Manifesting Super Powers

This article “4 Reasons Why Trying Parkour Can Ruin Your Self-Esteem” by Daniel O’Brien made me laugh out loud four times this morning. I really want you to read it because (1) it’s very well-written; (2) I think it will make you laugh, too; and (3) it’s an embarrassing-blow-by-embarrassing-blow account of his experiences at a parkour gym, and it’s always fun to find someone else who fails so spectacularly, they come all the way around the other end of the spectrum to awesomely cool.

Friends, you know I walk around pretending to be a Secret Agent on a Very Delicate Mission most of the time. And Dave and I spend a fair amount of time waiting for our mutations and/or super powers to kick in. My recent triumph over wall handstands is only the latest in a long line of attempts to get over my fear of bounding, jumping, swinging, and flinging myself upside down so that I can take full advantage of my superhuman skills when they start showing up.

A few years ago, I did some parkour play with Dave and Randall Setzler from CrossFit Central. I’m pretty sure this photo captured the only moment I smiled that entire day. I was scared, embarrassed, tired, intimidated. But I look back on that day fondly, mostly because the pain of the humiliation has faded. You can read all about it right here.

I was about 10 feet on the ground here, but I pretend it was the top of a skyscraper.


Other Tales of Misadventures

That day wasn’t the only time I worked on developing my super skills. There was also the time I…

… needed to start using the word frexciting

… decided “I don’t want to be the girl in the corner, watching other people, thinking to myself, ‘I wish I could do that.'”

… devised my own parkour course on a weekend trip to Dallas

… got into mischief in San Antonio

… pretended to be badass in a fountain in San Antonio

All of which just reminds me that it’s been a while since I did something stupid outdoors, and I’m really looking forward to our return trip to Prague so I can use the cobblestones, hidden stairways, and cool weather to test whether or not my super powers have evolved. All the time I’m spending in the air conditioning this summer, hiding from the 100+ temps, is really just my attempt to conserve my powers until they’re needed in Eastern Europe. You know how it is for us secret agents.


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  • Lily says:

    when do you leave for prague? before you go, can you do a post on what food you are bringing/general food plan for paleo away from home? I am going to europe (england, france, italy, switzerland) for 2 weeks in the middle of july and don’t know how I’m going to survive!

    • Mel says:

      We’re going back to Prague in October. I can’t wait! I love your blog post idea and will get to it later this week. Thanks for the request!

  • jj says:

    OMG… I laughed so hard I snarfed a chunk of grape up my nose. That’s awesome. I do my stupid stuff in a circus arts gym, and while we occasionally have spectators, I’m not sure I could take people with cameras randomly asking me if I’m going to do something impressive. “No, actually, I’m going to carwheel into a handstand on this wall, huff and whine for 60 seconds and then collapse onto the ground in something that is impressively UNlike a somersault.”

    • Mel says:

      Grape up the nose… awesome! And yes, I would be begging for the Earth to swallow me up if we had spectators at the gym. Yeesh.

  • Devon says:

    Thanks for the laughs (3 out loud)….I might just have a wee crush.

  • Jude says:

    I love that you have adventures and do fun stuff like that. You really have no idea how happy it makes me to read this stuff.

    (next step: have OWN adventures, not just live vicariously through you!)

    • Mel says:

      Jude! You are TOTALLY on an adventure with SmartSexyPaleo and eating Whole30 style.

      Sometimes my adventures are external — climbing police station signs… ahem — and sometimes they’re more internal — developing new recipes, etc.

  • Kathleen says:

    After the first time I went indoor rock climbing I started looking at buildings differently. Each one was a new potential wall to scale and conquer.

    On a related note. You must listen to This American Life episode #178: Superpowers. The story at 20 minutes totally inspired me to start a superhero list.

    • Mel says:

      Are you still rock climbing? That’s pretty badass. I have a thing about heights, so I’m not sure I would enjoy it… but the challenge of it is pretty appealing.

      Thanks for the American Life recommendation; I’m going to give it a listen!

      • Kathleen says:

        The OKC gym is in these old grain silos and the temperature inside is a lot like the temps outside. So, I only go during the fall and spring but I LOVE it.

        You should definitely try it out – you don’t have to go too far up the wall to have a great time.

  • I have some of these same feelings about starting Crossfit. Generalalized terror, over-arching embarrassment, and my Crossfit muscle is completely destroyed every day.

    That being said the video of that gym was amazing. I would go once a week just to jump in the pool o’foam blocks for a couple of hours.

    • Mel says:

      Jenny, you are doing so great at CrossFit. Truly.

      I’m also going to start thinking of any soreness as my CrossFit muscle being sore, because that is freakin’ funny.

  • LG says:

    Mel I just went Outdoor Rock climbing this past weekend and it was amazing!I went all by myself (to a beginner course with a group of 8) but all by myself as in I knew noone which for me is scary stuff. I had an amazing experience met some great people and felt a little like Tom Cruise in Mission impossible! I could not believe how I could support myself on just my pinkie finger and the corner of my big toe and then lift myself up the bald face of a Mountain with no fingerholds! Empowering to say the least!
    I too think I have superpowers! I had a great imagination as a kid and thought I could fly! Now if I could just believe in myself enough again I just might do it! LOL

    • Mel says:

      That class sounds terrifying, and I’m very glad your super powers kicked in. Congratulations on tackling such a frexciting challenge!