My Quest to Squat

Squats put me to shame. Seriously, next time you want a good laugh, ask me to squat, it’s a riot—I’ll just fall right on my bum. This simple movement, that every infant masters before even learning to walk, drops me on my tailbone. It’s hardly an exercise in anything but humor for others and frustration for me.

Besides frustration, as a fitness trainer, there are other obnoxious implications of not squatting. First, I’m missing out on the best exercise ever. Second I have to do my leg work by the leg. Third, I’m at risk for an imbalance and anterior pelvic tilt if I don’t kick up my quad work—yuck!

So, what gives? I injured my back a couple months ago and had to take a lifting break. I turned to flexibility to flesh out my gym-time and soon found myself determined to address whatever was keeping me from squatting.

I focused on hip, hamstring, and calf flexibility. Last night, I doubtfully decided to see if longer hammies and calves would actually help me hold the position.

Viola, it worked! Well, sort of. I held the parallel position for almost 2 full seconds…before falling on my bum, as usual…it really is funny, I even got a laugh out of this one.

Perhaps I laughed so easily because I was exctatic! The improvement was wildly motivating because I could suddenly see all the possibilities. My 150-pound squat, half-time leg work, and perfect posture were right around the corner.

The success was tiny, but somehow hugely empowering. It reminded me that every success counts when it changes your perspective.

I feel like I can squat the world, even though I know I better keep stretching, or I’ll fall on my ass with everyone on my shoulders.