I found out while surfing the net that parkour is called an extreme sport.
Oh goody. I’m not even in decent shape yet and I’m training in an extreme sport with a bunch of crazy-ass young guys that insurance companies hate precisely because they are crazy-ass risk-taking young guys.
Today in class #3 it was, among many other things, doing handstands (CAN’T DO THEM!) and then tucking and rolling out and smoothly jumping back up. I could only do this with an instructor spotting me. When I was younger I sometimes did handstands against a wall. With no wall I had no balance and would fall and hurt myself, or so I assumed, hence I didn’t even try.
Now I wonder.
Part of me really wants to go with these handstands, even though it seems a potential escape mechanism Layla wouldn’t bother with. Still, if I can learn to balance on my hands for one second before tuck-rolling out, I will feel so hot.
What I really don’t like is that I’ve only taken three parkour classes so far and I’m only in the first month of my Becoming Layla Plan, yet already I’m finding myself forced to confront limitations I’ve placed on myself, limitations I didn’t even know were in me. And I didn’t know I’d created so many or that they had become a part of me, like reflexes.
Take the jump and dive roll. Jake placed a mini-tramp in front of a three-foot thick pad and told us to run for it and jump as high as we could before tucking and doing a dive roll onto the mat.
My reaction was: No. Don’t think so. I didn’t so much as do tricks like this in high school phys ed and that was decades ago anyway. But I kept my mouth shut, got in line, and like the guys just did it and got in about a dozen turns. And my jump dive rolls were fine, as were other parkour stuff I’ve now done that I mentally swore were beyond my ability.
It really helps that I’m working out with crazy young guys. Unlike me, they don’t seem to feel surges of hesitancy holding them back, which is how most (not all) middle-aged women in this class would react (AND DON’T TAKE OFFENSE LADIES CAUSE YOU KNOW THAT’S TRUE!). The guys just plain don’t feel or don’t show the need to have someone encourage them and hold their hands and walk them through a challenging new physical action until they feel comfortable with it. They just fucking do it. It’s as if the neuronal synapses in their brains that would wire them for self-preservation and caution haven’t yet fully connected and instead are firing like runaway fireworks. This means they move with an unfettered sense of physical freedom and control and power.
And I have put myself in a situation where I have to keep up with these guys. It’s both a hell of a challenge and my good fortune.
God bless crazy young guys.