Always Engage Your Core
By Sharisse Kimbro, Author, Beyond the Broken
During a recent workout, as I was grimacing about the additional weight my personal trainer added to the hexbar before I proceeded to deadlift, he told me, “Just engaged your core and you’ll be alright.”
“But this isn’t even an abnominal exercise, that doesn’t even make sense,” I replied, stalling.
“It doesn’t matter, your abs stabilize you. Always engage your core.”
It didn’t make much sense to me at first. I mean, I could see if I was doing crunches or knee raises or some other kind of ab work, but I didn’t understand why I needed my core to do work that involved other body parts. But, being the dutiful client that I am, I complied and engaged my core as I went about my exercise regime for the entire session. I completed my dead lifts, and moved on to squats, lunges, kettlebell work, chest presses, and chin-ups, all the while engaging my core as instructed. To my surprise, the lifts were easier, my breathing better, my back stronger and my body more stable. (I hate it when my trainer is right).
Long after my workout was over, as I went about my day, I kept reflecting on my young, but wise, trainer’s advice, “Always engage your core.” The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it could apply to every area of my life.
Most of life’s problems start or worsen when we deviate from our center and stray from the truth of who we really are—our core. The further we get from our authentic selves, the more life becomes arduous, unbalanced and unstable. But, if you remain connected with your true self, and tapped into what makes you, “you,” you will discover an ease and flow to life, even in the midst of difficulties. Engaging your core will make you strong in adversity and able to lift any weight. You will be able to press through trials, step over obstacles and surmount every challenge as long as you “engage your core.”
The more we are able to listen to the still, small voice that resides deep inside each one of us, we can ignore the influences of the outside world that would try and steer us away from our unique essence. If we could only ignore what “they” say and what “they” will think and only concern ourselves with our center, our core, decision-making would be easier, relationships would be less painful, and dare I say it; we would be happier.
It may take practice to learn how to engage that “muscle”, but like any muscle, the more you move it, and stress it, the stronger you and it will become. So, no matter what “exercise” you are doing in your life—working or playing; loving or learning; laughing or crying it will all be easier if you just remember to always engage your core.
Sharisse Kimbro earned a BA in English and an MA in Sociology from Stanford University in addition to a law degree from the University of Michigan. She has enjoyed a successful career in the public and private sectors but never lost her passion for putting life into words. She resides in Chicago with her family. Beyond the Broken is her first novel.
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