I was upside down last night. Sure, it was only for a few seconds and I had a spotter, but for a brief moment at my Crossfit class, I found myself inverted in front of a class full of far fitter people. Yes, handstands happen every day. No, a handstand is not a marvel of physics (although I certainly feel like I tested some of its limits…), but for a brief moment my lumbering 6’2, 250-pound frame was looking at the world from an entirely different perspective.
It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t like I did it on my own and I wasn’t like I didn’t nearly bust my ass once or twice getting there. It’s not even a given that I’ll ever be able to do a handstand on my own, but for 20 minutes of risk, the idea of something that was implausible a day earlier became a possibility.
There are a lot of very stupid things that we tell ourselves, the dumbest of them all being: “I can’t do that”. Yesterday, I went into class thinking exactly that. When I saw that we would focus on handstand practice, I considered sprinting for the door (and not as a warmup). Thankfully I didn’t and in less than 20 minutes – thanks to the help of a good coach and a trusty spotter – I saw the world upside down.
We’re quick to eliminate things… we decide that they’re either too hard or too crazy, but with the right support system and a better mindset we have more options than we allow ourselves to believe.
I’ve gotten a lot out of these past few months of Crossfit – most of which involve me dying a few pounds lighter and a few years later – but nothing comes close to the wealth of contradictory data about what I can and what I can’t do. Every time I walk through those doors – right after I look over at the daily “fun” – I feel myself getting ready to say “I can’t do that”. And – even though it may not be pretty and I may not always be able to do it exactly – every time I stick around, it turns out I can.
Kind of makes me wonder what’s possible if I keep applying the same approach to more than just my regular (or in this case, irregular) workout…