#118: Adult somersault

28 Apr

Adult somersault: 1. An acrobatic movement in which the legs are flipped over the head as one rolls forward on the ground.  2. Something that should never be attempted.

I can’t remember what TV show I was watching (Toddlers and Tiaras?  What Not to Wear?  Auction Hunters?), but I got it into my head that a handstand didn’t look all that difficult, despite the fact that I’ve never in my life been able to do one, except under water.  After a pathetic attempt, I then decided to do a cartwheel.  I couldn’t do that either.

Well, I thought, I know I can at least do a somersault.  So I crouched down on my hands and knees, placed my head on the ground, and panicked.

I tried rolling just an inch or two on my head, and my neck hurt.  I tried starting with my head almost flipped around so I wouldn’t have too far to go.  I tried starting in a yoga tripod position (which I can’t really do, either).  I couldn’t do it.  Every time the crucial moment–when I had to flip my legs over–came, I started thinking about how this seemed really dangerous and my legs were a lot longer than they had been when I used to do somersaults.  Couldn’t I really injure my neck, head, or legs, depending on how they flailed and where they landed?  Did I want to end up in the ER simply because I was trying to do a trick not meant for adults?  What was I trying to prove, anyway?  There are some things that are only suitable for children, and that’s okay.

So I gave up.  But it kept nagging at me.  Seriously, I couldn’t even do a somersault?

Determined not to give in, 20 minutes later I put my palms on the floor and willed myself to flip over.

It wasn’t pretty.  It may not even have been recognizable as a somersault to anyone who didn’t know that’s what I was doing.  But I did it, and I didn’t end up in the ER, and I proved that I wasn’t too weak/scared/old to do it.

I did wake up with some neck pain today, but who can say for sure that’s attributable to the somersault?


Posted by on April 28, 2012 in Health


Tags: ,

4 responses to “#118: Adult somersault

  1. The Classy Cheapskate

    February 9, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    I just did a somersault in my hallway – nice and slow. However, my neck got a kink or something (instant pain). I laid on the floor and couldn’t get up because my neck hurt to move it even the slightest. I thought, “help, I did a somersault and I can’t get up”. I was home alone. What in the world! I’m skinny and 36 years old. I should not be stuck on the floor. After a few minutes, I made myself roll over and walk downstairs. I am now searching for a way to ease the muscle kink (if that is what it is). I will conquer the somersault. I will attempt this again later. Once my neck feels better. I did a backwards somersault in my first gymnastics class 3 days ago and the same thing happened. I think the secret lies in stretching first. Yep, that’s got to be it.

    • fishmongerairlines

      February 9, 2015 at 8:43 pm

      I’m impressed you’re going to try again! But as I’m sure you understand, it’s worth the pain. Cause if we can’t do an adult somersault, are we even living?

      • The Classy Cheapskate

        February 10, 2015 at 9:54 am

        Right there with you! Today, the pain is only half as much. A bunch of old wrestlers I talked to told me that this is common. I probably just strained something. Online it says this is nothing serious. Neck injuries like this usually heal in a few days. It’s true. It took 3 days for my first injury to heal. I should be good to go by this Friday for my second gymnastics class. Now, this is living! Hey, if you get time, check out my gymnastics video. I started an adult “Stayin’ Young Club”. The video is from our first gymnastics class that the YMCA created just for us. Here is the youtube link. You might enjoy watching it. It’s only like 2 minutes long and I’m dancing throughout to make things more exciting because a bunch of adults didn’t want filmed (too embarrassed). Stay young fishmonger!

  2. Judit Navratil

    November 12, 2016 at 1:52 am

    i started a long distance somersault career as an art project and it’s getting really funny.


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