Skip to content

From the ballroom: Taking back my back

March 4, 2007

Kids love balls, and in this way I was an unexceptional kid. 

Saturday evening, I was overcome with one of those fretful episodes during which I rue the necessity of occupying physical space: sitting, standing, and lying down are equally conducive to burning, stabbing pain from scalp to ankles.  I recalled a humiliating episode in a physical therapist’s office, four years ago, when I could not sit on a huge exercise ball and keep my balance.  I nixed the ball, thinking I’d never get the hang of it and I had no use for another frustration. 

Then, Saturday night, I suddenly knew that this time I could master the exercise ball.  I read through some exercises on the Internet, and desire for an exercise ball surged.  Target was open till 10:00 pm, and after dinner we braved the Saturday night Target crowd and came home with a 63 cm non-burstable exercise ball.  It was $15, and it’s a beauty.

After my husband inflated the ball in stages according to the instructions, I sat on the ball and my small spinal muscles engaged in their stabilizing duties correctly, commencing my quest for enhanced core strength, stability, and balance.  I am motivated to vanquish at least some of my orthopedic pain so that I can work in our garden.  The chronic neuropathic pain isn’t nearly so limiting as the stenosis, scoliosis, and degenerative disc disease.  

I sat on the ball for half an hour, all the while my small spinal muscles gaining my gravitational center, strengthening themselves as I barely noticed.   I was comfortable and balanced. 

Soon I could pick up one foot after the other, “marching,” while sitting on the ball.  Then I became inventive, slithering down in a sort of crab walk, until my neck was braced on the ball, my entire spine basking in its first good stretch in years.  This worked my abdominal muscles, quadriceps, and the muscles down the length of my spine without jeopardizing my weak, worn, hyper-mobile joints.  I was encouraged to be able to do these exercises my first hour with the ball.


On the Lord’s day, I woke with surprising energy.  I ate breakfast sitting on my ball at the table, and read my Bible from a book stand on the table while I sat on my ball.  The ball and I are inseparable.

Of course, I do have to return to a chair to use my laptop, and to give my cat the lap time he requires.  It’s important for cats and inflatable balls to coexist peacefully.

  1. Lady Rachel permalink
    March 5, 2007 9:40 am

    Yay for stability balls!…though I must ask, to they come in a burstable model? That would be interesting. I too have one that I am borrowing from my in-laws, before I decide to actually purchase. Though I don’t have any entertaining photos…:-) You’ll have to show me how you did that, coach.

  2. March 5, 2007 9:48 am

    Aye, milady, and the burstable model is $3 less! My non-burstable ball is “approved for people with balloon phobias.” Certainly it’s safer for anyone, because it would deflate slowly if punctured: a happy thought if one were in a position from which one did not wish suddenly to be left quite flat.

  3. McBlog permalink
    March 5, 2007 4:45 pm

    I am happy for you – and your mus-kels.

Comments are closed.