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bear by san

March 2017



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spies mfu goodliest outside napoleon

bring me your lovely light. i'll be your satellite.

I totally just did a tripod headstand with no spotter and no wall. This physical fitness thing is really awesome.

(Scott took the photo. Because he is tolerant. And he's been spotting me since last year some time while I practiced. He is a patient soul.)

I have not been this geeked about a yoga accomplishment since wheel pose. (Proper crow was pretty exciting too, I admit. And handstands, even though I still use a wall and cheat to get up. And bound side angle. But wheel was the best! And so is this. Exhilarating. Success, when you have worked for it, is the greatest thing in the world.)

You practice and practice and accept that you're never going to get it and you fall over a lot and then one day it happens and it's actually easy. Easy-ish. Easier than you expected. Much easier than the practicing made it seem like it would be.

I was thirty years old before I learned how to learn things. Nobody has ever taught me. Either I could do things or I couldn't, and there was never anybody who explained to me that no, you have to study. You have to fail. And keep failing better (and trying different things and researching and stuff) until you're not failing any more.

It was writing novels that taught me this, by the way. Because I never could. And then eventually I just kept trying long enough and did. Then I wrote four more, and sold one.

Reader, I had an epiphany. Stuff doesn't just happen or not happen. I mean, some of it does. But some of it happens because you keep doing hard things long enough to learn the knack of it, and then it's less hard.

Writing novels is exactly the same thing as running thirteen miles, or doing a headstand, or learning how to cook.

And I'm better at this stuff at 41 than I was at 14. It's amazing how useful it is to know how to learn things.

Also, damn, have I got some spinal erectors going on. Let's hear it for deadlifts, boys and girls.

Now to work on my form.


I have the opposite learning going on now: I could always do a backbend (I call them that because I learned it in little-kid tumbling and then gymnastics rather than yoga) and learned to do a headstand on my own at, oh, 9 or so. So I don't really remember not being able to do them. Now I don't, though, and it turns out that I no longer have the back flexibility for a backbend, and while I can still kick up to a handstand, it hurts my wrists too much. (I can still do a headstand, though.) So to continue your practice metaphor, stuff happens because you keep doing hard things long enough to learn the knack of it, and then in many cases it keeps happening only because you keep practicing that knack.

(Not that that would help the wrist issue, though. Sometimes you just accrue injuries.)