Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Channeling Mary Lou Retton

My girlfriend talked me into taking a gymnastics class. No not a class that we tote our kids in and watch them somersault across multicolored gym floor mats, but a class just for ADULTS! And no, we do NOT do somersaults. We do backflips, parallel bars, balance beam routines, floor routines, trampolines, rope climbing, hand springs, even vaults for crying out loud! I am slightly giddy with Mary Lou Retton fever as I envision her in the American Flag body suit scoring perfect 10's on floor routine in the early eighties. What girl did not want to fly through the air on the parallel bars or do a triple back flip landing with toes pointed, back arched proudly and hands to the sky? And you know what the craziest thing is? The thing that stops me from reaching for that parallel bar and flipping? Fear. Our coach said that most kids start to experience that fear after 2 years of age. Fear of falling, of missing the bar, of getting hurt. That mental fear is my biggest challenge over any physical pain.

Today, I did a parallel bar routine by engaging my core muscles and facing the fear of the bars. Once the fear is gone, that 8 year old girl that SO wanted to be Mary Lou Retton emerges from the cobwebs of my mind and body and flies with the greatest of ease. I feel a sense of elatedness and pride not by having scored a perfect 10 but by facing the fear and just grabbing for the bar.

Love & Light,


Me at age 6, in my gymnastics class. I loved this body suit. My mom said it was too big for me but I did not care. I remember I could do a killer headstand. I can still do it, I just have a huge head rush afterwards.

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