”But you must be a gymnast?”
This is a question I get quite a lot from people who see me do handstands, play with the rings or do some stretchy stuff. My answer is usually something like;
”No, I’m not a gymnast”
To which they reply;
”But when you were a kid you did gymnastics, right?”
”No, actually I played football, floorball and ice hockey. I started with this thing in my twenties”
”But, but, but…?”
I think some people have a mindset that to learn something you need to learn it as a kid, otherwise it’s to late. If you play football as a kid, then you are a football player. If you do gymnastics, then you are a gymnast.
You can learn stuff no matter what age you are!
At the same time, yeah, I kinda understand them. I use to be a football player. You know, one of those stiff guys that could barely touch his feet and the only relationship I had to stretching was when we used to joke about not doing it.
Sometimes I can hear this voice deep inside my head, the voice of that stiff little football player whispering to me;
”Dude, you’re not suppose to do this. You know you can’t do handstands, splits, bridges and all that flexy stuff. You are a football player”
I think this voice holds med back. I limit myself for what is possible and make it harder for me to progress further. Because even if I have done this for some time now, this is still new to me. Unexplored and terrifying territory. But when I look back to see where I started, to see what I have already learned and what I have accomplished… sometimes I can’t believe it’s actually me…
I also look forward to see what is coming next, because of course I dream of more. Not to be the best, but to see what I’m capable of. But as long as it remains a dream, as long as I don’t put in enough effort to actually say I tried, the longer it will take before I also fail… because of course I’m gonna fail… I’m a football player. Football players run around and kick balls, have cool haircuts and ignores stretching. They don’t monkey around doing handstands, dance, acrobatics or splits. That’s that.
I believe many of us hear that little voice sometimes. A doubtful voice that holds us back. And yes, some people like this, needs this doubt to challenge them to be better. But I also think that a lot of us also need encouragement and belief. So I encourage you now to NOT listen to that voice. Instead try to find a new voice, one that believes in you. One that says you can do this, no matter your background, if you just put in the work. In my head I hear this with the voice of Gandalf from Lord of the rings. That’s very comforting.
Trying new things, learning, improvement, having fun, these are all things that is and should be accessible for every one. No age limit! It isn’t and shouldn’t always be about becoming the best of everyone. It is and it should be about becoming the best of you. You don’t have to be a pro at sport, instead be a pro at life. And even if you really want to become the best of everyone at something you always have to start somewhere. All those pro athletes you see doing amazing things all started doing a lot of shitty things. Then they practiced and then they got better. Regardless their age.
So to sum this up where we started. Maybe I am in fact a gymnast now? Or maybe I’m not? Actually I think I don’t want to be a gymnast, I just want to be… me. Me doing gymnastic stuff.