"It's not my fault, being the biggest and the strongest. I don't even exercise."
I've been taking an adult tumbling class one night per week since March 8th. In a span of six days, I had two separate doctors tell me that while my weight is fine, I really need to add some sort of exercise to my routine, and I've always loved gymnastics, so I signed up for adult tumbling.
I took recreational gymnastics on and off for years as a kid, but I was never very good. The few skills I had were pretty, with nice form and execution, but I was afraid of going backward and I just never really got completely past it. At one time, for a brief period, I had a standing back handspring on the mats, but I never moved it to the hard floor, and then I lost it when I stopped taking classes.
So my goal at this point is to have a good standing back handspring, unspotted, by May 10th. That'll be my 10th class, and I'm really pretty close right now, so I think I can do it.
|Forgive the askew-ness. Spazzy took it.|
For me, this is what yoga or meditation or Pilates is to a lot of people. It's not quiet or serene, but it's my opportunity to push myself in every way to a higher plane. I'm using muscles that have lain dormant for years. I'm facing fears that have always held me back. I'm testing myself every week, trying to be better, working to improve.
It's escapism. It's time with other adults who get it, who understand what it is to feel like they're capable of more than their bodies would have them believe. It's pushing, pushing, pushing, past self-doubt, past a disquiet mind, past limitations that we've put on ourselves.
I effing love doing this. I leave and I ache, but I crave that ache, because I feel like I've earned it. It belongs to me, wholly.
I believe our bodies deserve to be honored, and I've never felt more at peace with mine than when I'm coaxing it to fight against age and fear. It is as it should be.
How do you stretch your body? I don't believe there's one right way, though I know a lot of people who are addicted to running. Running has never done it for me, but I get it. I really do.