After upping her workout game from once every other month or so to a consistent twice-a-week regimen, 28-year-old Shari Johnson is slowly narrowing down what she thinks is her core now.
“A bunch of online fitness instructors kept telling me to engage my core,” Shari says. “But like…is that my stomach? It seems like they are also referring to my back, and sometimes my hips? Why didn’t I learn any of this in school?”
Now that Shari has heard enough people reference her ‘core,’ she is almost positive it means everything that isn’t her arms, legs, and head – but definitely not her shoulders.
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s just all of it,” Shari says. “I still don’t know what it means to ‘engage’ it all, but I think I’m slowly getting there.”
Shari spent the first decade of her adult life doing crunches and planks, hoping that would help improve the imaginary place known as the core.
“I only just found out that crunches don’t really do anything for your core,” Shari says. “I’m just still trying to figure out what that sentence actually means.”
“Sometimes a Pilates instructor will reference my ‘deep core’, and like, okay, can you be more specific?” Shari continues. “Like, I’m gonna need names and a chart and a video of a cadaver to really get this right.”
Shari is still slowly piecing together that her core is a complex system that is the source of her chronic back pain but will keep on pushing to find out exactly how or why.