The Cartwheel

Did you ever have a moment that brought down your meticulously crafted but mostly flimsy house of cards?

Yeah, okay so I’ve had roughly fifteen or so of these incidents but let me tell you about one with a groupie with a heart of gold (which essentially is like saying a hooker with a heart of gold because let’s  just be honest here) who thought she could do an awesome cart-wheel and then found out she couldn’t.

And even worse.

Everyone knew before she did.

I had shown everyone what I imagined to be my precise, well executed gymnastic maneuver never knowing that my legs were bent and splayed and not extended gracefully like I imagined .  I also never really got the kind of liftoff needed for a proper landing so I came down kind of sideways very near where I started. AND, I had been doing this for years.

In my mind I was flying through the air with the ease of Nadia Comaneci while in reality everyone was watching a very awkward  sub par display.

Thankfully, after deciding to “help” my daughter learn how to cart-wheel we had a captive private audience in my backyard that consisted only of family and that is where I learned the awful truth.

After a baffled look from my little girl who clearly stated “THAT was a cart-wheel?!”, my husband took me aside and gave me a gentle talk while trying to stifle laughter.

At first I refused to believe.

I do a fucking GREAT cart-wheel, I said to myself.

Eventually reality set in and I accepted this grim reality about myself vowing never to attempt a manuver like this ever again lest I embarrass myself.

Until last week.
When during a Girl Scout meeting, my troop were attempting to  do cartwheels across the lawn during a beautiful spring day and I thought to myself “why not?”

With a group of twenty little gymnastically challenged girls cheering me on I made a running start to gain some momentum for my last chance at a medal. Well, a medal in my mind anyway, but I digress.

When I left the ground I knew immediately that I nailed it because I spent entire time willing my legs to extend and my arms to stay outright to support my weight. I locked my elbows and knees and prayed that the landing would go equally well.

It did.

I finished to applause and gasps not of horror, but of ENVY.

Someone even stopped their car on the way down the street to watch me and got out to clap.

It was perhaps the most awesome cart-wheel I have ever done in my life.

Like an extremely strong robust teabag full of fantastic leaves, steeped for an hour in the most scalding mug of piping hot water, resulting in a delicious cup of wonderful.

I’ll take my gold medal now.



Filed under cartwheels, i did it!, I'm bad at gymnastics, It's embarassing when you suck at something, last chance to prove I'm not horrible, reasons why I'm not more popular

14 responses to “The Cartwheel

  1. Angel

    You cannot see me but I am standing here applauding you cartwheel which in my minds eye looked absolutely perfect.

    I wish not to boast but you should see me pirouette, it would take you breath away.

    I admit my flailing arms would take most of your ornaments away too but it matters not – as far as I am concerned I am the only one in the entire world who does it right.

    • dufmanno

      First off BRAVO on the pirouette.
      I have never attempted one nor do I think I should. I had my “golden god” moment when I stuck that landing and I’m lucky I didn’t have a freaking stroke from over exertion.
      Second, thank you for recognizing what was a game changing moment in the deep chambers of my mind. I have now done the perfect cartwheel- and I had WITNESSES.
      Third, spellcheck kept insisting that cartwheel was actually spelled cart-wheel. This destroys everything I previously knew about spelling (which is basically nothing)

  2. Not for nothing, but I think it’s really tragic you wasted your perfect cartwheel on a troop of spoiled girl scouts instead of Stewy. That would have been worth your heart’s weight in gold.

    • dufmanno

      You know what?
      Someday, after Stew has died and he’s in the screening room with the big wigs reviewing the movie of his life and deciding if he’s done enough to pry open the pearly gates, St. Peter will say “hey, for shits and giggles let me show you something!”
      There before him, in technicolor shot in slow motion with the soundtrack from Chariots of Fire blaring, will be me executing my cartwheel.
      “That”, St. Peter will say “was for you”.
      Then confetti falls from the ceiling and I feel a ping in my old soul.

      • I couldn’t be more enamored of you than I am at this very moment. Stew will be, too. Even if he has to wait until he’s dead to know the depths of that adoration. You two should look into becoming zombies.

    • dufmanno

      thank you:)
      Someday we will have to do a cartwheel together, but you need to do yours on roller skates so I look better.

  3. Irene

    I played “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader” this weekend with my niece (6th grade) and my nephew (3rd grade). The PE questions f’d me up. Jesus: who knew dodge ball had rules? I always thought the main point was to aim at my face.

    But the thing is, you went for it. Who cares who saw you or didn’t see you? At that moment of the perfect cartwheel, you were Kerri Strug, Nastia Luikin, Mary Lou. Yay you!

    Now, did Bela Karolyi appear out of the bushes to pick you up and carry you off to the gold metal podium? Because THAT would’ve been awesome.

    • dufmanno

      No, Bela didn’t appear. But then again when I think about it it’s probably for the better because we would have to manage a soundtrack change. Not sure how we could jump into “Up Where We Belong” from an Officer and a Gentleman directly from Chariots of Fire theme. That’s tricky.

      • I could be wrong (hey: I’m wrong) but I think those songs are in the same or at least companionable keys, so the cross-fade would be seamless. I might even throw in a little “Eye of the Tiger” and “Ride Like the Wind” just for you. Go! Go! Go!

  4. did anyone have a camera phone handy? or are they banished from girl scouts. I’m jealous of the cartwheel… but dude, you should see me dive! like some sort of woodland swan duck with the grace of a wheeble whobble, just toppling into the water. And what is with you having a troop of minions to order around and TRAIN. And I’m not talking about your kids… OTHER people’s kids. Now that is impressive!

    • dufmanno

      I know, can you picture it?
      In two weeks I bring them all sailing. What are the chances that no one falls off the boat?
      I stopped diving when my mother had finally given me more than a hundred news clippings about people that had made the mistake of diving into their own pool and paralyzed themselves by either hitting their own head or neck.
      Thanks mom, again you emerge victorious.

  5. It has been my life’s goal to do the perfect cartwheel. Alas, I am sorry lacking in mechanics. It doesn’t stop me from trying though. Well done you!

    • dufmanno

      You need to get out there post haste and start crackalackin’.
      It’s surprising how little effort it took to impress a group of eager little girls.
      Now that I think about it, make sure you surround yourself with those who have very low expectations like I did.
      It adds to the thrill of the victory.

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