I Thought I Needed Stability

David Mamet, in his book True and False, says that actors are obligated to having a supple, lithe body, able to perform any task. With that in mind, a few months ago, I purchased a stability ball. Just inflating the thing was comical enough, but last night I decided to use it.

In my defense, let me assure you that I am not unfamiliar with exercise, in general. I use cardio machines quite a bit. I jog ever so occasionally. I like to dance. I even own free weights. And in the past, I have used a stability ball, or shall I say “stability” ball, for there was nothing stable about yesterday evening.

As I perched precariously atop the pearly plastic (how’s THAT for alliteration?), a childhood memory occurred to me. That of Goofy, clad in a baggy wrestling onesie, attempting to use gym facilities.

In the pictures ripped from Oxygen magazine, the model was gracefully contorting herself into all sorts of stability-ball enabled positions. I daresay they looked fun, even. On this particular excercize, the “V-Pike”,Stability ball 1 in small letters at the bottom of the page it suggested, “Beginners should attempt to make smaller v-shapes.” It said nothing about off-center “w” shapes, but that’s what I was making. To even get into the prep-position for the v-pike, you are instructed to lay on your stomach on the ball (a position that looks very similar to my Dad’s famous “fart-stuck” position) and then gently roll yourself forward on the ball until you are in push-up position, with your shins resting on the ball. Unfortunately, I think my brakes are out, because I just kept rollin’ along until I shouted “Whooooaaaaaahhhh!” and roll onto my face in a pile of giggles and onlooking cats. Will, who was sitting on the couch watching this fiasco, handed me something pertinent to an earlier conversation we were having and said, “Can you take a look at this before you continue making a fool out of yourself?”

I didn’t realize “No Pain, No Gain” meant emotional trauma.

But that was just the V-pike. I then moved onto “Waist Whittler” which ended in a pile of limbs and swearing. This morning, as I look at my workout log, I see that in a fit of rage I had simply crossed “The Russian Rotation” right off the list. The “Reach and Squeeze” was okay. First of all, it sounds ever so slightly comically sexual. Secondly, and perhaps apropos of that, you spend the whole time on your back.
stability ball 2
Luckily for me, on this particular training schedule, tonight is solely cardio. That’s good because it will likely take me a full 48 hours to regain my self-respect.

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5 thoughts on “I Thought I Needed Stability

  1. Oh man. I’ve only played with a “stability” ball one time, but daresay it was a masterpiece of comedy and pathos as I rolled around and fell on my face. Fortunately, it was in my living room, so no one but me saw it. You’re a braver woman than I am.

  2. I broke our downstairs closet door thanks to my unstable balance on the balance ball. It’s dangerous out there!

  3. True. Whoever handed me True and False (I’m not naming names.) when I was a freshman in college, also handed me vast neuroses.

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