Image via nourishing-the-soul.com
I have an intense fear of falling. Long story. Whenever I have fallen in an athletic-related pursuit, it’s resulted in sheer embarrassment:
- Example A: I’ve been to one spin class in my entire life. The gym I go to is fairly uptight. I get on the bike and I cannot figure that thing out. First, I have problems with the resistance and start going so wildly fast that I can’t control my legs. They are just flying awkwardly and since the seat is too high, they’re up to my ears. My sister is next to me cracking up and goes, “Oh my God. You look like a crazy, out of control grasshopper.” I get the worst giggles, so at this point the housewives are hating me. Then, my handlebars won’t stay put. The teacher stops the entire class to fix them. Once more, not a spin class favorite. They still aren’t secure, but I’m not about to raise my hand. We’re in that standing position, I’m pedaling my freakin’ heart out, and the handle bars give way and I just go down with the loudest crash. I’m getting glares left and right. I’m in pain, but too proud to let it show. Of course my sister loses it and is straight up guffawing.
- Example B: Yoga class at the same gym. I’m in crow and fall flat on my face. You know how everyone says in yoga that you’re projecting your shit onto others if you think they are looking at you and worrying about what you’re doing? Nope. The whole class stops and is staring me. I don’t know what to do so I say, “There’s been a crow accident.” My sister is the only person laughing (again).
- Example C: Gymnastics as a child. I refused to do somersaults due to another incident. Therefore, I was the worst gymnast ever. We get on the trampoline and have to do flips. I can’t do it. I’m already tall at this point and bigger and ganglier than all of the gymnastics teachers combined. My petite little teacher has to call over a male teacher and it takes two of them to flip me over (with substantial effort). I finished out my sessions and never went back to that hell hole. I felt like a beast.
- Example D: I made the varsity basketball team as a freshmen. I was super shy and so tall and underweight. I waited the whole season on the bench to see if they would put me in the game. The last game with a minute left they throw me in. This is my big chance. I’m petrified. The opposing team has the ball and I go charge the girl dribbling, make it four steps, and splat. I’m on the ground in front of the crowd and immediately get pulled out of the game.
Sorry, that was a lot of tales of woe. The point of the story: When it comes to headstand, I have to have a wall near me (sad I know). Even if I don’t need it, it gives me comfort to know that it’s there in case I fall. Last week, I decided to go for it with no wall in sight. I get into headstand, get nervous, and flip over, landing with a huge thud on my back. Guess what? Nothing. It wasn’t bad. I didn’t break my neck and no one noticed. It was extremely anti-climactic in a good way. This whole time I’ve been so terrified of this moment and it wasn’t horrible. Nowhere near the spinning class mortification. I’m so proud of myself and I think my fear is gone!
* Note: I still won’t get on a stationary bike though. WTF is the point of a bike that doesn’t go anywhere?