The Plank Wave: Part 1
By Michael Schulder
March 27th, 2014
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I’ve never asked anyone to get down on the floor before reading one of my stories.
But I suggest that you drop down now, in the core-strengthening position called “The Plank,” and hold that position as long as possible.
Only after doing so will you begin to appreciate the undertaking of a teenage girl from Boulder named Gabi Ury.
23 days from now, on April 19th, just after she turns 16 and and become eligible for The Guinness Book of World Records, Gabi Ury plans to break the women’s record for holding a plank. The record is 40 minutes.
Gabi does not have abs of steel. She has a will of steel. Gabi’s long-time pediatric nurse practitioner, MiChelle McGarry, says that while Gabi does have some some strong ab muscle, she also has much hardened scar tissue – the result of multiple “belly surgeries.”
Gabi has been in and out of the operating room at Children’s Hospital Colorado often during her young life, due to a rare set of birth anomalies called Vater syndrome.
Her father, William Ury, a co-founder of the Harvard Program on Negotiation, who trains warring parties to keep their cool around a negotiating table, has kept his cool along with his wife Lizanne as they’ve negotiated Gabi’s health care strategy: “14 surgeries, the earliest one on her spinal cord at four and a half months. She has also had major spinal surgery as well as foot, abdominal and other surgery.”
I have much more to tell you about Gabi. And I will in the coming days and weeks.
I’ll also be soliciting input and insights on her challenge from leaders in the fields of sports and medicine.
But, for now, I recommend listening to Gabi tell her own story, which she does with poise and understated humor, from The Plank position, in the very short videos on this page.
Gabi Ury, an abdominally challenged girl, is taking on one of the world’s great abdominal challenges. It’s my honor to introduce her to you.