How I Learned to Stop Kvetching and Love the Plank

A few weeks ago on Twitter, I caught wind of the  plank-a-day challenge, and I found myself surprisingly intrigued.  Why was this intrigue surprising, you ask?  Basically, planks have generally been my greatest nemesis in life.  (Well, ok, they’re a close fourth behind things like stomach flu, commuting delays, and gluten…but still.  Nemesis.)

Core strength has always been a bit of a tricky issue for me: my back muscles are really strong, but my abs are absurdly weak.  Allow me to illustrate:

Back extensions after 1 minute:
La la la, I’m just chillin’ and reading Elle Decor…
Back extensions after 2 minutes:
Oh hai, I iz paintin mai nailz
Plank after 15 seconds:
I want my Mooooooooooom! Make it stoooooooop!
When I saw the plank-a-day challenge, that little voice inside said “Dude, you know you need to do this.”

My brain tried to dissuade me by screaming “NO!  We can totally just get away with sit-ups!  Everything’s gonna be great!”  But I knew: I need to overcome my plank aversion.  It’s more like a plank disability, really, and I knew I needed to push myself to power through it.

So I started doing daily planks.  
On day one, I held it for 30 seconds and started whimpering pathetically halfway through.  But wouldn’t you know it, once I started doing planks consistently, I found that I was able to hold them longer and longer.  
With each passing day, I’d tell myself to hold it for just 3-5 seconds longer than I did the day before.  By creating small goals I knew I could achieve (or at least tell myself “you held it this long yesterday, so you can do it again today.  And five extra seconds?  That’s pratically nothing!  You got this!”), I managed to not only break through my plank barrier but to — gasp — learn to like plank.  This would’ve been unthinkable for me even a month ago, so I’m impressed that this challenge was able to turn me around so quickly.
So, for anyone doing the plank-a-day challenge, believe me: if I can do it, you definitely can!

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