On being ... a free wobble board

By Ingrid Sapona

The other day I stopped in at a sporting goods store that’s going out of business. They’re having a big sale, so I decided to check it out. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but I thought they might have something I need – you know – the kind of thing you don’t know you need it till you see it.

Turns out, most things weren’t really that reduced. One exception was yoga gear – some of it was 75% off. I made a mental note to mention a few items to a friend who’s into yoga. Another thing that was highly marked down was their huge inventory of wobble boards. I couldn’t believe how many makes models there are of wobble boards. They had big ones, small ones, plastic ones, metal ones, wooden ones, round ones, not to mention oblong ones. They were so inexpensive, I hemmed and hawed over them for quite some time. I finally rationalized that I don’t really have room in my little condo for one, so I passed on them.

When I got home, I phoned my friend to tell her about the great price on the yoga gear. She was interested in one particular item, so I told her that if I went back to the store, I’d pick it up for her. I also mentioned the great deal on wobble boards, but she wasn’t interested. (She belongs to a high-end gym and they probably have platinum wobble boards there, so I guess she has no need for one of her own.)

A couple days later another friend said he was going to check out the sale and so I went with him. I figured I’d pick up the yoga gear for my other friend and I’d have another look around. As we were headed over there, I mentioned the great price on the wobble boards. My friend works out a lot and is in very good shape, but he had never heard of a wobble board and asked what they’re for. I explained they’re all about balance, core strength, and stability.

When we got there, we tried a few. As I fumbled around, trying to find my balance, I definitely understood how they work your core, not to mention different muscles in your legs. My friend pretty quickly dismissed them as a “fitness fad”, saying there are lots of other ways you can work on your core. I agree with him, but still there was something about the wobble boards that I was drawn to. But, I didn’t buy one.

As we drove home, I couldn’t stop thinking about wobble boards. Finally, when we were nearly back to my place, I realized why I was fixated on them. It’s because they represent the idea of having balance. Clearly, though the picture in my head was of a wobble board, what my subconscious was really wrestling with was the concept of being in balance.

Though I was happy that I figured that out, I also realized my mind was really drawing my attention to the fact that lately I feel my life is kind of out of balance. For a number of months my work/life balance has been out of whack. The imbalance is because I’ve had very little remunerative work. Besides the toll it’s taking on my bank account, it’s equally frustrating to not feel mentally engaged and productive.

I know that when most folks complain about a work/life imbalance, they’re talking about too much work. But the thing is, it doesn’t matter what’s causing the wobble – when you’re off balance, you realize how much core strength (and I’m not talking abs here) you need to stay on that board.

Though I’m still intrigued about the physical benefits I might get out of regular workouts on a store-bought wobble board, for the time being, I’m finding the workout I’m getting trying to stay upright on the free wobble board that is life challenging enough. I’m not complaining, mind you. After all, I figure the more practice you have controlling the wobble, the more grace you develop.

How about you? How’s your balance these days? I hope you’ve got the wobble under control.

© 2012 Ingrid Sapona


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