We were out in the garden enjoying the sunshine the other day when my sister asked, could I still do a cartwheel. I laughed as I recalled the last time I had tried to do one. It was a few years ago and my elder daughter, who was around five at the time, had asked if I could teach her.
‘Of course,’ I replied, ‘I’m brilliant at cartwheels.’
But when I proceeded to demonstrate, I felt a rip and emerged having pulled a muscle or three in my thighs. I was deeply shocked and upset that I was unable to do something that had always come so naturally. In fact, there was a time when I would readily cartwheel at any and every given opportunity.
You often see young girls, in particular, practising cartwheels, wherever there is space to do so. It’s like an itch that you can’t help but scratch, something that you are unable to stop yourself from doing. I was exactly the same, be it cartwheels, handstands or leapfrog and remember being around the age of eighteen and still randomly leaping over bollards when out and about.
But there must have come a time when I stopped doing all that. When it just didn’t seem acceptable anymore. And what a shame that I did. Wouldn’t it be great be able to just do a random cartwheel whilst out taking a walk in the park?
Inspired by this thought and also by my gymnastics crazy daughter, I recently proved to myself that I can still do a headstand and a handstand against the wall. I daren’t try the cartwheel though, after last time, but I’m content with what I can still achieve. Not bad for a thirty something year old is it?!