Practices for Cultivating Love, Wonder and Whimsy

Month Three and Four of Monkey Bar Hanging: Let Me Tell You a Secret

I have been hanging and playing on monkey bars in my back yard almost every day for the last four months, and I am blogging about it each month.

Monkey bars #1 (2)

Let me tell you a secret: This is hard; I am still not very good at it; and sometimes I think I will never get anywhere.

Last year I practiced deep breathing every day, and I saw immediate benefits and big changes. It felt like I was taking giant leaps forward every month.

With my monkey bar hanging practice, I feel like I am a little bird trying to walk across the United States.
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Progress is so, so slow.

To make matters worse, in month three and four–August and September–I traveled, it was really hot, and my kitty Leo passed away, which has caused me to feel sad a lot.  All of this has made my practice more sporadic than I like.

Sometimes I feel like I am not getting anywhere. Nevertheless, I have decided I am going to keep doing my monkey bar practice the whole year because I believe I learn as much from failure as success. I also believe that small changes are as meaningful as big changes.

And this brings me to my small change for this month: I noticed a change in the way I feel and think when I am on monkey bars.

My arms feel stronger. My back feels stronger. I am getting familiar with the bars, and I have started to imagine myself swinging across them and back with ease.

Sometimes change starts in our feelings, imagination, and body before it actually makes it into the world.

This is small progress, but it is progress.

I’ll see you next month–big change or small change.


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You might also like these posts:

Month One of Monkey Bar Hanging

Month Two of Monkey Bar Hanging

You might also like this post about my kitty Leo and what I learned from him.


12 thoughts on “Month Three and Four of Monkey Bar Hanging: Let Me Tell You a Secret”

  1. You’re right, progress is progress, and monkey bars are hard! It’s crazy to think of them as one of my favorite play things as a child, but of course I only weighted about twenty pounds hahaha. But the more you do it, the easier it will become. Once I started working out more, I’ve also noticed a lot of new muscle, which is a fun plus side (although I’ve got so much muscle growth on my upper body that I’m starting to burst out of my shirts a little bit – like the hulk!). Sorry about your kitty 🙁

    1. I love it that you have been lifting so much you are bursting out of your shirts! that’s awesome. l think you are right–I just need to keep doing it, and it will be easier soon. I am also going to work on some exercises this month specifically targeted at helping me get better on bars.

      1. I might recommend, if I may, some core exercises. That might give you some additional upper body strength that would help with the bars. Push ups, spikes, planks, etc.

  2. Great idea! Yeah I remember volunteering at a school several years back and thinking I could just whip my legs up while hanging from my arms like when we were kids and boy was I in for the surprise of my life! Definitely need more recess time 🙂

  3. I have noticed a difference in mindset when I practice yoga, and I put a lot of it down to your encouragement to play. I now have an interest in the way my body can move and how it feels. I feel like I have fallen in love with my pelvis! It is such an amazing structure in our body and allows such a range of movement whilst being (literally) our seat of strength and stability. I think I used to obsess about how I might not look like the picture in a yoga book. What a waste of enjoyment and exploration.

    1. Ali: This makes me so happy both that you have gotten so playful with yoga and that you feel that I helped inspire you. I do so much better when I think about playing with exercise–rather than actually making it exercise. So I am so excited this philosophy helped you, too. And I adore your sentence, “I feel like I have fallen in love with my pelvis”. Ha! That’s wonderful. And I totally et that.

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