Thursday, September 26, 2013

I'm too old to to do this

My 5-year-old son, took a few classes of gymnastics this summer. One of the things he learned there was a handstand (with support). For the next few days, he was constantly practicing his new skill, most of the time without anybody to spot him, which didn't make me feel too comfortable, but there is no stopping him. We settled on a couple of places where there was more open space and floor was covered with a rug.

One day, with my husband and I in the room, he started practicing again and I said that I used to do that in my gym class. Hmm.. that would mean last time I did that was about 19 years ago.. I should have expected he would ask me to show it to him. My immediate response was “Well, it's been so long ago, I don't think I can do that anymore” while picturing myself falling on my head and hurting my neck or whatever else. My husband smiled at me and said “Oh, come on, I'll spot you.”
Great.. Why did I say anything about it? Now if I don't try, my husband will think I don't trust him, and my son will be disappointed. That's not a lesson I want to teach my child.

OK, fine, I'll try it, but I'm really not sure I can do that anymore.”

So the first time was a failure. I did not push off hard enough.
I tried again. To my greatest surprise, I did it! My husband caught my feet just in time so I would not fall over. For a good few seconds, I was standing on my hands.
Really? I was able to do that? I was not too old to do that?

Ok, so I'm 36 and I don't consider myself old-old. However, doesn't having 2 kids, a husband, a house, a 9-5 job and all the responsibility that comes with it, make you kind of old? If it was not for my son's asking me about doing a handstand, I would never actually consider doing it. But really, WHY NOT?

And it occurred to me, that being “old” is a big excuse so many of us use because we are afraid to try and fail.
What if I was not able to do the handstand? Well, then I would have known that yeah, my skill is gone, but at least I tried and now I know. It surly would not mean that I am old.

Sure, there are still things I do not try even when my son asks me to.
Can you burp loud?” - Maybe, but that's not the behavior I care to endorse.
Can you lift this couch?”. So my back is bad (I'm still not old), and the couch is heavy. .. I know my limitations.  If I want to stay active with the kids, I better stay away from things like that.

So here's what my son taught me:
Never use your old age as an excuse for not trying. Instead, use your years of life experiences to be smart in what you are trying.”

So make a goal, try something different today - something you might not normally do.  Maybe even a handstand***.

*** Check with your physician before attempting.  I cannot be held accountable for any bodily harm, damaged goods, holes in the wall that may occur as a result of "trying".  That's where the 2nd part of my wisdom comes in.. so be smart and try!


  1. Hello from a Forget Me Nots fellow team member! I love this post and pinned it! At 52 years old I definitely know my limitations, although I admit that sometimes I forget that I'm not 30 anymore. LOL

    1. Hi Judy, I don't know how I missed your comment. Thank you so much!