Saturday, August 11, 2007


"They Look like monkeys dancing," I told my mom on the phone. A lady nearby snickered. Whoops...I guess I spoke too loudly. Fortunately the participants in the studio couldn't hear what I've said. All their attention was on the Capoiera instructor who was on the mini stage. This Brazilian martial art fascinates me. It looked lethal, powerful, yet graceful - the participants were fighting and dancing at the same time. I resolved to join the class the next time I go to the gym.

A week later, I entered the studio, feeling all eyes on me. This is one of the reasons why I dislike entering a new class alone. Contrary to the belief, I am not a very sociable person.

We started off with the basic steps called "ginga"(Wikipedia: literally: rocking back and forth; to swing). Even the basic steps require one to have good timing and rhythm. Capoiera challenges a person's hands and legs coordination. We moved on to more complicated steps which included kicking. However, I couldn't give my all because if I were to do so, the person in front of me would curse me for life. The class was unusually packed that night.

Then my heart stopped beating for a moment when he mentioned the next activity to be done. CARTWHEELS!!! It had been years since I last did cartwheels! It wasn't funny at all... Images of myself landing on my head popped up in my mind...I'm aware of how clumsy I am. I inched my way to the back of the studio while a few brave fools volunteered to go first.

"Come on, I mean you can't tell people that you've never done a single cartwheel in your life, right?" asked the instructor. I wanted to retort,"I have so I don't have to do now, right?!" but I held my tongue. I didn't want to invite more trouble. He even taught us a "simpler" version - place both hands on the ground to your side and hop over to the other side. Pathetic.

Then the inevitable happened. I was one of the last two (we went two by two), the other one was a guy in his late twenties (or early thirties?). All eyes were on us. That was bad. I ended up attracting more unwanted attention instead...The little instructor (he's really chibi! But he's kawaii...)was really persistent. Even offered to "do together: with us. I didn't think it'll make any difference, but a company is always welcomed.

I mustered up my courage and did a simple version. PATHETIC. There was no sense of self satisfaction at all. I felt like a fool. Ashamed of myself. I mean, I used to compete with my friends at the school field during breaks...cartwheeling non-stop, see who could last the longest. That was more than ten years ago though. Now I'm heavier. Taller. And obviously, lacking the courage and "daredevilishness" that most kids possess. Children do not know fear (er, I think most of them lah).

It seems silly that does who have not done it before actually had the courage to attempt cartwheels, whereas I, who have done it before was chickening out. I finally realized, that maybe it's because I HAVE experience, I know how I might fall, I can even envision it happening and I know the possible consequences of falling. That, created fear...

I frowned. This would not do. I resolved to do a proper cartwheel next. I'm not sure if the instructor was surprised, I couldn't see his face. But...the feeling was wonderful. Exhilarating. Suddenly, it seemed as though as I was my 10 years old self (of course, the cartwheel was not as good as it used to be. After my turn, I found that I wanted to cartwheel again! But of course, being the same (right) and dignified (yeah, right) adult I am, I ignore my inner little self.

"You were very stable" whispered a lady to me.

"Well, yeah, thanks. I used to do cartwheels when I was small," I replied. Come to think of it, she looked very much like the woman who overheard my "monkeys dancing" comment. Hmmm...

Then he made us to the bridge (lie on your back and the prop yourself up with your hands and legs). I used to be good at this. USED to be. This time I tried my best. I found it weird that I couldn't even budge at first. Are my arms that weak? Then I realized was probably subconscious fear. I took a deep breath, cleared my mind and just concentrated on pushing up...and it worked! The instructor was surprised.

"Wow, you can do it, eh?" I smirked. I think, in spite of the muscles aches that I had the next day, it was a good idea to attend the "monkeys dancing" class.

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At 2:18 PM, Blogger Darke Shard said...

You can do it, Steffi! :D Haha, it's just like in anime when - just as the hero is about to be defeated - she finds the courage and inner strength to win. Hurrah!

Now all you need is to master your monkey chakra.

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Jyrenze said...

Haha, I have never done a cartwheel before even when I was young, I think I would probably break my ceck and back if I tried it now.

At 5:53 PM, Blogger Eng said...

do show us some moves one day...

At 11:18 AM, Blogger ashes said...

yea i used to try when i was young too..

but now due to all the additional weight i've afraid i will kill myself..

At 1:26 PM, Blogger Eng said...

hehehe... you sure? or you're afraid of being killed instead?


At 5:58 PM, Blogger ashes said...

haha..being killed by whom?

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Steffi the Numbnut said...

Darke: Uh...monkey chakra? Sounds like Son Goku.

Jyrenze: Well, you can try the "simple method" first.

Eng: Erm, I don't know much actually. Just the basics. Capoiera isn't one class that I attend regularly because of the timing.

Ashes: Do not fear, Ash, my friend. Just do it!


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