I have been making friends with the stability ball in the gym, and it’s mostly been going swimmingly. Being careful with it, watching what I am doing, how I am engaging with it, no unforeseen toppling off or it rolling away abruptly leaving me scratching my head about what happened.

Until today.

When J first introduced me to the seated facepull (cable machine, rope attachment, sit on stability ball or box and pull rope attachment toward the forehead), he warned me to hold onto the tope attachment from both ends. I understood the risks of Very Bad Things that could happen immediately and have been very careful to ensure I am grasping it with both ends in hand. This morning there was the perfect storm of holding the rope attachment with both ends in one hand and reaching to steady the stability ball while I seated myself on it with the other hand, when one end of the rope attachment slipped out of my hand and the rope threaded all the way through, throwing me off balance and pushing the stability ball out of reach. End result? Me, ass on the gym floor, one end of the rope attachment in my hand.


No injuries, except perhaps my pride. Landing on the big giant glute muscle – it would be hard to really hurt myself landing as well as I did on that and it was already sore from yesterday’s training. And it happened so fast I didn’t have time to drop a frustrated f-bomb, plus it was early enough that there would be no children in the gym enroute to the childcare right behind where I was working. The section of gym where I was working also happened to be completely empty at the time of my mishap.

Thankfully that was my fourth and last set of those, and I got to vent my irritation with myself with a fourth and final set of one-arm overhead snatches.

Shit happens, I know. But dang! I had been doing so well with the instability ball.

Then I come home and get an email from friend J, still making a slow, slogging recovery from his very serious illness. In it, he wonders if he’s ever been condescending toward my exercise efforts. My first though? OMG – he has only 3 weeks left to live and is going through the terminal illness version of a 12-step program and on the making amends portion.

Yeah, rationality is MIA this morning.

Once I get a grip on my senses, I realize it could be a valid question, as he himself is slowly getting back on his feet quite literally with exercise. This and other conversations recently have me thinking about attitudes and such.

But no, never. I would have pushed back pretty harshly had he said something that even whiffed of condescending. He can tell me I’m being irrational, a baby, or to quit whining and get off my ass and just do it, but he knows better than to be that guy who makes fun of what is a very serious endeavor to me.

I have a day of ending business relationships ahead of me, several challenging conversations with clients. While I expect they will be professional and likely courteous, it does not make it any easier for me. Yet … I feel lighter, happier, ridiculously excited about how my professional time management landscape will change because of it. I was planning and rehearsing what to say this morning during my practice, and honestly the exercise made the experience the much more pleasant. Even the tumble mostly made me laugh, because in the big picture of my life, this is not even a crumb from the tiniest of cupcakes.

Despite the work-work tasks on my agenda today, the contrast in my outlook on exercise versus not exercising feels stark and amazing. There is some anxiety about the phone calls and the conversations, but not at all what I anticipated when making these decisions. And I really do think the biggest change is how the exercise helps me manage my mental and emotional balance an overall stress levels. Being mindful of this makes me want to be careful and cautious in the gym, watch form and weights and avoid injury. Because now I would miss this terribly if I could not pursue List of the day for an extended period or go to yoga at least once or twice a week.

Today I am marveling at how delighted I am with my life overall right now, but particularly how relieved I am to be letting go of projects that truly do nothing to enhance my life. Sure it’s nice to make money, but money is not everything, not to me, not right now. I vastly prefer to have a little less cash and the extra time to pursue interests that do add to my whole-life balance.

And wow! I just feel like my grown-up-ness advanced to a new level. Next you know I’ll be out chasing Pokemon (never say never, but so very unlikely¬†*laugh*).

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