on life, ambitions, and dreams


Posts Tagged ‘handstands’

What’s the deal with handstands?

Laura Kimball_handstand_Mazda2_Lamiki

Occasionally I post pictures on Twitter, Facebook, and even this blog of myself doing handstands. There are some friends and followers will consistently “like” those photos and drop comments of excitement and delight. Then there are other friends who will wait until we’re face-to-face and ask, “Why is your profile picture upside down?” Or even more direct—“What’s up with those handstands?”

What’s up with those handstands?

Handstands are the unofficial sign of a CrossFitter. To quote Greg Glassman, the father of CrossFit, “Handstands, hand walking, and pressing to the handstand are critical exercises to developing your athletic potential and essential components to becoming ‘CrossFit.’

Handstands work your balance, strength, and flexibility, three important elements that are “CrossFit.” They’re something that we can do outside of the gym, on a whim, and without any equipment. In the woods? At a national landmark? In your mother’s backyard—do a handstand; have someone take a picture of it and share it with your friends online for all to see and comment on.

It’s kind of like a gang sign as it shows your affiliation to a very specific group of people.  If you search on Google, bing, or Flickr for “CrossFit handstand,” the SERP will turn up a number of photos of people inside a gym and at the most awesome places around the world. These are CrossFitters in their natural habitats, doing their thing. (more…)

My (CrossFit) Gym

When people ask me what CrossFit is, I have a hard time explaining it because by definition, it is “broad, general, and inclusive.” CrossFit specializes by not specializing. It’s one of those things that you need to experience in order to understand.

This is one of the gentlest videos I’ve watched about CrossFit, but the message is compelling all the same. There is no blood, sweat, or tears in this video, but it gives me chills all the same. And it shows the one thing that keeps me going back to my gym.

My Gym from Patrick Cummings on Vimeo.


Community is a word that we throw around haphazardly. Sometimes it’s an adjective, a verb, a noun; other times it’s a goal, an objective, an obstacle. But rarely do we use it to mean the definition we learned in fourth grade: a group of people living in a particular local area having common interests.

At My Gym

At my gym, when they don’t show up, I call them.
At my gym, when I don’t show up, they call me.
My gym is different than other gyms. And I am different because of my gym.

At my gym, we celebrate birthdays by doing handstands.
At my gym, the mayor makes me my own jump rope.

At my gym, we scream when we accomplish personal records.
At my gym, we write those records on the wall.

My gym is Lynnwood CrossFit, and I am better because of my gym.

Wordstock: Where it began

Before I can tell the story of what happened at this year’s Wordstock, I need to tell the story of what happened at last year’s festival.

If you know me, you know the story of Wordstock and how I wrangled way-too-many authors during the first two years of the festival (2005 & 2006). If you mention my name to the founder, he’ll tell you how Norman Mailer was impressed by how well I dealt with authors, even though I was 18. If you talk to any of the four author coordinators now, they may tell you the story of how their job was once performed by one single person (oh, hi there!). I was the first intern and as such I was given an enormous opportunity to shape author-relations and process as it stands today and also set the foundation for the type of work that drives and fulfills me in everything that I do.

The first Wordstock team with Norman Mailer, April 2005

The Wordstock team with Norman Mailer, April 2005

Wordstock V, October 2009

Last year, 2009, I was asked by my dear friend to come back to Wordstock and help her run event management for the festival. This was my first time working the book fair and so many things were different since 2006: there’s a new executive director, new core volunteer staff, book fair structure, etc. I was nervous, as anyone would be, walking into something familiar yet still unknown. Plus since I lived in Seattle and would only be in Portland for the week of festival, I was essentially “arriving and driving” instead of being a part of the months and months of planning leading up to the event.


What Can You Learn from Training to Become an Elite Athlete?

They say it takes 30 days to form a habit and 90 days to change your life, especially when it comes to health and wellness.

Eleven weeks ago I started a new habit of going to CrossFit 3-days-on, 1-day rest, which meant I was working out 5-to-6 times a week, showing up to the evening classes during the week, and somehow making it to the 8am classes on Saturday and Sunday. My non-gym social life was on probation, but my gym life had never been better.

Laura Handstand 24HoursOfLeMons by Doug Chase
Learning how to do a handstand in a skirt, however, is extra. (Struting my stuff at “Goin’ for Broken” 24 Hours of LeMons at Thunderhill Raceway in California)

Last weekend was the CrossFit Regional Competition, which was the reason for the crazy workout in the first place. I didn’t make the affiliate team for my gym, but here’s what I got out of the competition:

How to establish a goal, and meet it

A year ago I met a woman who competed in a weightlifting competition in Canada, which technically made her an international competitor. This woman was probably twenty years older than me and did not have the body of a stereotypical athlete by any means. But she was strong and humble about her accomplishment. I don’t know if she placed, ranked, or even finished, but she showed up and competed (in spandex nonetheless). At that moment, I had a fleeting thought―I, too, want to be a weightlifting competitor. I race cars, so why not add this to the list?