“. . . and hold!”

When did I stop assessing my physical capabilities? And why?

I remember asking myself this question last hunting season after returning from a solo adventure into the wild with nothing but my weapon and my wits. It was a thrilling experience, and I went out solo because I needed to prove to myself that I could. Hey, if Mike doesn’t make it through the first days of the zombie apocalypse, I need to know I can take care of myself.

Anyway, when I got home—meatless, but with more confidence—it dawned on me that there were many things I once did that I no longer did anymore. Like handstands. I used to do them all the time. Learning to balance on my hands was one of the first challenges I chose to master back when I decided to join the Army (a few plus 33 years ago). Seemed like a worthy goal, and by the end of one summer season, I could take several steps upside-down.

I couldn’t remember the last time I had attempted one, so after several failed launches against a closed door, I finally got my feet up and over and resting against my safety stop. And I haven’t tried again since.

The lamest excuse on the books is “too busy.” Everyone’s too busy every day all the time anymore for anything (purposeful omission of commas because who has time for those anymore either?). So instead of telling myself I’ve been too busy for things like handstands, I’ve been telling myself my priorities have changed. LAME!

I didn’t let the handstand thing bother me too much until just this week when I started stretchreading Real Men Do Yoga, an overlooked book a friend gave my men many years ago. My decrease in physical fitness (and increase in pounds) since I fractured my ankle a few months ago has been nagging at me, and the moves in the book looked so easy. I knew I used to be able to do many of the basic poses, and heck, when I was a youngster I used to do flips and backbends and walkovers like all the other kids in the neighborhood.

I warmed up a bit and tried some of the poses I thought were pretty basic.

Um . . . evidently, doing a backbend is not like riding a bike. I couldn’t even get my head off the ground.

The reality of my current physical limitations is eye-opening, and I don’t like what I see. It’s been so easy to let “things” slip away, and it’s time to grab them back. Although I don’t see ever attempting a front handspring again in this lifetime, I will get my head off the ground, even if it’s just an inch, by the end of this year. And I’ll do a handstand again. Without the door.

Just you wait and see. I’ll take pictures.

By author

Laurel lives and laughs and publishes and podcasts in Colorado's Rocky Mountains! She has published several multi-genre books and hosts the podcast "Alligator Preserves," where she interviews fascinating people, talks about the human condition, and shares scary stories from her "Dark Ebb" collection.

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