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Another snowy morning run. There was already about 1.5 inches on the ground when we set out and it kept coming. The only slippery sections were around the skating rink where a snow blower removed the thick powder providing traction, leaving a slick layer of slush behind. Our radiators are once again covered in wet hats and gloves. They’ll be toasty and ready to go again by tomorrow.

The person who lives directly across the street put pale yellow flowers in his window. When you look outside they’re the brightest thing to catch the eye. You’d never guess it feels like 10 degrees out there. I’m keeping warm with some arm and core exercises to build up strength so I don’t fall on my face attempting to do a handstand.

Fear is my biggest obstacle here. I assumed this process would be a gradual progression of movements that would eventually lead from standing upright on two feet to standing upright on two hands. Gravity doesn’t work that way, apparently you’re up or down. The first big rung is to get to a point where I can kick off the floor and swing legs over head to a wall about a foot from my hands. That rung is beyond my comfort zone right now, so I’m starting in a push-up position with feet to a wall and gradually walking up while backing in closer on my hands. Hopefully this will help me sort of get used to supporting my weight in an inverted position.

This week I practiced backing up until my hands were about 2 feet from the wall and held it for about a minute. That’s something. I think the goal is to get about one foot away with body basically straight up. Bare feet on a plaster wall is a little slippery, but I like this approach because it makes a handstand feel doable mentally and physically. Just have to remember to warm up wrists and shoulders first. It’s invigorating to try and learn something that’s so physically challenging for no reason other than I want to.

Upper body strength is not as easily measured as logging miles or speed, but like endurance it’s something I can build at my own pace in my own way with backbend push-ups and other movements my MoonPie enjoys poking fun at. Doesn’t hurt; I know deep down he’s saying ‘You’re my hero‘.