Stepping Up

All the steps,

Stepping up,

Looms so much higher

Without practice, repetition, even inclusion in a day.


It is odd to feel odd out in public. Driving in my car to former destinations, I wonder about my place in spaces: how I will start the conversations I need, and how I will see them through. I realize I am more affected by break in the rhythm than previously acknowledged. I am in danger of getting in my own way. Will I fail? I slide across the icy parking lot. I anticipate the outcome of each action, each step. I am in my own head about all the things I used to do without realizing all the things I was doing when I was doing those things I used to do. Am I more likely to fail? I mean, to fall.


Each step. Each step up.

Is no longer a step. It’s the box jump.


I always had the most difficulty with the box jump when it was interrupted by another exercise. I was much more comfortable doing ten than when another exercise interrupted the jumps. The break in rhythm made me uneasy, doing two or three then something else before returning.


ME: “How can I improve my box-jumping skills? What is your method for success?”


TRAINER: “Rest on top. Look at the horizon as a focus point for balance.”


ME: “I understand. When I mark a step forward, I should pause there to appreciate the view looking forward, not push forward quickly. Then, pauses become natural points of celebration and reflection instead of feeling empty. And, I keep my eyes focused on the goal, not the ground.


All the steps,

Stepping up,

Rises to new heights.

The skills. The interactions, old responsibilities interrupted.


Each step. Each step up.

Is no longer a step. It’s the box jump.


The box jump was always most comfortable when placed somewhere in the middle of the workout. I sought time to warm up but made sure I was not too tired. I reminded myself the box was padded. Its edges could not cut me; its surface would not bruise me. The only thing that happened when I fell is that I fell. Everyone was too wrapped up in their own exercises to notice.


ME: “How can I improve my box-jumping skills? What is your best technique?”


TRAINER: “Feet together in the center solid balance at the end. And abs. Tuck your knees in.”


ME: I smile. The key is abs? It’s not an external strength but the muscle at my core. My go to. I already have what I need within me to continue jumping, to jump higher, if I understand that is what I need to use. When I’m tired, I can flip the box, lower it just for today.


I tug open the glass doors, enter the hallway and then the classroom. I focus, and I breathe. I remind myself I stepped up in a distant and not so distant past. In fact I jumped, this height many times.


All the steps,

Stepping up,

Finding my place through space.

Voice. Balance. The needed explosion.


Each step. Each step up.

Is no longer a step. It’s the box jump.


ME: “The question continues to come, how will you stand up, how will you step up? Why the box-jump?”


TRAINER: “Endurance. Appearance. Power.”


ME: “Stamina can change, but my technique is still inside me. I’m ready to jump.”


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