I’m not exactly afraid of heights, but when you peek over a ravine, for most people doing a handstand isn’t on the top of their list. It’s wasn’t exactly on mine either. Balancing on your hands is one thing, but adding the risk of tumbling to your death, some would definitely consider that going too far.
Just getting into a handstand in a studio in itself is a gamble. I would go through scenarios in my head of jumping into handstand and falling on my face (which actually happened on more than one occasion). I also used to have visions of me gracefully entering one in a packed studio, and then to my horror slowly falling over and knocking people over like sweaty human dominos.
There were definitely times where my fears were strong, and the odds of failing seemed too great. But I stuck with the course and often stayed after my yoga class and would plug way at my handstand.
Gradually over time, my handstands became more consistent, and I began to notice little changes. They were more likely to stick. They took less time to get into. They became longer and stronger. My technique became better. Every day that I took a risk, the risk started to pay off. This isn’t to say that I attempted handstands unscathed. I definitely would miss some, but occasionally I would also definitely nail them.
Taking risks isn’t just about yoga either. I remember the day I took a risk to squat my first bar laden with 45 pound plates (which can be very scary!). Or the time I risked running my first half marathon and hoping I would make it to the finish. Taking a risk in life can take many shapes, not just in fitness.
Maybe a risk for you is a new job or relationship. Maybe that risk asks you to move to a different city. Risks are all around us!
The question is, what do you define as your risks? What scares you? Sometimes breaking the barrier means approaching your risks head on and knowing that you may not go unscathed, but the gamble just might pay off.
Do your homework, put in consistent work, and take a risk or two. It may be the biggest gamble of your life.