Thursday, January 17, 2008

About 3 1/2 years ago, when I was a young 28 and had just had my fourth son, my oldest asked me if I could do a cartwheel. Of course I could, I did it all the time as a teenager, so why not now? I still felt (and acted) like a teenager so I never thought twice about the question.

Within minutes, I positioned myself for the amazingly graceful cartwheel that I was about to wow my children with. I stuck out my right foot, threw up my arms, took a deep breath, and as my first hand touched the ground and my foot left it, I knew I was in trouble. It seemed like time went into slow motion. I felt every inch of my body scream out in protest as gravity pulled me into 67 different directions. I wasn't even sure if I was going to make it back into a standing position. It's quite amazing how fast the mind can think hundreds of thoughts in such a tiny space of time.
I started to think about how embarrassed I would be if I didn't complete the full cartwheel. That, and how the respect and confidence of my children rested on this one moment. If I couldn't succeed, from that point on, I knew it would always be, "Well, Mom couldn't even do a cartwheel, how can she do ....?"

Anyway, once I was back upright, I smiled, fixed my hair, and then pretended to tie my shoe. I figured that I needed to be closer to the ground just in case I passed out. I was so upset. It was the first time in my life that I felt like I had aged and I didn't really appreciate it.
I am trying to age gracefully, but that moment seemed to punch me in the face. I wasn't ready to admit that I was getting older. I will never say that I am past my prime because I think that every age can be that.

Just the other night, I saw someone on the news doing a split. I actually had the thought,"I can do that - piece of cake." I believe that with every ounce of my being - in fact, I'll go try it right now.....

This is my most recent picture. If you look closely, you can see that at least I am smiling.


Erika said...

Is it sad that I had one of those moments when I was 24? I know, it's not sad, it's pathetic... have you heard of the new book out called, "How Not To Look Old, Look 10 years younger, 10 pounds lighter and 10 Times Better"?? I think that's the whole tittle, I know I'm at least close. I heard the author on the radio the other day and I want to read it really badly!

Amy said...


You're funny Amber.

Suzie said...

funny, Amber.

A week before my 30th b-day I took my kids to a park where I did my last ever round-off back handspring. I wanted them to remember me young and for all the cool things i did and do with them.
It almost killed me. I have never seen so many stars before in all my life.

And my kids bareley remember it.

way to try the cartwheel.

The Wards said...

You are a great story teller.

After I have this baby (many months after), I will practice doing a cartwheel and the splits and then come over to your house and show you. I am telling you this as a way to force myself back into shape. Please be patient if the many months turns into many years. -Jeana

Nate & Jess & Jr. said...

Awww thats sad. Kind of like sad when I couldn't fit into my pre-pregnancy pants & had to go one size up!

Nathan complains he can't do the splits between 2 chairs like he used to. But he's working on it again.

At least you can do it still! You look like a fun peppy mom!

Shelley said...

Ha, Ha! You crack me up!