The Shape of Things to Come

Remember when you were a kid and things like cartwheels and handstands were just tricks you whipped out as the mood struck you? I distinctly remember using my bed as a vault—I had this completely inspired flip all worked out (perhaps if I had kept those adventurous bed skills going, I would have had more relationship success).

Well, yesterday, for no particular reason I thought, “hmmm, wonder if I can still do a handstand?”

Yeah. I wont leave you in suspense—the answer is no.

In my haste to recapture my more athletic youth, I forgot the main component of the handstand: the kick-up. Guess what the kick-up requires? Hamstrings that aren’t so tight that they could cut glass (yeah, I know that analogy doesn’t quite work, but you know what I mean. Work with me.).

So, picture me—short, frazzled, elderly, stressed out from a work-life that is steadily consuming every minute of my life. I was completely focused; right down to the weird squint and lip-biting thing I do.

All I had to do was reach down and kick… and kick… and arghhhhhhhhhhhh. Not only did I get only half way up, but I’m pretty sure I took out the downstairs neighbor’s ceiling when I fell. My bad. So, in addition to a severely pulled right hamstring, I knew I was going to have a nasty bruise on my right hip.

Logic would dictate that this experiment had come to a close while I hobbled to my desk to find the address of the local urgent care center.

Ha! Only amateurs give up when every sign in the universe points to failure. After all, I spent years (and year and years and years and years) believing that The Ex and I would live happily ever after. Subtle hints like barely being able to walk would not deter me.

No! It just meant I had to lead with the other leg. Why shred one hamstring when you can trash both of them?

This time, this time it would work! I just needed a better wind up. Clearly, it was my preparation that was a failure and not me. Everybody knows that if something doesn’t work the first time, all you have to do is apply greater force, and everything will be fine.

Well, everything would have been fine…you know, if it weren’t for the fact that I was doing this in my living room; a living room full of furniture.

I think all the energy, angst and ire that fill my work days had built themselves up and were just looking for a way to express themselves. I built up so much forward momentum that Mary Lou Retton will be calling any day now for pointers.

All that momentum translated into a world class half way handstand… mostly. One leg definitely got up. The other leg—not so much. It did, however, make contact with the side table, completely knocking off the picture frames, the box of change and a couple of candles. I suppose I should be thankful that the candles weren’t lit.

Note to self:

1) Don’t do gymnastics in the living room amidst furniture without stretching at least once in the year preceding the attempt.
2) Don’t do gymnastics after having a lousy week at work, particularly if it is 9:30 on a Friday night, and the gymnastics are serving as a break from finishing a presentation.
3) Get life.

Kate, limping in LA

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