• jesstravelling

Attempting a hand stand

I’m sharing this in the hopes of helping you save yourself.

If you are anything like me, you will need the heads up. I hope for your sake you are not.

This morning I woke up to a positive message on a friend’s facebook page. Something about “perspective” and “goals” and the ability to start again at any time. To seize the day. To grab life as you can!

I am 44, with two kids and am in family medicine. Since Covid has hit, our tiny apartment gym has closed, I have eaten my way through many exceptionally tasty emotions and I am not quite in the shape I was a year ago. Ahem, okay maybe 20 years ago.

I had also booked today off, a couple of months ago (the way you have to book time off in family medicine) to have a day to MYSELF.

To lay on the couch, in the fetal position, possibly making moaning sounds, and watching something like Grey’s anatomy, the Crown, or Dead to me over and over again while eating enormous amounts of something. I have not had a day off without kids since Covid started. Not a single day. Today (and yesterday) were supposed to be the days.

I also have an enormous amount of paperwork to catch up on….but I was thinking “who cares”, I will be on the couch, alone, and no one will be poking me, or calling my name and I will be patient-visit free, and all will be glorious. And I can poop by myself, should I chose to do so.

As it turns out, my one child is home as his school had a Covid exposure- and they need an entire week to clean? And my other child is home for a PD day.

So, when I woke up this morning to that message from my friend’s facebook page my first thought was eff-off. My feeling sorry for myself meter was running HIGH.

But then I laid there thinking about it. And with a purring cat on my head I decided to seize the day.

Here’s where the warning comes in.

In a past life time I was a paramedic. You had to train quite hard to pass the physical part of the job when applying in Toronto, and I used to be, what I thought, was really quite strong. In effect you would spend the day lifting….really heavy objects over and over.

I also used to really enjoy gymnastics.

Living in a small apartment, with no outdoor space, you wouldn’t think that gymnastics was possibly the most obvious thought to have to start my downtrodden, kid-filled, supposed to be my first solo day off since March, day.



But well……

Here’s where the warning comes in again. T

he thing is, our boys are obsessed with Kobra Kai. And when you are stuck watching something over and over like that, you sort of feel like trying out the moves yourself. I had flirted with a couple of kicks last night. One was even higher than I thought my leg could ever go again. They went okay. I can’t move my one leg entirely normally this morning, but it did feel really good at the time. I felt like my powerful self was back.

So this morning, I decided to say eff you to the universe, push back the parts of me that were feeling sorry for myself, and attempt a hand stand.

There are several reasons why I chose this, which I won’t go into at the moment.

But, I had surprised myself at a friends cottage this summer by doing a few to “show all of the kids” how to do them, and hadn’t let myself down entirely.

I was feeling ready for my powerful self to make a move, stick it to Covid, and seize the day, like my friend’s facebook post told me I could.

So I did a hand stand against the wall.

For a split second I felt AWESOME. Like totally powerful.

Then I didn’t.

Cause a handstand against the wall is different then a handstand on free ground.

Outside on the grass, the gravity brought me down any which way I wobbled. Against the wall, my legs were leaning further over my head, beyond what gravity would have allowed outside.

And I got stuck.

But don’t worry, my panic only lasted for a millisecond....

Before my right arm gave out (which was surprising as that is my dominant arm). Since I had no way to get my legs back over my head, and my right arm had collapsed at the elbow, I basically melted down the wall.

It was not a smooth “melt” , as the word melt would leave you to believe, but rather a “thud” melt; a combination of my shoulder hitting the ground and my ego leaving my body.

Here’s another warning. The human neck does not like to be at complete right angles to the human shoulder.

I finished the hand stand in the only way that could be done when one has no upper body strength and no control of their legs; with a massive slide onto the ground, head first, arms splayed, the transverse processes of my spine becoming one with our wall moulding. It took mere milliseconds, but I felt it like my whole life had been laid out before me.

I’m not sure what the lesson is here.

I’m not ready to give up on my strength or my dreams of being a gymnast again. The reality of parenting while trying to relax and chart, has hit like a thud, as has my body trying to do a handstand.

Stay safe everyone. Keep on trying to win at life.

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