I hear this phrase daily. I whip out my phone and wherever we are, my #4 child does a handstand while I take a photo. This is her 100 Day challenge for herself – do one handstand daily in a different place and for me to document it.
Even before the challenge, I was taking pictures of her handstanding at different beaches like this one in Barcelona in front of the muscle gym.
Then she proceeded to bring her hands closer, trying to do a one-handed handstand.
She did formal gymnastics for about a blink of an eye and the rest has been years of just playing around with her body and making strength goals for herself to accomplish.
As much as I’d like to give all the credit to Ever-Patient for my motivation to continue my strength training and movement in general, she is my real inspiration.
After watching her on the rings in Costa Rica, I finally decided to give it a try.
She is also the one that pushed me to do a chin-up and is now pushing me to do a handstand. As she coaches me in our practice together, I realize that I hate being upside down. I don’t like the feeling. I haven’t been on the rings since Costa Rica. I get disoriented and start to panic. I don’t trust my strength. I forget to breathe. I chicken out before I even make a true attempt.
It’s back to that mental block I have with hill training. Being upside down makes me feel out of control. There is this trust that I need to have with my body and my mind that I don’t need as much when I press a kettlebell overhead. I might land on my face. I might land on my back. I might make a complete fool of myself in front of my 7 year old. I make excuses – my elbow feels wonky today, I feel light headed after being upside down, I don’t want to get hurt, etc. etc.
But then we sit at the dinner table and talk about what we failed at that day. We do this every night. Failure and gratitude. And we as a family become vulnerable with each other and support each other as we celebrate the attempt at pushing ourselves a little more outside our comfort zones and are grateful for the opportunity to do it again tomorrow. If someone didn’t fail at something, we ask, “What were you afraid of trying because you thought you would fail? Do you think you could try that tomorrow?” And then we reinforce that we will all sit here at the table and applaud the effort.
We are all afraid of something different. We all tell ourselves that we can’t do things or we can’t be things. We all have different comfort zones and different ways of approaching challenges. In my family of seven, we are all very unique in our strengths and fears. But that feeling of being uncomfortable and scared is universal. We all can empathize and be proud of one another even if our edges fall short of the person sitting across from us.
I will continue to practice, scared to fail at this challenge. I will fall in front of my children. But they will see my attempt. They will see me get up and try again every day. They will see me surrender to turning my world upside down. I will sit proudly at the dinner table tonight and say I completely failed at doing a handstand.
What would you do today if you knew you couldn’t fail?
100 scribbles…hurriedly writing the here and now.