“Seriously, is that what you are thinking about right now?” I thought to myself as I gazed into the chat box. Really?
Here I was, honored to virtually meet for the first time an inspirational, successful, and talented woman in an online meeting. Then my own mindful colleagues began chatting and asking questions that completely threw me off my rocker.
Before responding, I needed to breathe and explore my instant reaction to their chatter.
Why was I so triggered?
On-screen was a fresh-faced, kind, and vulnerable woman, Hannah. I had never heard of or seen her before, but was thrilled to hear her story. She’s an acro-gymnast and yogi. I know the terms well. Call me an acro-gymnast fan, hooked since my childhood.
My best friend blew my mind regularly with how she could contort her body into the coolest backbends I had ever seen…on a wooden balance beam her dad made for her in their backyard. She would jump, spilt, pull, and push her body into graceful and beautiful poses. When I tried, um well, I am grateful to her father for also maintaining a soft lawn.
Truth be told, I was envious. Her slim hips and punchy, lil’ booty looked like an acrobat’s. I too took dance, acrobats, and was thin. Yet my short torso, long arms, twiggy legs, whittled waist, and hips that didn’t lie (or so I felt, next to her), wouldn’t do what her shape did.
Yet, I loved her. Loved her for all she could do that I could not. As her best friend, I was her number one fan and stood up for her.
Years later, a jaw-dropping Cirque du Soleil performance reminded me of those bygone days in my friend’s backyard. It was a love-at-first-sight moment. People twirling, twisting, and whirling around each other with such strength and grace in costume. It again blew my mind. The focus, practice, sweat, and passion that went into preparing for that brilliant display of human talent humbled me.
Recently, my kids and I abruptly stopped our bikes on vacation near Venice Beach, California. There, on a random rectangle of grass growing “in the sand,” people were practicing acro-gymnastics and yoga. The muscle strength it took was evident. Some tricks took all they had over and over, and they still did not quite nail it. Whoa, mind blown again.
I have practiced yoga next to professional, yet injured, ballerinas. They made a Bird of Paradise or even a Crow look so smooth and simple.
Why? Not because of their label—I too studied ballet. Not because they were just born that way, but because of their unwavering dedication to “their thing.” A thing that is a total lifestyle. One that supports a low-fat lean body, grace, and a flexible form.
So, why did I feel like dusting off my soapbox and launching into a “What the What?!” rant?
Honestly, we’ve probably all heard of or even thought of these thoughts ourselves:
They are beautiful and live in exotic, unrealistic places.
The celebs that thrive are insanely fit, maybe too fit.
Why would one do an interview practically naked?
My best friend and the people I admire are real. Each has feelings and is so much more than their looks. I felt defensive of them. I wanted to protect this new face as I do for those I adore.
Hannah is walking (and practicing) her talk.
This makes her even more beautiful, inside and out.
For those who react in a judgmental way to others, explore those feelings. Use that criticism as a mirror. It’s a powerful tool.
However, I will not get on my soapbox here.
Simply, this human gave an hour of her life to us. Hannah humbly shared her individual recipe for making her life look like her dreams while paying her bills. She is living proof that dreams really can come true, even organically.
Brava to your success, Hannah, and may you continue to be of benefit to many!
If you’d like to hear how too, watch this discussion.
Want to learn more about Hannah, check her out on Insta.
Author: Katie Fleming
Image: Instagram/Hannah GypsyOn
Editor: Travis May
Supervising Editor: Danielle Beutell