Recently, my Bikram studio started offering what is called a "Core Class". One of our fantastic instructors is a physiotherapist with 19 years experience. He has put together an hour long routine of sit-ups, lunges, crunches, and yoga poses to help build up the core muscles of your body. The routine differs almost every class to insure proper development of all the core muscles.
At first I was all-in for this. I mean, what an opportunity, right? This can do nothing but help me, right?
I hate it.
I knew I was weak and unfit, but good God!! While everyone else (and I do mean EVERYONE ELSE) is knocking out set after set, I have collapsed on the floor gasping for air and wishing that my stomach would stop hurting. I am undoubtedly the least able person in there. I get flustered because I'm not the most coordinated and I fall behind the rest of the class. I get embarrassed. I want to leave. I want to run away.
I want to quit.
Never mind that I felt a lot of improvement from the first class to the second. About halfway through each class I want to leave. And maybe get a cheeseburger.
It has taught me one thing.
I have no core. Physical or mental.
I have no reserve to draw on when life throws more stress at me. I have no source of strength to call upon when the instructor is tacitly trying to coax me off the mat to please attempt at least one set of Triangle. I haven't the strength to tell myself that I really don't need a third cheese danish. Or a fourth. Or a fifth. (This actually happened one morning last week. I actually stuffed eight danishes down my throat. I'm not proud.) I personify weakness.
Now that I know the full extent of my weakness, I also realize what it will take to repair the damage. It will be a daunting task to say the least. I really don't know if I have the stomach for it (pun intended). It means changing more things than I realized. Carving out more time for classes. Making better food choices (while on a tight budget). Loving myself more. Maybe even learning to get up and eat breakfat so I can avoid the eight-danish fiascos. First and foremost, it simply means developing a backbone. A true and healthy spine. Part of having a strong spine entails... you guessed it... a strong core.
Of course, I would be doing this on the eve of the two biggest food holidays on the calendar: Thanksgiving and Christmas.