“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.”– Dwane Johnson
I don’t know that my goal is to achieve greatness in my handstands, but I do want to succeed. In a lot of ways, I’ve already had success. When you think about the fact that at 50 years old I hadn’t even tried kicking up to a wall and now at almost 57, I can kick up in the middle of a room and hold it for a second or two (if it’s a good day), my handstand journey has been pretty successful.
And not without mishap. A couple of weeks ago, I was showing someone how I can kick up without the wall and got a little cocky thinking I could it without my usual prep (starting in downward facing dog, leaning back to my heels with an inhale, coming forward with an exhale and then pressing and kicking) and landed in a crumpled heap on the floor. I landed HARD — no graceful cartwheeling out of it for me — and thought, “Oh no this is it. I’ve really hurt myself and won’t be doing handstands again for a long time.” But I realized I wasn’t in any great pain, stood up, stretched a little bit, and then went right back to hardstanding.
I know from experience that if you fall and don’t do it again, it makes you quite fearful the next time you try kicking up. The only thing I hurt this time was my pride — there were two other people in the room who gasped, “April are you OK?” — but I knew what I had done wrong and actually learned from this experience.
I did let Aran watch my kick up the other night. He’s been along for the ride since I started the handstand journey in 2012 when all I could do was THUMP THUMP against the wall and is well aware of the ups, downs, successes and failures. He was genuinely happy when he saw me kick up and hold it. It wouldn’t matter if he wasn’t — I feel so darn happy every time I do it.