Cartwheels: That Childhood Everest

So, I am an averagely athletic person. I played sports in middle school and high school, I run and hike and swim, I do yoga and lift weights and all the typical pacific northwest activities, but I have never been able to do a cartwheel. I’m sure I tried when I was younger, but have never been successful. There’s something terrifying about the lack of control I have over what body is doing while it’s flying through the air. I have to trust the momentum and actually put enough speed into the inevitable fling. Cartwheels are difficult to do slowly (at least for me). The more I try to control what I’m doing by slowing down, the worse my attempt is. It’s when I decided to fully commit and just act like I could do it that I completed an actual cartwheel.


Let me tell you the story. One of my best friends was visiting me with her two young children, and it was raining. So, we went to this magical place called Trampoline Zone. It was this big building filled with all sizes of trampolines, obstacle courses, and foam pits. Initially, I was a little concerned that we might get bored or that it would be geared too much towards bigger kids that the littles would be scared. But that was silly. It was the very best! We jumped and bounced and squealed and laughed and tossed ourselves into foamy pits of squishy heaven (that sometimes felt a bit like quicksand; most things are not all good or all bad). After a couple hours of bouncing around, I found myself looking for a challenge. I realized this was the perfect place to attempt this child-mastered skill of a cartwheel. Worse case scenario, I fall over and bounce. I probably had 5 or 6 attempts before I realized that my technique was off and I needed a different strategy. My friend joined me and started her own attempts that were nearly as bad as mine. She took a video of me and I examined the game film. I decided I needed to go faster and after two more attempts I had it! Does it count that it was on a trampoline and not solid ground… I vote yes! Thus, a goofy video was made and I have living proof that it happened.

Life goal: check!
Life lesson: sometimes its ok and needed to throw yourself into something; and stepping back to evaluate your work is helpful.


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