Super excited to be invited to run the Lululemon SeaWheeze half-marathon in August. It’s a run-yoga-party event in Vancouver that’s hugely popular and entries are sold out. I’m not into yoga but I’ll take the run, party – and my first trip to Canada’s west coast (and first time back in Canada since spending half a year studying in Ontario back in 2003)!
Week one of my five-week handstand challenge with Pure Fitness was a bit static, learning the perfect handstand position (first on two feet), how to engage all the muscles in the body for rock solid tightness from head to toe, and basic handstand support drills. This week, however, things got much more exciting and active.
After some wrist stretches (I’d already warmed up by running from home to the gym in Lan Kwai Fong), Pure Fitness gymnastic movement coach Amy Ridge started off the session proper by teaching me how to get out of the handstand position and also how to get into it.
Learning to exit a handstand properly is for safety’s sake. The ideal way is to forward roll out of it. We practised rolling from squatting, from a pike handstand and from a handstand against the wall. It made me feel like a seven-year-old all over again.
Learning how to get into a handstand properly makes holding the handstand a lot easier. You don’t want to be kicking into it so hard that you can’t control your legs at the top. The idea is to take a big step and lunge into it, lifting the leg rather than kicking it up. (So much easier said than done.)
Then Amy taught me a new circuit of exercises that I’d have to do three sets of at least five times a week. The circuit was tough, with a lot of inversions involved. The toughest one involved walking on the hands with the feet against the wall. You start off in the front support position, facing away from the wall. You then walk your feet up the wall as you walk your hands towards the wall, eventually getting into a wall-facing handstand. Then you walk your hands back out and feet back down. Repeat two more times. Did anyone say wrist, shoulder, and butt cramp?!!
In the first week Amy had also given me a circuit of nine exercises to do, but I only managed a few minutes of practice in total in a week. With a full-time job and caring for a baby single-handedly, practice is hard to come by. I’ll try my best.
Even if I fail in the end to reach my goal of holding a handstand (unsupported) for five seconds, it’s definitely giving me a great total body strength and conditioning workout… plus, it’s a ton of fun.
I have run past this spot countless times but I never get tired of this view because it always makes me feel like, yeah, this is home.
To add some excitement to my otherwise pretty mundane trail running routine, I have taken on a five-week handstand challenge at Pure Fitness. The goal is to hold a handstand unsupported – and not against a wall – for at least five seconds. Along the way I also hope to regain and surpass the core strength I had pre-pregnancy.
The first PT sesh took place yesterday with gymnast Amy Ridge at Pure’s newest outlet at Lan Kwai Fong. Amy definitely makes everything look easy. But believe me, none of these positions, even simply standing, was easy. My achy body today can attest to that.
It’s going to take a lot of diligent daily practice to reach my goal. With weekly updates in the SCMP, there’s certainly tons of motivation to keep at it.
“What day is it?”
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”
– A A Milne