Thursday, May 04, 2017

Hands Down

Why an adult would do handstands:
My earliest handstands were in my backyard. Mostly I remember giggling because my favorite pink shirt would flop over my head each time I kicked up. I was 5, maybe 6. My three older sisters were all gymnasts at the local YMCA and they manhandled me through cartwheels and flips. It felt like I was flying. When I got old enough, I became a gymnast at the Y, too. I’ve been doing handstands ever since.

As a kid, handstands were about showmanship. The longer I could hold my handstand on the beam, the better score I would earn from the gymnastics judges. I was a shy kid, a wallflower really. I couldn’t stop classmates from making fun of me for all the cruel reasons children make fun of each other. But on the beam in my handstand, I was an 11-year-old girl with power. I was in control.

At 42, the middle-age angst of realizing that I control next to nothing has caught up to me. These days, I practice handstands as a way to let go. A handstand is all about reconnecting with the ground and trusting it in a new way — a white flag of surrender planted in the soil, hands first.
Keep your hands on the ground?

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