Nitro and Core Strength

By on February 17, 2015

By Cindy Shannon–

LESSON 21Core strength is necessary to ride a horse.

As I thought about my fall, I remember being suspended in the air hanging away from the saddle not able to pull my body up onto Nitro’s back.  I had no arm, stomach or inner thigh strength, and my body basically could not rescue me.  All it would have taken was just enough strength to bring my body up onto Nitro’s back.  

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I cannot describe how it felt to be in a place I had been before and functioned with ease, then to fail.  I am 54 years old and had for the first time allowed a lapse of time to go by where I did not exercise on a regular basis.

Without core strength, we are in jeopardy of falling off.  

Pilate classes have made a huge difference for me.  I have been working very hard to get back my core strength and I put it to the test this weekend.  

I rode Nitro!!!

You know the old saying, if you fall off, get right back on?  Well, it took a while for me to feel safe and equipped.

This time, as I pulled myself onto Nitro’s back, it didn’t feel like I had a bunch of bricks in my back pockets.  It was easy!  Riding Nitro was a breeze too …  it’s amazing how when you let your body go for a while without exercise how that affects your mood and strength.


It makes me wonder about how the same is true when I am not receiving from God.  

When my ‘core’ is weak I seek elsewhere.

From Sacred Marriage Devotional by Gary Thomas 

“If I stop receiving from God, I start demanding from others.”   

He continues with a guide (much better then falling off your horse). 

 Dr. Thomas says to “Start defining disappointment with your spouse as spiritual hunger, a cosmic call to worship.”


Here are ‘concerning patterns’ to be aware of when your ‘core’ is weak;

When I am thinking that my husband doesn’t do enough ‘for me’.  This could be just about anything; from sharing more of the house work, to taking me out on a date, to just choosing to sit with me and share a conversation.

When I find myself ‘angry’ with my husband for very minor things.  This could be as minor as socks in the floor, trash not taken out, dishes left on the table, crumbs on the floor where he eats, repeating myself about something I previously shared with him … you get the picture.

When I have isolated myself and am super sensitive.  This could be my choice to withdraw from conversations and events where I make myself invisible (either by helping in the kitchen, or staying busy).

So you know when your smoke detector has a low battery and it starts making that annoying ‘beep’ repeatedly?  That is how I envision these ‘tell tell’ signs for a weak core.  Hurry, get plugged back in, go get a new, fully charged battery … and this — get back into The Word and in relationship with God.

My final question is; How’s your core?

About Cindy Shannon

Cindy is a 50’something retired High School Marketing and Business teacher/track, cross country, volleyball coach and DECA Advisor with a school store in her classroom. She and her husband live on a farm where they host many church-related events; everything from father-son campouts, hayrides, bonfires, women “Facing Their Fears” one-day event, and Marriage Ministry. It is their desire to use the farm to encourage Christians and foster fellowship and healing. They are available for couples to just get away for a night, offering their Bed and Breakfast business for couples retreat. Their farm sits on approx. 100 acres with a large pond/dock for fishing. You can find her on her blog at: “Horses, Marriage and Women 50+": (

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Nitro and Core Strength