How often have you thought to yourself: “If I only had _________ my life would be better”? For some, money may be an issue, for others you feel poor health or lack of education is holding you back. When life becomes difficult we have a natural tendency to look outwards for a solution to our problem. My personal problem was muscle weakness. “If only my muscles were stronger my quality of life would be so much better.” I would bemoan. Little did I know that the solution was not ‘out there somewhere’ but right under my nose – literally!
My joints destroyed themselves as a result of a war within my own body. Rheumatoid Arthritis, an auto-immune disease, caused me to become trapped in a pain cycle of inflamed joints and muscle weakness. Even when orthopaedic surgeons successfully replace joints the muscles invariably are left weakened and unable to support the new joint, which can lead to dislocations. I had nine hip dislocations during a ten year period. Three times the hip was manipulated back into position and six times I had to undergo hip surgery. Twenty years ago my left shoulder joint was replaced but due to extreme muscle weakness I have been unable to lift my arm away from my body. For over thirty years I have tried so hard to exercise and strengthen my body but with little success. But God miraculously intervened one year ago…
For the past year I have received regular Pilates instruction. Gary & Ampie have completely revolutionized my concept of exercise. I equated exercise with movement with no attention to my mind, posture or breathing. They delivered me from mindless exercise. But the most dramatic revelation is that I have learnt to use my core muscles to exercise. Core muscles are much more than the belly-button area most people point to! I still jokingly refer to my core muscles as ‘the unemployed’ because I never used them.
My torso is the only part of me that does not hurt and with outstanding one-on-one instruction I have been taught how to USE and STRENGTHEN my newly discovered core muscles. What a difference it has made to my everyday life! I cannot sit in low chairs. In the past, getting out of a chair involved focussing on leg muscles that would scream in pain and arms/hands that were too weak to pull me up. Now that I am ‘employing’ my core muscles, getting out of a chair involves focussing on my ‘powerhouse’ and initiating and drawing strength from my new muscle base instead of relying on my arms and legs. Why am I sharing this information with you? I know that many of you have weak back muscles, joint pain and muscle weakness. The solution is not to be found in more medication but the solution is under your nose. You have ‘unemployed’ muscles that need to be whipped into shape. You have a ‘powerhouse’ at your disposal that will re-energize and dramatically improve your quality of life. Strong core muscles are not just for dancers and athletes – God gave them to YOU – now you just have to learn how to USE them! Read more on my other blog page – RA God’s Way.
During my second Pilates session with Gary he said, “Libby, you WILL have a strong physical foundation. It will be like the difference between building your house on the rock or the sand”. At the time my husband, Jan and I had started a bible study group teaching people the principles of a strong spiritual foundation. God gave you core muscles to make you physically strong and Jesus Christ to make you spiritually strong. Our problem is clearly that we do not appropriate what God has given us so freely. Make Jesus Christ, the Rock, the unshakeable foundation of your life and don’t forget to start exercising your core muscles. A new and stronger you will emerge!
Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.” (Luke 6:47-49)
Remember the motto ‘Come, Hear, Do’. Come to Jesus. Hear Him. Do what He says. = A life built on a firm foundation.x Libby