Many people come to the KIV thinking they’ll have so much time on their hands that they’ll exercise like fiends and go home with the body of Channing Tatum/Kate Upton, gender-respectively. Hell, when I first arrived, someone told me, “You’ll definitely lose weight here, either from exercising or dysentery.” The thing is, I’ve been about the same weight my entire adult life (not counting when I was pregnant and post-partem—babies make you fat), so expecting to suddenly become a hard-body because I’ve got slightly more time on my hands is unrealistic, and I’m all about realistic goals.
But still, everyone else has a fitness goal, why not me? So in the spirit of bandwagoning and one-upping, I picked a couple goals: teach myself to do a back walk-over and a handstand! Backflips have always been my dream…literally, it’s a recurring dream I have. Not sure what it means about my psyche.
Goals established, I’ve started working on making my gymnastics fantasy a reality. My biggest hurdle? Well, some might say I’m too old for this shit. Stiff joints and all. Also, for some medical mystery the skin on my shoulders and feet is going numb…but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! Just the other day, a heavy block of wood fell on my foot, and all I felt was an uncomfortable tingling sensation. Silver lining! When you get old, sometimes things go numb. It happens. But as Conan the Barbarian says to his shitty god Crom, I say to the hands of time: “To ‘Ell wit yoo!”
Learning how to do a handstand is pretty easy—all you have to do is kick your legs up and support your weight on your hands, using the wall as balance. Practice it about eight thousand times, until you can balance without the wall. That’s it, really. The hard part is not flashing everyone as your shirt tries to slide off your torso while you’re upside down.
The back walk-over is trickier. Here are the steps, per the Internets:
Step one: learn how to consistently do a backbend without snapping my spine in two. After about a month, I’m there! Sure, my wrists and shoulders scream bloody murder every time I do so, but it’s not a problem to get into the position anymore. Step one – complete!
Step two: from the backbend position, kick my legs over. I’m working on this step now. If I scooch up to the wall, I can walk up it and kick over, feeling like a total badass in the process, while other gym rats stare at me and wonder what the hell I’m doing (or they just stare cuz they’re pervs). I’ll keep doing that until I don’t need the wall anymore.
Step three: from a standing position, drop into the backbend position, then kick over (step two) for the full back walk-over miracle to occur.
Eventually I’ll need someone to help me with step three so I don’t keep flopping painfully onto my back. I’ve enlisted a coworker to be my workout buddy, a giant-sized man with a thick Hispanic accent—we call him “The Mountain,” or sometimes “Hodor” if we feel like ribbing him.
“I will help you fleep,” he said, “if you do CrossFeet with me.”
…Shit. Fucking CrossFit—or as I like to call it, “Extreme Poop-Squatting.”
While the Mountain perfects the form of dropping a load onto the gym floor whilst holding a barbell, I think I’ll teach myself to climb a rope, too.