When I was a kid, I used to take acrobatics class. I got there because my ballet teacher at the time said "Rachel, you have no grace....maybe you'd like acrobatics instead." I was really hurt at first, but the moment I took my first tumbling class, I fell in love.
My body was designed for it - strong, short, flexible and powerful. I remember my teacher always using me as the example of class "Rachel, show them the backhand spring - class, look at how her legs push her back strongly."
All through my youth, I would do back bends, cartwheels, walk for across my house and lawn doing handstands, back flips and would roll around without a care in the world. And even in soccer, my teammates coined a move the "Rachel Roll" where if someone tripped me, I would go right into a moving somersault and then flip right back up! It was fun, a lot of fun.
But as I got older and gained weight, I stopped doing the more daring things because I thought I couldn't. I was embarrassed of my shirt rising up when I'd tumble over and my pudgy tummy showing.
I've been practicing yoga for over seven years now and while I love the meditative and peaceful qualities of the practice, I REALLY like that it allows me to hearkened back to a time when I could be flexible and athletic.
One of my favorite things was a headstand...and this past week, I wanted to see if my body could still remember how to do it. I posted this video to the More To Love Facebook page and it got people excited.
As a larger woman, you don't see to often bigger bodies being really bendy and flexible. I think it's really easy to assume your body can't do things, so you never try. This goes for any shape, but when you're larger, the worry and fear about body capability can feel overwhelming.
For me, being able to do a headstand today is more about the willingness to not let fear and assumptions stop me from doing things which I once enjoyed, or, challenging myself. I've always been a bit of a daredevil and think that approach to life allows you to take more risks and meet your potentials.
But most of all, it's fun. And that's a good enough reason because when people see you having fun, it makes them feel it too and perhaps more likely to try something out for themselves.