I realize that at my age and in my physical condition, my gymnastics days are waaaaaay behind me but when Gracie challenged me to do a cartwheel in the backyard I had no doubt that I could pull off something so basic.
As a teenager I was able to do cartwheels, handstands, headstands and backflips with the best of them. While I recognized that my headstand and backflips days were ones I’d never see again, surely a basic cartwheel was still in my repertoire.
First of all, let me say that I am tremendously relieved that our backyard is completely fenced in and very private. Second, I’m forever grateful that my daughter didn’t think to have her cell phone with her so there is no visual record of this event that could end up publicly humiliating me on Facebook or YouTube.
So I’m sure by now you have a clue that my cartwheel didn’t go as smoothly as planned. The first part went ok as my hands headed toward the ground. At my age, surrendering my body to the forces of gravity is an everyday thing. Speaking of gravity though, apparently when I was a cartwheeling teenager my breasts were cooperative enough to remain in proper position so as not to hit me in the face. As a middle-aged mom, those same breasts used this as an opportunity to go AWOL from their bra harness. I didn’t have time to worry about my flapping breasts though because I was focused on the fact that my legs decided halfway through the cartwheel that this wasn’t a good idea. They wanted down and they wanted it immediately. My main concern became not breaking my arms and then having to explain to everyone how it happened. I managed to hang on long enough to get my feet planted back on the ground and stood up in triumph (ok, actually it was just relief). I had successfully done a cartwheel…sort of.
After taking a moment to return certain body parts that were not meant for public viewing, back into position, I looked at Gracie for her reaction.
“Don’t ever do that again.” she said.
“I won’t.” I replied.
“Mom, that was really embarrassing. Let’s keep this between us, ok?” Gracie said, as she walked and I hobbled back into the house.