BlogHer, Fitness

Do You BOSU?

(This is cross-posted at BlogHer.)

I purchased a piece of fitness equipment which makes me look incredibly silly and uncoordinated. Even better, I did it on purpose. How could I resist, when this blue half-dome has the potential to be used in so many different ways? Not only that, it provides an additional challenge to regular exercises by forcing you to use your core for stabilization. I am, of course, referring to the BOSU.

BOSU stands for “Both Sides Utilized” and they retail for around $100. (I bought mine with a coupon I found in a local entertainment book, giving me a $20 discount off a $100+ purchase at a sporting goods store.) I did attempt to find one used — I kept an eye on Craigslist classifieds for a few months — but I could never find any for sale (the only time I was able to find one, it had already been snapped up by the time I emailed the seller).

The main reason I wanted to buy my own was I couldn’t bring myself to use the ones at my gym. I’ve seen other people using them, and they look silly. I don’t like to look silly unless I’m trying on purpose to be silly, and even then I want people to laugh with me…not at me. (I apologize to all you brave, public BOSU-wobblers out there! I know not everyone is as self-conscious as I am.)

The thing is, I feel comfortable at my gym because I purposefully make myself as un-noticeable as possible (it’s a very male-dominated place, but I chose this particular location because of its proximity to my home). I don’t go there because I want people to stare at me — and it’s precisely because I don’t want people to stare at me that I avoid their BOSUs at all costs. Will you see Zan bobbing and wobbling and fighting to maintain her balance (and most likely not succeeding) while standing in the middle of a very large room? I’d have to say that’s an incredibly unlikely scenario, especially now that I have one of my own.

I had a bit of an issue in the beginning, just trying to figure out how to get the darn thing inflated. You see, when the nozzle of the manual pump is removed from the bottom of the BOSU, the air starts whooshing out immediately. After a few tries, I finally learned to over-inflate it so it would be just the right height by the time I was able to insert the plug. (The more air it has in it, the more difficult it is to use. I let myself have some give since I’m still getting used to it.)

Warning: once inflated, the BOSU takes up more room on the floor of my small bedroom than I anticipated (the ones at my gym are located in a cavernous space with soaring ceilings, naturally). But that’s okay! Luckily my bed frame is high enough off the ground that I’m juuuuuuussst able to slip it underneath the bed when it’s not in use.

Right now, my BOSU is making me feel totally unbalanced and uncoordinated — exactly what I feared I’d look like if I were to use it in public. But I plan to undertake this as my new personal challenge, and I’m looking forward to seeing an improvement in my balance and coordination.

Have you tried a BOSU? Do you like it?

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