Perspective altering moment - Tactical Ninja
May. 3rd, 2013
09:49 am - Perspective altering moment
So yesterday I was in the gym doing my handstands, and there were these two guys staring at me. This isn't unusual - it seems few folks in this particular gym do much inversion type work, and whenever I do it I get funny looks. Often from people who are busy making pretzels of themselves in the stretch zone, weirdly enough. Huh. So anyway, these guys were staring at me, and next thing I know they asked if I minded if they joined me.
They had recently started learning yoga inversions, and were there to practice. They were doing a thing that in handbalancing is called the tiger stand:
Only they were starting with head on floor and then moving up to the stand. So I had a go at that. Turns out that if you've spent the last (almost a year bloody hell!) trying to do handstands and working on getting strong shoulders, this sort of thing is not all that hard. Also, I desperately want to critique that photo up there for closed shoulders and a sway back, but I don't know what it's supposed to look like in yoga.. anyone know? The guys seemed quite wobbly through the core, but the one who was a personal trainer said that swaying your back like that is part of the yoga move. I think it makes it harder to maintain the position because it's not strong through the middle, but I know nothing about yoga.
Anyway, then they wanted to know how to get started doing handstands. I've no idea tbh - I can't remember a time when I couldn't get my feet up over my head in some way, shape or form (terrible form up til last year, so I'm told). So I suggested they try doing it up against the wall, so they could fling their feet up without fear of toppling over. Seems it's a bit of a psychological commitment, and one of them could do it while the other couldn't.
The one who couldn't seemed to be struggling to open his shoulders, so while his legs went up, his body was staying more horizontal than vertical, and pulling his legs back down before he reached the balance point. I expect this lack of flexibility through the shoulders is probably a common problem with people who've done a lot of weight training, but I have no idea how to combat it, and didn't know what to tell this guy except "Keep trying, and trust that the wall will catch you."
It was a weird feeling. I'm so used to hanging out with people who make all the things I struggle to do look easy - there's the circus people, and then there's DoomBoy, who could do an L-sit a week after I told him what one was (while I still can't after months of trying). And at my practice sessions, I'm always stoked if I manage to maintain a full handstand for more than 10 seconds. It's getting more regular, but I still don't consider myself to be very good at it.
So meeting people who couldn't do it at all? Holy perspective-alteration, Batman!
I don't think I want to think too hard about how embarrassed I felt to be so much better at some physical activity than someone who was a personal trainer. It was the same cognitive dissonance I get when people ask to use my work as an example, or tell me I'm smart. I immediately want to self-efface and not be as good as I am, and I don't really understand that. Bler.
Anyway, it was nice to run into folks who also like to turn upside down. Maybe it's a growing thing!
Meanwhile, what do you think of this? PopSci article entitled "Is ecstasy safer when it's purer?" Propaganda? Balanced? Worthwhile? Stupid? It came in for some critique on the internet yesterday, and I'm curious what other people think.
And finally, in Reasons To Love Dr Wheel #217:
What's not to love?  I should probably point out that the guy in the video is not actually Dr Wheel