Around nine o’clock on a Sunday morning in March, I rocked in a swivel chair on the covered deck out back. I took a deep breath, looked around, and listened to the day. The doves cooed from the tops of nearby trees. A neighborhood rooster crowed about a block away. The sun shone gold in the grass, and the good earth called my name. I remembered once hearing that the soles of your feet can absorb the earth’s energy. There were more benefits I couldn’t quite remember.

I slipped off my house shoes and stepped barefoot into the grass. I wonder if a fifty-one-year-old woman could do a perfect cartwheel—I said to myself. I turned one just to see. It was imperfect. My groin pulled—I probably should have stretched—but it was a cartwheel. My legs made it into the air. I can only guess they were nearly perpendicular to the ground and that my toes were not pointed. No one videoed or saw. I landed on my feet. I can only imagine that was the ugly part. My legs didn’t quite make the circle. Instead, they fell forward at an angle, and I settled into some sort of squat. I decided perfect cartwheels needed practice and that one cartwheel a day would be enough practice for now lest I hurt myself.

On the following day, Monday, I decided to give the cartwheel another try. This was close to ten o’clock after my morning walk. Another attempt at perfection. This time I stretched out a bit in the living room on the area rug in front of the television and read a few pages of book I hadn’t been able finish, The Confessions of St. Augustine. I closed my book, rose to my feet, and to speed along the process, left my tennis shoes on. I walked out my back door and around to the side of my house where I was sure my neighbor who raked leaves in his back yard couldn’t see me. I raised my hands in the air and pointed my right toe. My form had already improved. I have no idea how bad this cartwheel looked. Thank God my husband missed the spectacle through the window. This time I came crashing down. Somehow, I ended in a somersault of sorts on the soft green grass. I was fine all the way down to my groin, and I sat there in the grass and giggled.  

On the third day, I stretched once more and then didn’t have the energy to try one lousy cartwheel. What’s the point? I thought to myself. What does it matter if a fifty-one-year-old woman can do a perfect cartwheel? I did ten pushups from my knees. And twenty squats instead. Surely that’s greater than a cartwheel, I reasoned.

Feeling sure that the grass held a mysterious power, I took my shoes off once more on the fourth day. A cartwheel a day keeps the doctor away, I said to myself, or is it apples? Maybe I should add more apples into my regimen. For some reason, I had some fear, but I tried again. I want to say this one was better than the other two. Still, I decided if the grass holds power, it isn’t strong enough to perfect a cartwheel in three attempts for this fifty-one-year-old woman. At this point, I’m asking myself, how important is a cartwheel at this stage in my life? And here’s my own answer: If the cartwheel gives me joy, even the joy of telling this story, then I suppose, it’s worth a try.   

By the way, this isn’t me.

I appreciate you for reading my A-Z Challenge post today. That means a lot to me. This April, I’m sticking to a theme of action, mental and physical, things I might already do or haven’t attempted in years or maybe never. You might not want to try this at home. Then again, maybe you do. Let me suggest some stretching for whatever you choose.

45 thoughts on “Cartwheel?

  1. I think I counted three cartwheels. That’s tenacity! I say if you can do one 75% as well at 51 as you did at 15 (I just flipped the #’s), then you are good.

    Roosters crowing in the big town of Houston! They let people keep 🐓?

    I can’t wait for the letter S. Sky diving?

    🙏❤️ Prayers and love. Happy almost Easter!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Dave! Thanks so much. Your guess is actually as good as mine. I’m skipping Sundays, and I do have a thought for Monday and Tuesday. After that 🤷‍♀️. Happy Easter!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Nico! Thank you! The St. Augustine is arduous. Clearly, I need to lighten it up with cartwheels. 😁My copy is like a King James Bible translation. I have a friend who read a more contemporary translation and liked it. I’m close enough to the end to forge on.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing!!… whatever works for you, go for it!!… “If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can’t, you’re right”. (Mary Kay Ash)…that is what happiness is all about!!… I couldn’t do cartwheels when I was young, probably not a good idea I try them today…. I have plenty of challenges to keep me satisfied, mowing the lawn with a push mower, raking leaves, running the vacum….. 🙂

    Have a wonderful Easter and until we meet again..
    May flowers always line your path
    and sunshine light your way,
    May songbirds serenade your
    every step along the way,
    May a rainbow run beside you
    in a sky that’s always blue,
    And may happiness fill your heart
    each day your whole life through.
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Perhaps you and Rose Milligan have the same thoughts… 🙂

        Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
        to paint a picture, or write a letter,
        bake a cake, or plant a seed.
        Ponder the difference between want and need.

        Dust if you must, but there is not much time,
        with rivers to swim and mountains to climb!
        Music to hear, and books to read,
        friends to cherish and life to lead.

        Dust if you must, but the world’s out there
        with the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
        a flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
        this day will not come round again.

        Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
        old age will come and it’s not kind.
        And when you go, and go you must,
        you, yourself, will make more dust!

        (Rose Milligan)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my goodness, girlfriend! I giggled with you on this one! I have not tried a cartwheel since college. I have thought of turning one. I think I might injure something that isn’t currently injured and I workout! Ugh! I know you do, too! My feet just seem to need to be on the ground! 🤦‍♀️🤷‍♀️😂 I am so proud of you! Keep up your practice sessions and you will reach perfection.


    1. I keep cracking up about my crash on the grass. You know—cartwheels might be like flowers—they have their season. I’m just trying to extend mine. Love you, ⭐️!


  4. Oh my, Crystal – this most certainly counts as “action!” (And yes, that exclamation is necessary, in more than one way.)

    It might not have been – quite – the cartwheel you remember from earlier, but that’s not the point, is it? That you stirred your mind, as well as the rest of you, is what makes your expedition so totally worth a post. It justifies all these comments too. Your cartwheel(s) reinvigorated your imagination, and ours’ as well!

    Plus, the story ends with you giggling. There’s your validation, right there.

    The last time (and the only time – hey, I’m a guy) I tried a cartwheel, Ronald Reagan was president. We’ll ignore the less charitable of our readers who would mention they hadn’t been born yet at that point.

    Anyway, I suspect my latter-day attempt might not go as well as did the one all those years ago, but now you have me thinking… Thanks for that, as always, Crystal!


    1. Keith, thank you for seeing through my silliness to my ultimate goal. What makes you giggle? What once brought you joy that you haven’t tried in awhile? We all have our own cartwheels, my dear. Happy Easter to you! Can’t wait to see what you’re cooking!


  5. I have done one perfect cartwheel in my life. I was about twelve years old and my cousin and I were doing them in my front yard. I was not athletic and had never been good at anything like that. But that day in front of her and the rest of the family I turned a perfect cartwheel. I will never forget how my form was perfect. It shocked me almost as much as it did her. I will never forget that memory. I have loved reading your A to Z’s I have missed several so I will go back and read them all. Thanks for reminding me of this memory.


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