Getting upside down & seeing a fresh perspective
The 9th Monthly Challenge of 2017 is to get UPSIDE DOWN for a cumulative total of 15 minutes for the month. It’s a fun physical challenge that brings you a fresh perspective through your eyes, as well as your mind.
How you accumulate the time is up to you: 30 seconds per day, 1 minute every other day, 5 sessions of 3 minutes each. It’s your call!
Here are some of the ways you can get upside down:
- Handstand (free-standing or supported on a wall)
- Headstand (any variation)
- Forearm stand
- Shoulder Stand
- Playground Equipment Bent Knee Hang
- Inversion Boot Hang
- Gymnastics Rings Inversion
- Downward Facing Dog
- Skydive (head-down freefall)
- SCUBA Dive or Freedive
- Others? (send me your ideas and I’ll post them!)
What counts for upside down?
Any position where your head is (gravitationally) lower than your heart. That’s my definition for this challenge. There are other definitions for inversions, such as pelvis and feet above the heart, but I’m sticking with a simple “head lower than heart” definition.
At the most challenging end of the spectrum would be handstands (or skydiving!). There are many options in between, as well as options for those brand new to being upside down, such as downward facing dog or a graceful supported-backbend off the sofa! My suggestion: pick what’s right for you, include some variety, and use the challenge to get out of your comfort zone.
Some upside down positions are riskier than others, so be safe and use a spotter or alternative position anytime you’re not 100% confident in your abilities, health, and any supporting equipment you are using. If you are pregnant, menstruating, or have any health concern that prompts you to think “should I really go upside down?,” then ask for expert guidance based on your needs. In many cases, a simple legs up on wall would be just fine as an alternative.
Seek to hear or consider a new perspective. Have 3 conversations this month with someone from a very different background from yours: different culture, mother-tongue, career, religion, age range, etc. This can be a quick, casual conversation or something longer, a high level chat about the weather or a deep dive into a topic that interests you. You decide.
Some of the most meaningful connections I’ve had in my life came through short conversations when we didn’t speak a shared language. For me, it’s often through music, but it has also been through interpreters, dancing, or improvised sign language and a shared smile.
How to Join
Just ask to join this closed Facebook Group — for support and accountability. The support group on Facebook brings friendly and supportive people together from around the world.
Once you’re in, feel free to add any friends who want to join.
It’s not required that you post on the group, or even join it in the first place. It’s more fun and motivational in a community though!
By the way, this whole thing is FREE — just good people coming together to support each other.
Helpful Tools & Ideas
Reminder and Accountability Apps: I use the iPhone app called Productive to remind me and keep accountable during our challenges. There are others as well. These apps are excellent for accountability.
May I join late? What is the deadline? You may join any time you want, including late in the month. Really? Sure. It’s more fun to join closer to the start of the month. If you discover the challenge later in the month though, then please go for it and join us!
How do I join if I’m not on Facebook? Just say I’m in out loud 3 times, and you’ll be in! If you want to connect the dots and receive a virtual high-five, feel free to also drop me a note at [email protected] or say hi on other social media channels (links in footer).
May I join the challenge, but start my own Facebook group for my gym, club, friends or community? Sure. I’d love to see you in the global group, so how about both?
I hope you join us!
— Coach Jeff
Jeff Grant is the author of Flow State Runner: Activate a Powerful Inner Coach’s Voice, Hill Running: Survive & Thrive, Run Faster: Unlock Your Speed in 8 Weeks, Running Heavy, and UltraRunning: Coach’s Handbook. Based in Switzerland, Jeff is a coach and writer who specializes in mental coaching, peak performance, and transformation. Jeff’s popular newsletter is a digest containing inspirational and instructional resources, including his latest content. See recent issues and subscribe for free here. Refer to Jeff’s bio for more information, and please check out Jeff’s Coach & Author page on Facebook.