Letting Go

I have a bit of a summer cold. Sore throat, headache. It’s not that I can’t function, just that I feel like curling up into a ball and taking a nap. Moms generally don’t get to do that — god forbid! But I crave “poor you”-ness from my husband and daughters. Poor me.

I am the world’s worst sick person. It annoys me not to feel well. It makes me impatient. I’m fortunate not to get sick that often, and my friends and family are fortunate too, or my moping and whining would drive all of them crazy. Todd can be at death’s door and I’d never know it, because he just doesn’t complain. I’m the exact opposite. I find it incredibly frustrating to be sick, even slightly.

Everyone gets frustrated, of course. But I have tended to let frustration spiral, to allow it to shut me down or slam doors to things I could have done, should have done, wanted to do but ended up abandoning because I got so annoyed about an obstacle or fear that I let it make the decision for me: “I can’t do this. It’s too hard. I suck. Why bother?”

I see this same tendency in my older daughter, Kate — many things come easily to her, and when something doesn’t, she gets upset and frustrated immediately. Oh, man, was that me. I’m trying to help her learn to take a breath and try again, or leave it for a while and come back, or try it a different way. Or I explain that it’s practice, getting used to something, gaining confidence in your ability that will help you accomplish it. (My other daughter, Sara, has a stubborn, determined streak that’s going to serve her quite well.)

All this is on my mind not just because I’m under the weather, but because I am still unable to kick up into a handstand. I can do a lovely one with an assist — you press your ankle into your partner’s hand, and you push up that way — but when I try to do it on my own, it doesn’t happen. Some days I’m fine with where I am. But today in class I so wanted to do it, and I knew what I needed to do in order to do it. I practically had a physical craving to do it. But I still could not f’ing do it.

I can kick myself up into a headstand pretty gracefully now, and even a forearm stand, if I use a block. So I know what the movement is supposed to feel like. But put me on my hands and it’s a completely different story. I try to make my side body long and melt my heart. I try to make my arms strong but to avoid locking my elbows. I know I need to get my hips up over my shoulders, and I can do that in those other inversions. But when I’m on my hands, the foundation doesn’t seem to be there, or at least I’m not confident that it is.

You might wonder why this is such a big deal to me. I don’t know that I have an adequate answer. But it requires a leap of faith that I still won’t allow myself to take, as much as I want to. Today Phil said to me, “Just let go!” For whatever reason, I couldn’t. And that frustrates me to no end.

I’d like to think that in the past few years I’ve learned to let go, to trust in my own center and strength and just go for it. So what is the roadblock here? Am I afraid of falling? Probably, though I know that I’m strong enough. I know the proper way to set up. I can see it all in my mind’s eye. But my physical self won’t cooperate. And then I get that old feeling again: “This is pointless. I can’t do this. I’m never going to be able to. I suck.” Poor me.

But I don’t really want to wallow in stuff like that anymore.

So. I know I can get this. I will get it, if only because I want it so much. It will take more practice, and patience. And some act of letting go, some leap of faith that I really want to find a way to take.

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