The joy of handstands

Every Tuesday after school I look after a friend’s children. At 3.15pm you’ll find me sat on the wall outside the youngest one’s primary school, in a flashback to the days when I had to do the school run every day. I’m always early – you have to be when it’s someone else’s child – so I have a good ten minutes of listening to the lollipop lady’s banter and watching the children spill out of the gates.

Once we’ve have found each other, we have a five minute walk home, where she tells me all about her day. Today though the chat wasn’t about school.

“I can do a handstand into a bridge!” she told me, before we were even half way across the road.

“Into a bridge?” I said. “That’s amazing! That’s really hard isn’t it?”

“Yes,” she said, with no false modesty. “I spent a whole day at the weekend practising. I started on the trampoline, then on my gym mat, and then the grass.” I was suitably impressed. “Once I knew I could do it every time I did it inside. And then every ten minutes for the rest of the day I went outside to do a few, just so I didn’t forget.”

That’s commitment isn’t it?

Do you remember being young and all consumed by something like that? I remember being about 10 and finally mastering a handstand against the wall. I wasn’t really a natural when it came to gymnastics and never quite got the hang of the cartwheel, but handstands against the wall I just about managed.


I remember moving to a new house and going for a look around. While everyone else nosed around downstairs I snuck up to what would become my bedroom to practice. It was an irrepressible urge – wherever I was, all I could think about was the next opportunity I’d have to do a handstand against the wall.

Unusually for me, I even remember what I was wearing – it was a black and white checked shirt that I really loved at the time. Every time I did a handstand it would flop down in my face.

I get the same feeling sometimes now with books – if I’m reading something amazing I will think about it when I’m not reading, wondering about when I might next get to read some and sneaking away for ten minutes alone whenever I can.

When was the last time you felt that passion for something?

Image credit – handstand from Hannah Eckman/shutterstock



  1. 9 June, 2015 / 7:37 pm

    This is an awesome post! It reminds me of being young. I feel like that about blogging at the moment, it fills my head all the time! :)

    • Jo Middleton
      12 June, 2015 / 12:56 pm

      Well that’s a great position to be in Morgan! I go through cycles blogging wise. Some days I find myself full of ideas and desperate to get to a computer and other times I end up staring at a blank screen!

  2. 10 June, 2015 / 8:33 pm

    Love this post! It’s really made me think. I’m off to ponder my passions x

    • Jo Middleton
      12 June, 2015 / 12:55 pm

      Thanks Katy! You forget don’t you how absorbed you used to get by things as a child.

  3. 11 June, 2015 / 7:08 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever done a headstand! Maybe I should learn?! x

    • Jo Middleton
      12 June, 2015 / 12:54 pm

      I think you should Jess – and then I would like to see a vlog about it please :-)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.