What is Your Balance?


What is the first thing to come to mind when you hear the word balance?

Is it the ability to stand on 1 leg without falling? Or maybe walking on a slackline?

If you are a football player you may think of taking a big hit and keep running into the endzone.

A bodybuilder might think in terms of muscular symmetry as an asthetic value (real or perceived). A recreational exerciser might try squats on a BOSU with eyes closed and learn something about balance.

Surely there are many senior citizens who just want to walk across the room without falling and getting injured.

Balance can mean different things to different people.

It’s a tricky thing this concept of balance, very difficult to define precisely. However,  we certainly know when we are OUT of balance. A gymnast is an expert in balance yet everyone can see when she steps off the balance beam and loses her balance.

It may be easier to observe when an athlete falls out of, or away from balance, but maybe more  difficult is to see within ourselves when life has fallen away from balance. Maybe we don’t feel quite right, something seems off but uncertain as to what it is.

What about finding balance in your exercise program? Do you have difficulty balancing movements? Are you doing too many pressing movements but not many pulls? Or maybe working a lot of upper body movements but too few for the lower body.

You are great with the strength exercises but really lazy about your stretching exercises. You love to do what you are good at but avoid your weak points like the plague. You don’t mind the warm-ups but always forget about the cool-downs. Bench Press and Curls (for the girls) is nice but you wouldn’t get caught without long pants since you conveniently skip leg day, every day.

Do you love kettlebells but avoid the barbell? There is always room for improvement and finding balance in your workouts by mixing in exercises that you don’t do often enough. It’s a great practice and another reason to keep an exercise journal - to make note of what you are missing so you can balance out your program, or rather, to remove imbalances.

Balance is more than a state of body control or balancing your movements and muscles. You might do all the things right in the gym. You are crushing your Crossfit workouts, best-in-class, lifting more, are flexible, can do rings and parkour, too. There is no weak link in your fitness game! However, the devotion to gym culture may leave some other aspects of life out of balance. Could it be?

In the bigger game of life, beyond the aesthetic goals or bodyweight objectives or scoreboard or fitting into a particular dress, we seek balance, it is part of being alive. To be in perfect balance or what a biologist might call ‘​homeostasis’ is a state in which the systems runs at peak efficiency.

But how far we can fall from this natural rhythm at times. The stress of life can pull us out of balance.

Could it be that all this working out and fine-tuning of the body, can provide some great strength to enable us to help ourselves, and help each other find Balance in all that we do?

Seek balance, not just in our muscles and in our programs, but in life. 

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