Friday, October 1, 2010

Gumby vs. Tin Man

My two little girls are gymnasts-in-training.  They are springy, bouncy and seemingly stretchy.  When they plop down on the floor to stretch out (either here at home or at Kidzplex) they amaze me with their flexibility!  Sweet Norah can do her splits both ways (right leg to the front and also left leg to the front) and she regularly freaks me out when she lays down in the straddle position:  one foot pointing in one direction, the other foot in the opposite direction and her upper-body laying down perpendicular.  Eek!

What a "wingspan"!

It always reminds me of playing with our Barbies as kids and trying to get our dolls to do the splits.  Inevitably we popped a leg off!  Ashley has yet to start working on split in her class, but she likes to try here at home.  She is also very good a folding up like a suitcase (on her back with her legs folded up over her head) and she can lay on her belly and touch the back of her head with her toes ... there's a picture!!

Such a smiley Gumby!

And this only barely begins to touch on the many, many things my kids can do that I can't.  At least not without some help getting back up!   A few months ago, Norah was working on her back bends and the other two kids were joining in.  I don't know if I felt a little left out or what happened, but I decided that I wanted to try it.  I should have take the incredulous looks from my kids as warnings, but I didn't.  I settled myself on the floor and got my hands over my head.  So far, so good!  I worked my feet back toward my backside and started to push with my hands to get myself off the floor.  Too far, not so good!  Apparently it looked as bad as it felt because the kids cracked up! (Aaron especially ... as he made a mad dash for the bathroom!)  I think I held my back bend for approximately 0.0025 seconds.

This was my inspiration.
Another time shortly after this (you would think I would learn my lesson!) I wanted to try doing a candlestick.  Norah had one in her routine and I thought it didn't look too hard.  For those of you unfamiliar with this yoga pose, you lay on your back and then lift your legs up straight with your toes pointed at the ceiling so that only your shoulders and head are on the floor.  You can use your hands on her hips to help stabilize yourself.  I got the laying flat on my back down, no problem.  Then I needed to lift my feet up perpendicular to the floor ... again, no problem.  Now I needed to lift my hips up off the floor ... big problem! I seemed to be glued to the carpet.  I finally managed to use a little momentum to fold up with my feet up by my head.  At this point, Aaron is laughing and inching his way towards the bathroom, but he doesn't want to miss anything.  I manage to get my hands on my hips and my elbows braced on the floor.  I then slowly I raised my feet up as close to perpendicular as I could get ... probably more like 80 degrees.  Trust me, my hands were not stabilizing me ... they were holding me up!  Finally the giggles got to be too much and I flopped down to the ground.  So much for any illusions of being a yoga-master!

Now why would I share with you such shining stories about me?  I mean, besides for a good laugh!  Well ... it has become increasingly clear to me that I have made a transition from Gumby to the Tin-Man and I don't know that I'll ever bounce back.  I watch my girls and marvel at their flexibility, strength and pure bendability.  They might make every move look easy, but it's only because they are young and their joints are connected with rubber bands!  Oh, to be that young again!

This weekend I am celebrating my birthday and while I'm still very young (just a mere 35 years old), I have been feeling a bit creaky and squeaky lately.  I think the part that is hardest for me is that I am quite young and if I already feel like this now, what will I feel like in 20 years?!?  My intention here is not to throw myself a pity-party, but it's more to find out who else feels like this.  

Does anybody else out there hobble around in the morning waiting for their legs and feet to warm up?  

Does anybody else out there worry about putting their back out (again) by lifting up a sock?

Does anybody else out there feel like the recovery from a hard work-out takes more than just a few days?  

Does anybody else out there wish they could freeze frame their health back when they were 20-something ... and enjoy the rest of life with a bit more bounce and a little less crrreeeaaak?

Does anybody else still "feel" young on the inside and feel a bit of shock when they see a picture of themselves ... "That can't be me!!"

The very strangest part of getting older is discovering that the people who have always been older than you (teachers, professional athletes, movie stars) are either your peers or ... gasp! ... younger than you!  How did that happen?!  With this awareness comes the realization that there are a growing number of things that I won't do or accomplish.  The door to being in the Olympics, for instance, has been locked, bolted and hermetically sealed!  I also have had to say "goodbye" to any childhood dreams I have had to be a rodeo princess, an astronaut or world record-holding synchronized swimmer.  But, does that mean that I can't set other goals for myself ... goals that are a little more reasonable?  Absolutely not!

There are still a few things that I would like to do "when I grow up".  :)

I would like to be a tutor for adults learning English as a second language.

I would like to help in a library and pass on my love of books to others.

I would like to compete in a 5k walk/run ... just to see if I could do it.

I would like to get comfortable riding a bike so I can enjoy that with my kids.  (For those of you who know me well ... that's a big one!  Let's just say that I'm okay on a bike as long as NO ONE is near me.  If you get too close to me I will run you over!)

I would like to continue writing and discover what God's plan is for this gift.

And I would like to be a tad bit more limber ... like able to touch my toes.  And maybe hold a back bend for an entire second!  :)

I'll keep you posted as to how God is growing me up.  What is He up to in your life? :)


  1. Are you feeling better after your "healer-appt"?
    I hope so....

    My "I would likes:"

    I would like to move our elliptical machine indoors and actually think about using it! (It's been outside since we had to move furniture around to put together the nursery)

    I would like to start playing tennis again with Jeff, just like the old days

    I would like to work up a sweat doing something more exerting than housework

    I would like to return to my former yoga-form (I do a little beginner tape at bedtime to help me sleep and I too have difficulty touching my toes!)

  2. Yes, Sweet Beth-Lady ... a bit better, thanks!

    While I agree with you on all your "would likes" ... we both have a little something keeping us from that. Your adorable Jude ... and my little monkeys. I'd take a cuddle any day over sweating :)


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