All I had to do was get on the balance beam, walk slowly to the other side, and hop off. That’s it.
I was in my early twenties and had never taken a gymnastics class before, but my small figure alone should’ve been enough to make me a natural gymnast. At only 4 feet 11 inches (okay, fine it’s actually 10 inches) and 102 pounds (okay, fine 105 now, probably. Who cares?) I should’ve been able to bend my body around like a crazy straw.
Unfortunately, I overestimated my capabilities. First of all, I’ve got Ds. On a good day, double Ds. I’m not saying that all gymnasts have tiny boobs, but I would probably need about three sports bras to hold everything down if I had to wear one of those tiny body suits. I’m also not saying that it was because of my lovely lady lumps that I failed as a gymnast (although, I’m sure there’s some sort of center-of-gravity-physics-science-distribution-of-weight-Pythagorean-theorem sort of explanation out there).
So, I placed my hands, palms down, on the balance beam. So far so good. Next, I was supposed to hoist myself off the ground by doing a little jump and pushing with my hands. Then, I was going to bring my right leg over and straddle the balance beam.
I wish I could say that I got this far.
Somewhere in between my jump and the pushing with my hands, I ended up hanging upside down from the balance beam, and eventually with my back flat on the ground. As I stared at the ceiling, I thought about what I would do next. Falling isn’t something that generally generates applause (unless, people wanna be jerks), but I decided that I wasn’t going to let it stop me. I got back up, smiled, and held my head high as I walked away from the balance beam, towards the vault.