Friday, April 20, 2012

Almost Like Mary Lou Retton

As you may have guessed, I have been spending a lot of time with Noah lately. He's a fairly cute kid and his one-liners keep me hopping, so I guess I don't mind too much. Besides, it gives me an opportunity to impress upon him just how awkwardly cool I can be. It boggles my mind how this six year old can have such an impact on my self-worth.

Exhibit A:

Yesterday, Noah wanted to learn how to do a hand stand. And since I took exactly three months of gymnastics in 1986, I figured I was the perfect person to teach him. So he walked over to me, put his hands on the ground, stuck his booty in the air, and waited for my instruction. I told him to keep his arms straight and not to fall on his head and I grabbed his legs and and held them up.

Ta-da! Hand stand. We were both impressed with ourselves.

He then asked what else I could teach him and since I had once been known to do 14 cartwheels in a row (again, circa 1986), I figured the cartwheel was next.

SIDE NOTE: People, I have not worked out in four weeks due to a sprained foot/Tunisia/virus-of-death so let's just say a bit of stretching was in need.

I then tried to explain the cartwheel to him. "Noah, stand up and lean to the side. Put one hand down, then the next, swing your legs over your head and land on the other side. That's it, easy." He gave me this look:

So we slowly walked through it and he tried to do what I told him but we both knew that an example was needed. Or in other words, he needed to see this 32 year old body fling itself upside down and land perfectly on the other side.

No biggie.

Mind you, we were in the living room so I needed to find a space large enough to hold my whirling form. I decided the space between the couch and the wall would work perfectly. I kicked off my heels, because the last thing I needed was to puncture myself, and told Noah to stand back. My mom was also in the living room looking a bit scared  skeptical, not quite sure if she should watch or get the first-aid kit.

"Okay, are you ready, Noah?"

I looked over and he covered his eyes and said, "I can't watch."

"Hey! I'm doing this for you, kid."

But at that moment, right as I took that first step forward and began to lean over, a small sliver of a doubt popped into my head.

Doubt that I may break the couch.

Doubt that I may break myself.

Doubt that I may not be as young as I used to be.

Doubt that I should have worn stretchy pants.

Doubt that I may never be the same after these next few seconds.

And let this be a lesson to you all: doubt kills your ability to do a proper cartwheel. Mid-wheel, my legs fell down, my shirt started to fly up and I suddenly became very aware that I hard wood floors may not be the best for landing. I came down with a thump, looking more like a uncoordinated frog than a human being. Thankfully, no furniture or body parts were injured in this process, but when I stood up, Noah asked, "Was that it?"

"No buddy, not exactly. Tomorrow, let's practice in the yard."

Because that's all I need, an entire neighborhood watching. But I can't give this up. I am on a mission.

However, something about "pride cometh before the fall" keeps ringing in my ears.


  1. Can I come over and join Noah in your cartwheel class? I am impressed that you can still almost do one. I've never been able to cartwheel. My "stunt" when I tried out for cheerleading was a forward roll aka somersault. I somehow still made the squad. Thank you for including the picture of Mary Lou. I'm sure you are just as amazing as she ever was.


    1. Thank you, Rach. You have always been so supportive. Maybe we should get matching leotards and practice together. :)

  2. someone needs to get Noah a camera. you take many pictures of him, but this is a case where a video would say a million words. Possibly even get you that much coveted prize on America's Funniest Home Videos, although to win that I believe you have to record on VHS handicam with the date stamp set to late 80/mid 90s.

    1. Nope. He is not allowed to have a camera. It could hurt my public image.

  3. in the absence of a camera I present this gem

    and yes, I know you know where I live, I regret nothing!