low back pain, and surprisingly, my right hip. My body yearned to stretch and re-align itself.
I now had great appreciation for those who serve the public in occupations that require them to sit in a traditional chair. No wonder back pain is so prevalent in America. Waking the next morning my back was stiff and I just felt a little achy all over. I was really second guessing myself about the decision to not bring the ball. I thought “I could have left it in the car and after getting to know the people, I could have brought it in.”
There I was surrounded by wise people and my decision would leave me miserable for another 12 hours. I couldn’t help but think of the scripture Proverbs 13:20 which reads “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”
As I made my way into the conference room, a wise gentleman to my right side named Royce made an announcement to the group. He then surprised me by going to the back of the room to retrieve a large stability ball which he delivered to my location. Everyone laughed and I thanked him for his thoughtfulness.
Royce is officially retired from a career in Health Care and is living his life to its fullest as a career coach. He wanted me to know that this stability ball was the one he used at home. He also shared that he had already completed his early morning kettle bell workout and was ready for the day. His enthusiasm for working out and helping others made for a motivating and inspiring atmosphere. It was easy to see why others were drawn to him for advice and career counseling. He listened and took wise action.
The ball was a comfort for most of the day. Sitting on the ball relieved the pressure on my spine and helped with my posture and alignment. My core and legs felt stronger being more aware to scoop my belly and engage my legs. The others in the room, besides Royce, didn’t realize I was exercising throughout the day.
Around 4 pm I noticed Royce was getting a little antsy and appeared to be stiffening up. At the break he said his body needed a good stretching. I gave up the ball for him to use and thanked him once again for bringing it for me to use.
I know some of you may be skeptical, but I promise you it will make a difference. Start slowly for 30 minutes. See how different your body feels and work your way to using it all day long. Your body will thank you at the end of the day.
The Coaching with Excellence seminar was a wonderful experience. It truly helped me visualize the scripture in Proverbs by “walking with the wise”. It also helped me to further realize that dreams without wisdom will never be a reality. Wisdom comes from God, and He, along with my big blue stability ball, will be with me wherever I go.