Random Handstand Club

The U.S. Olympic Trials for gymnastics is this weekend! I was a gymnast for 17 years and I love this sport. Unfortunately, elite gymnastics is on TV only 3-5 times a year, so when it’s on, I drop everything and watch it. I’m sure all my ex-gymnast friends will be watching too except for the handful of friends who still live in the Bay Area that get to be there in person. The U.S. has a lot of talent gymnasts on the men’s and women’s side so it will be exciting to see who makes the team.

San Francisco - December 2011 Handstand Ruth Carter
Handstand in San Francisco – December 2011

Gymnastics is a sport that when you stop doing it, you lose your skills pretty fast. At this point, I need a trampoline to do anything except for a few simple skills – like handstands. A lot of current and ex-gymnasts are proud members of the random handstand club.

Ex-gymnasts are pretty easy to spot when we’re traveling. When we take pictures with important monuments or iconic places, we usually take one “normal” picture and one handstand picture. It’s a gymnast thing. I love seeing all of my friends’ handstand pictures from their travels. A few years ago, one of my teammates did a big trip through Europe and made it a point to take a handstand picture in every country.

I’ve been meaning to add a tab to my site for all my handstand photos. The Olympic Trials seemed like as good an excuse as any . . . and I couldn’t think of anything better to write about this week.

If you look through the album, you’ll notice I’m in the same pose in almost every handstand photo. That’s because this is the only position I can hold long enough to get a decent photo. I wish I had better balance so I could do handstands in more daring places, but I’d rather not die because of my random hobby.

I hope to be able to do handstands for a long time and to share my adventures with you. Enjoy!

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