After having two children, I wanted to get back in shape. I wasn’t even 30 yet, and I was tired of hearing how I looked good “for a woman with two kids.” I wanted to just look good, with no qualifiers. The community center in my town has a fabulous gym. It is part of the community center membership, and besides a full gym of both weights and machines, it includes treadmills, step machines, a pool, a walking track and other items.
I had tried classes in the past, but was never really into them, so I put together a regular exercise routine. I would start out with one of the elliptical trainers or a bike, move on to the machines, and finish up either by walking or stretching. Sometimes for variety I added in work with a stability ball or free weights.
On this particular day, I had finished my workout and decided to move on to the stability ball to finish off. I had done a number of different exercises on it and was fairly confident that I knew how to use it. After all, I had one at home and had never had a problem. I was tired of doing the same routine every week, so I decided to look up some new exercises on the instructional poster that the gym had posted.
I started doing something that was similar to push-ups, but with my arms balanced on the ball. I was basically on my hands and knees, and was doing fine, until I finished and it was time to get up.
I have never been particularly coordinated. I had taken years of ballet when I was younger, and had done fairly well, but in day to day life I was what could only be called a klutz. I was continually surprised at how well I did in the gym. I actually looked, most of the time, like I knew what I was doing. I frequently had people ask me how to use the machines, and usually knew what to tell them.
This day, however, my true nature decided to show through, and as I tried to lift off the ball it rolled away from me with my arms still on it. I somehow managed to stretch my abdomen, overextending the muscles, and then the ball rolled to the side causing me to twist and actually tear most of my abdominal muscles in one blinding flash of pain.
I managed to get off the ball, I don’t even remember how. I was in a small area between two doors, which is where the balls and workout mats were located, so I thankfully didn’t have an audience. I lay still for a minute as though I were simply catching my breath, then slowly got to my feet. I limped my way back to my car and went home.
The next morning, I was still in pain and went to see my doctor who confirmed that, yes, I had torn a number of muscles, and yes, I was officially too clumsy for a stability ball.