yesterday, i was working with a group of 3-5 year old. precious, precious little girls. and there is one girl in particular who just steals my heart away. she’s four. let’s call her mia (all names are changed to protect the innocent!).
anyway, this group loves to invert…headstands, handstands, shoulderstands. it’s all they want to do and they never want to come down. except little mia. she is scared to death of the very thought of doing an inversion. literally, every time i even mention it, she tears up and almost cries in utter anxiety…until i assure her that she doesn’t have to do it unless she wants to. huge sigh of relief…like the kind that lifts all the air in a room.
i have managed to get mia to do headstand prep (tripod with legs on arms), which she “loves”, and backwards handstand (feet up the wall in a modified down dog), which she “loves loves loves”, but despite my assurances that in tens of thousands of spots, i have never once dropped anyone, no can do. every class she assures me “i’ll do it next time” or “i’ll do it when i’m five”.
so…yesterday i had this great idea. i bought “courage” bracelets for everyone (like the livestrong kind) and said that everyone who does an inversion with me gets one. oh, the kids were jumping out of their skin to be the first to go. mia, “it’s okay. i don’t really want a bracelet.” she says this, by the way, not in a downtrodden way, but in a self-assured, “oh well!” kind of a way.
okay. so, everyone’s done their inversions and she is the last one. i walk over to her and she says she’ll practice by herself without help. i said okay, but can i stand by and watch. she was cool with that. i watched her once. great. i watched her twice. good job. third time, she puts her head down and i go in for the kill, grab her waist and pull her up into a full headstand.
she freaks out a little. all the kids are cheering her on. then she actually uses her little abs to curl all the way up (wow!) so she is basically sitting right in my arms (upright), facing me. the blood has rushed from her face in terror. but i don’t react. i let out the biggest smile and the loudest cheer and i parade her around the room so everyone can cheer her on for doing the headstand. and as i do…huge smile…and then “i love love love it!”
it was a great day for mia. and me…