Day 8/148

“I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.” — Jose’ N Harris

Today Julie helped me with handstand tips. We walked our legs up the wall, flexed our toes so they were the only thing touching the wall and slowly, carefully moved our feet away. Wow that was tough! But look at me with my toes not touching! I was standing on my hands! Whoo-hoo! Then we moved to the middle of the room and she gave me pointers on looking out past my hands, shifting weight forward, and reaching, reaching, reaching my kicking leg to the sky.

My mind told me I could do it, but when I tried kicking without the wall, well, let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. My back arched, my legs flailed and everything fell apart. Mostly it was my mind telling me I couldn’t do it without the wall. Why does my mind work like that? Why doesn’t it say, “April, you got this. You’re strong and just yesterday you kicked up at the wall and didn’t even touch it. Just kick your legs up and balance.” Nope. Doesn’t work like that. My mind says, “No can do sister. Without that wall, you’re helpless.”

Thankfully, Julie is a patient woman.  She stood in front of me with her arm out and had me kick up to her arm. She quoted another handstand yogi saying, “Pretend like my arm is made of rice paper.” I did what she said. I looked past my hands as I pressed them into the floor. I remembered Gayle telling me to “knit the ribs in.” I plugged in my shoulders and then reached my leg to the sky lightly bringing my leg to her rice paper arm. Success!

Even better, I decided to try it without her arm, by myself, in the middle of the room, and after a few tries, found hang time without a wall and without an arm. It was as if I was magically suspended in mid air. I couldn’t believe it! Julie yelled, “Yes! That’s it!” I brought my legs down to the floor and was excited beyond belief. She lifted her hand for a high five and I said, “No, this is a hugging moment!” It may have only been for a second, but I did a handstand in the middle of the room. Tomorrow is supposed to be a rest day, but now that I know it’s possible, I want to keep doing it again and again. And now I know proof positive that I truly am better today than I was yesterday.

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