06 February 2007

"When you can snatch the pebble from my hand...


...then your training will be complete."

That is NOT the movie quote quiz of the day. The quiz for today's entry will follow the rest of the entry, and will be much, much harder. I mean, I'm getting fleeced here. And not in that nice Farmer Bill way; violently, fiscally fleeced.

It's true: I like adversity. You know what else? I'm one of those types (yes: THOSE TYPES) who can't be happy if he's just relaxing. Not really. I fling myself from project to project in a manic quest for continual stimulation. What can I say? That's how I roll. Some of you may have spent time with me in repose and not know what the hell I'm talking about. Well, I can sit still, but it doesn't take long before said sitting digresses into myopic depression for yours truly. Enjoyment of adversity + need for hustle-bustle = appreciation for invigorating challenges. As an old friend of mine once said, "You like to jump in the fire." Yes. It's warm in there, and people don't care as much about what you're wearing when it's ablaze. Mind you, I'm not saying I'm a Superman(tm)(r)(c) of this approach. I spend my times in the doldrums, and even in the fire it's pretty easy to get lost. But it's the way me likey.

Which brings us to the topic of today's entry:
The handstand.

Oh elusive handstand, how you taunt me so! You El Dorado of acro, you perpendicular pinnacle of achievement! Look at you, STANDING there, taunting me with your perfect, inverted equilibrium. I love you, you bastard, and though you may never requite my love, I will never stop chasing you. To the ends of the earth. I SHALL PURSUE YOU!

For many people, the handstand is a snap, and they have crushes on other, more glamorous acrobatic accomplishments, like standing back-tucks, or an aerial. I'm at peace to report that my meager aim is the good handstand. Some others may believe they have achieved a perfect handstand, and many have, but still many more do not grasp the aspects of so-called handstand perfection. I'm talking an aligned (no collapsed back or bent legs), elongated, stock-still handstand that I decide the eventual release of. That's what I'm talking about! That is the subject to which I am referring!

It's an interesting journey, trying to nail the acrobatic handstand, and--though the effect is simple--there are many factors that are at play in this simple pose. Starting out, you have to learn how to fall. You have to accept the idea of putting yourself in peril and learning from that, hopefully without serious injury. Gradually you learn how to land on your feet from all different directions of fall, which needs to happen, because otherwise you'd not survive these early trials. But then, you know what? You have to forget all you learned about catching yourself, else you spend all your practice time deftly doing just that and not increasing the time you can stay aligned. That interplay continually vacillates, but there are other considerations as well. Just finding perpendicular alignment whilst upside-down is a trick, and requires the development of all new sensory experience. Then there's pushing up off the floor with your shoulders, pointing your toes, and learning to use your fingers as though they were toes. Finally you begin to get these elements to at least play nice together, and quite by accident start to get really good at catching yourself with, and then walking on, your hands. Which is great, and all, but then you have to forget how to do that, or at least suspend it, lest you spend all your time deftly walking instead of sticking the blasted handstand!

Hopefully, life is like that. A continual vacillation between a variety of different choices until, at long last, one attains a more perfect equilibrium. Because, if so, I am AWESOME. Vacillating? I have got that DOWN. Now I just have to stick that damn handstand.

"Do you have Soul?"
"That all depends..."

2 comments:

Andrew said...

It still takes me a few ungainly hops even to get into a handstand. Once there, I can measure my hold time in milliseconds. I am very jealous of people who can pull it off regularly and gracefully.

Jeff Wills said...

Hey: I'm jealous that you can perceive milliseconds. That's way cooler. Anyway, the deck is stacked against you, I'm afraid. I always have to remind myself that it's one thing for a 4'6" Chinese girl to perform these things. You're what, six foot? More to manage. But you'll get there. AS WILL I. AND WE WILL FEAST IN VALHALLA BEFORE THE DAY IS THROUGH!