I’ve had a recurring dream. It’s very simple. I’ve had it for as long as I can remember. I’m sitting on the ground with my legs extended in front of me. Then gracefully I hinge forward. My belly lies atop my thighs and my forehead rests on my shins. Its effortless and comfortable. Then I wake up.
In real life I have never been considered flexible. As a kid the sit-and-reach was the one fitness test that was hardest to achieve. Running, no problem. Pull ups, piece of cake. I had to train for the sit-and-reach so I could get that darn presidential fitness test award.
As an adult triathlete I’m certainly flexible enough. Just enough to not get injured. Flexible enough that among my endurance sports clients and friends I’m the flexible one. So you’d think this would be good enough.
But my restless athletic urges have lead me to desire new challenges. I considered martial arts and circus arts, and acrobatics. The bottom line is that I want to handstand, and L-sit, and pistol squat. Would pressing to handstand and a full bridge be too much to ask? Whatever the movement is, it’s the flexibility that I’ve always considered a barrier. For a long time I’ve believed that these things were simply not possible for me. If I wasn’t flexible as a kid then there was no way I could ever achieve it as an adult.
But then I started searching…
The internet is a rabbit hole of information. There is more out there then you could ever get your hands on. I’ll share some of my highlights.
Reddit’s Bodyweight Fitness forum lead me to The Most Comprehensive Handstand Tutorial by Antranik which was eye opening. After a few weeks stretching my shoulders my handstand started to improve. It only made me curiouser.
It lead me to…
Kit Laughlin’s Stretch Therapy – grace and ease in cat-like movement. I read everything I could about him and his program and his philosophy. I want to take ALL his workshops. But he’s in Australia…
Coach Sommer’s Gymnastic Bodies whose programs are seriously hardcore impressive but his philosophy is out of step with mine.
Then I found GMB Fitness whose tag line is “Fun, smart fitness for physical autonomy.” I spent hours on their website. Its founders have backgrounds in gymnastics, and martial arts, and yoga, and physical therapy and yet have a very approachable philosophy. I felt so excited I began to get suspicious that it couldn’t be all that I hoped it would be.
After reading everything I could about GMB and their trainers I took the plunge. I’m two weeks in to their Focused Flexibility and Elements programs.
I’m flirting with hope that my flexible dream is maybe not completely unattainable.