Beginning in January of 2020 a group of us at work had begun to do a series of plank exercises first thing in the morning. We were using an app that led you through a variety of planks with a progression of intensity and length of planks. The beginners first series was five minutes. With one day left of the intermediate (which we decided we will be repeating because it is freakin hard and we want to improve our form) we are now at 18 minutes of planking. Forearm planks,  extended arm planks, side planks, bird dog planks, the list goes on and on and on. When COVID19 came and we were dispersed to work from home we made the decision to continuing planking with a little zoom help every morning Monday through Friday at 8:30am.

If you think about it planking is reflective of life. Planking is one of those exercises that focuses on building your core, back. chest, shoulders, neck, legs. When you are doing a plank you are using part of your body including your brain. The stronger your core, the healthier your body will function day to day. You have to work on getting a stronger core as it does not occur naturally. The more you work on strengthening your core, the easier some things become. You need to build up improving your core. The more you do, the more you can do the next time. Consistency is key. Keeping a fierce sense of dedication and persevering is a necessity. Taking a break or pause is helpful, and then you need to get back at it. Every time, and I mean every time, we finish our planks for that day, there is a huge sense of accomplishment. I know my confidence improves. None of us in the plank group gets jazzed about planking. When we hear the series of planks we will doing that day we moan and groan. Our choice, despite our grumbles, is to work on ourselves. For the longer and intense planks while we use music to help us there is a mental part that plays a significant role. Some people in the group do the planks in a modified way. There have been times I have kneed down for a break then popped back up. This is ok too! There is a LOT of cheerleading and motivating going on. We can do this, you’ve got this, are some of the ongoing shoutouts we say to support each other. Every time we get to the end of a longer plank one of the ladies will say “30 seconds left, you can do anything for 30 seconds”. You know she is so right!

For those reading this who perhaps did not understand my plank speak here is my life interpretation of planking.

  1. In life the stronger our sense who we are and what we are makes dealing will the ups and downs of life easier. A strong core of self is a game changer.
  2. Our personal “core” is everything about us. It is our brain and our body working together in a healthy partnership to be the best it can be.
  3. You have to do the work to get stronger and healthier. If there is no work done, there will be minimal change. Change is always possible when you do the work. Sometimes you might not see the change right away. There will come a point in time where you can feel the results of your work on yourself.
  4. Modifications and taking actions in a way that works best for you is totally cool! It is important to be true to how you are as a person and be proud of that.
  5. Taking breaks is totally ok. A break  can help to reenergize.  After you take a break you get back to work.
  6. Consistency and persevering are key ingredients to any change. Taking an action towards the change you are making on a consistent level will build the habit that eventually becomes part of your routine.
  7. Cheerleading yourself, or having your personal squad of people who support you and celebrate your accomplishments is wonderful. First and foremost you need to celebrate the positive steps and actions you are taking!
  8. Using tools to help you accomplish your goals and get stronger are great! The music we use helps us mentally focus more the long, difficult planks. If you need to redo something to improve your form and ability, redo away!
  9. There are times you need to dig deep mentally and say to yourself “I can do this” “keep going” “you’ve got this”. Even if you do not believe those words saying them will foster a belief that you can. You can fake it until you believe it.
  10. You can do anything in life for 30 seconds. ANYTHING. Even on your toughest of tough days if you focus on 30 second increments you can do it!

Most incredible person you so matter. If there is an area of yourself or your life that you want to change, go for it! You’ve got it! If you need a cheerleader in your corner reach out to me and I will woohoo for you with all I’ve got! So let’s plank it and plank it good😊

May your planking be with you💜

Photo by Luis Quintero on Unsplash