Grieving A Swiss Ball Illogically

This might be the first post of its kind, and it might be perceived as a little emo on the surface, but really it is more contemplative in nature, as you will read at the end of the post. I recently lost a Swiss Ball (also known as a Stability Ball), which is something people wouldn’t bat an eyelid at, but for me, I was upset for a while, as in like an hour. And the whole thing is illogical. This post is one of me reflecting on that process.

Let me first describe the origins of my Swiss Ball. It was from my family home in Singapore and had been in its original box for a number of years. Why it was bought, and by whom, is a mystery. It was just there. After knowing about its existence for a number of years, I took it with me to Australia and inflated it. This was probably about ten years ago now.

Ever since I had inflated it, I haven’t really used it. For most of its inflated life, it just sat in the corner collecting dust. If anything, it was a continuous inconvenience because it took up a lot of space. Every time I cleaned my apartment, I had to move it from place to place since it kept on getting in the way. For some reason, I would keep it inflated most of the time even though I hardly used it. It was actually kind of annoying having to move it around every time I cleaned my place.

There were only two times when I used it a little more frequently than usual. The first was a phase about two years ago that I went through, when I was exploring whether a Swiss Ball could be a good replacement for an office chair. Turns out it wasn’t for me. The second was more recently. Since it was getting in the way, I decided to find out how it could be useful. So, I went online to research Swiss Ball exercises. I ended up trying these:

After trying them out, they did not resonate with me, so the Swiss Ball ended up being part of the furniture again. In fact, it was quite mischievous. Once, when I was moving it out of the way, it went straight for my peace lily, knocking two leaves off. D’Oh.

So how did it meet with its demise? One day, I was giving it its usual routine inflation, which seemed alright. A few hours later, I heard the sound of air gushing out. One of its seams had given way, so my only conclusion was that it was overinflated for its stage of life. I instantly had the thought that if I hadn’t inflated it, it might still be alive. But now, thinking about it logically – if I did not inflate it, not only would it not be effective, but it might pop at any time when I end up using it, potentially causing injury. Ah, no good.

When it died, I could see that the tear was a few cm long, and when I pressed onto it, it ripped apart so easily. I could then see how thin the material had become, due to its age, and how poor it’s quality actually is. Perhaps it had always been made out of poor quality material. Google says that the lifespan of a Swiss Ball is a year, presumably for well-used balls. Well, this one probably lasted a decade in the box, and another decade inflated. It’s done well.

So now, why did I feel upset for an hour? I honestly don’t know. I didn’t even feel that way when the first car I owned was destroyed by a drunk driver. What did that Swiss Ball represent? It was only part of the furniture, and even caused an inconvenience. It’s not a prized possession and I’m sure no one who has visited or lived at my place would have had any recollection of it.

Despite it just being a piece of rubber, maybe I felt a sense of connection to it because it had been with me for as long as I had lived in my apartment – and I don’t have many things that can claim this status. I probably will feel the same way when my CRT TV or some doonas eventually give way.

But for now, all I know is that I don’t want another Swiss Ball, because for a small apartment, it was really an inconvenience. Plus, it was heavily underutilised to justify the space it took up. Once Covid-19 ends and I get access to the gym again, I will use the Swiss Balls there. Rant over. Now, check these out instead:


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