I may have mentioned that I recently visited a yoga class during which I was kicked in the face by an eager headstander. It was a hard kick. I staggered a bit.
I may not have mentioned that I had not done a headstand of my own for about 20 years.
This all changed yesterday, in my regular yoga class.
Led by our teacher, we set ourselves up against a wall and did all the prerequisite stuff: got down on hands and knees, hands clasped at the wall, elbows on the floor shoulder distance apart. Then knees off the ground, on forearms and feet now. Then walked our feet a bit closer to our hands, bums up high.
Raised one leg, and then jumped with the other, the idea being that our legs would make it all the way up to the wall.
Mine didn’t. My jump got me about two feet from the floor.
Second jump, same thing.
After my third try, the teacher came around and asked if I’d like help.
The weird thing was that despite being all by myself at the wall, I was still afraid of being kicked in the head. Kicked by what? (This made me laugh, because most of my fears are like this one: afraid of being kicked in the head by something that happened once, a million years ago.)
So I said yes, I’d like help.
I did my little jump, and he lifted my legs the remaining forty miles to the wall.
And Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, for the full minute I teetered up there, I was an Olympic athlete. (Your head doesn’t even touch the ground in the headstand. Did you know that? That’s Olympian.)
For that minute, my gut hung out, wobbling in front of the whole class like an epileptic sea mammal. My shoulders started to shake about 1.4 seconds into it. And every drop of blood in my body accumulated behind my eyes. The world was kind of watery and upside down. I loved it.
And then I fell over.
This morning, as soon as I got to my office, I closed the door and tried it again against an empty patch of wall.
It only took two jumps to get up there. By myself.
I tried again an hour later. It still took two jumps. And I learned it’s better to take my clogs off first.
I tried once more five minutes ago. Again two jumps.
If I had to give my life a title, today, it’d be, Almost There, The Story of Trying Despite Being Kicked In The Head By Ridiculous Fear.
Stay tuned for the Sequel, which will be called, Up in One Jump, My Gold Medal Event At The Solo Olympics.
I’ll bet you have your own Olympic event this year.
I’d love to hear about it.
Thanks for the conversation,