My gymnastics career ended at the ripe old age of five.
I loved my red stirup tights.
I loved my pink leotard covered with rainbow colored hearts.
I did not love falling off the balance beam during our class demonstration for friends and family.
A growth spurt ensured that back handsprings and parallel bars weren’t in my long-term plans.
Once the crotch of those red stirup tights refused to stretch further than my knees no matter how hard I tugged at them, I was done. I was not about to look like a rather unwell penguin as I faked my way through cartwheels.
That’s right, totally faked it.
I wouldn’t even try, but I sure tried hard at making it look like I was trying.
My “cartwheels” looked an awful lot like downward dog if you tried to stay in the pose and then hop your feet sideways about six inches. Tada!
“Basketball looks like fun.”
And that’s always been the way.
Just explain away your fear. No harm, no foul.
But something’s changed.
The thing I’ve learned about cartwheels is that they are darn near impossible if you try to keep all your weight on the ground. All that heavy, heavy weight of your lower body.
You’ve got to plant your hands firmly. Really root them deep.
And then comes the hard part.
You’ve got to thrust your body skyward with everything you’ve got.
You’ve got to let go of your lower body, let go of the Earth that your feet so instinctively want to dig into.
You’ve got to put your faith squarely where your fear is.
Every single fear, from the ones that seem silly to the ones that bring you to your knees. Or bring you to a really awkward downward dog hop.
Summer is ending.
Life is changing.
I’m standing in the grass, gripping every blade with my toes so hard that the joints are turning white.
But I’m not alone.
No faking it. No trying to make it look like you’re trying.
Living for yourself, living in fear—it’s exhausting.
Yet when you release the world, when you grasp onto faith with His word etched on your heart,
there’s nothing you can’t do.
And this time, you’re not the one saying, “Tada!”