Warning: Your Fulfilled Desires Will Leave You Stranded

In elementary school, the monkey bars were my scene during recess.

Unaware we were actually getting exercise—one of the reasons for recess—my friends and I regarded the physical activity as a way to socialize.

The different types of playground equipment were the youth equivalents of coffee shops and nightclubs.

Older girls always sat on top of the monkey bars, forming a tree house of sorts where they surveyed the playground and gossiped.

My days of simply doing pull-ups and hanging from the structure seemed numbered; if I wanted to grow up, I needed to learn how they climbed up through the bars to bask in all their glory.

I studied the Monkey Bar Queens’ techniques for weeks, noting how they positioned the palms of their hands and the moments when they paused to get their balance.

One day after school, when I didn’t have to be rushed back to class, I decided I was ready.

I swung to the spot I desired, pulled my legs up, and thrust my feet through the horizontal ladder to give myself leverage to pull the rest of my body through the opening.

My fingers tightly gripped the cross-section of the bars as I adjusted into a sitting position.

I was pretty much a professional gymnast. [Read more…]