I'm afraid of handstands.
I didn't know I was afraid of handstands until we were asked to do handstand push-ups at Crossfit. If you couldn't do a handstand push-ups, just do handstands.
I told myself: Plant your hands, throw your legs up, the wall is there to catch you.
Then I froze at plant your hands.
That was a few weeks ago. Coach N. had me practice just planting my hands and kicking my legs up.
Today, we had handstand push-ups again.
Plant your hands, throw your legs up, the wall is there to catch you.
I froze at plant your hands.
I don't know why I'm so afraid of being upside down. I ride roller coasters. I'll even go on the rickety Zipper at the county fair.
My parents weren't murdered while I was hanging by my knees from a trapeze.
And it's not like I'm afraid of everything. Spiders, mice, rats, snakes, close spaces, heights, speaking in front of hundreds of people. I've scaled walls and jumped into muddy pits of water where you couldn't see the bottom for fun.
That shit is scary.
Plant your hands, plant your hands, plant your hands, I told myself.
STFU, STFU, STFU, my lizard brain responded.
Coach B. gave me options after I told him that was "just having a little panic."
Because I am a grown-ass woman. AFRAID OF HANDSTANDS.
You can do something else, he said.
I have to do this, I responded.
He promised to catch my legs and I said okay, trying not to break into tears.
I moved to Los Angeles at 22 with no money and knowing no one and handstands were making me cry?
I got through the workout and thought about it later while getting my car washed.
There are so many athletic endeavors where we're told to trust our body.
Listen to your body.
But what if your body is a goddamned liar?
I've always been good at moving around weight. I was an aggressive basketball player, and when I played baseball, I'd slide into home plate, no problem. I can grind through almost anything. I won't be the fastest or the best, but I'll finish.
And then there's a handstand.
I told Coach B. after class that even if I was afraid of doing a handstand, that he couldn't let me off the hook.
Failure is an option. Not trying isn't.
It's not like anyone ever died while doing a handstand, right?
(DON'T TELL ME IF THEY DID.)
P.S. I cleaned 100 pounds today.