The Quest – 30 Days to a Handstand & Menopause

What’s up? Me and the handstand.  Hey guys, it’s Suz here and this is the first week of my quest!  Let’s go!

Quoi de Neuf?  moi et le Poirier.  Bonjour, mes amis, c’est Suz et c’est la première semaine de ma quête. Allons-y!

What are you doing during the pause to keep yourself centered?  Let me know in the comments.  Please share.


Join me as I attempt to tackle the handstand.  This week and for the following three weeks, I’ll detail my journey via a quick recap and weekly photos.

At the end of the month, I’ll close the four part series by revealing either success or it’s opposite. I’ll provide my conclusions as well as tips or tip-nots.

Preface and Background –

I used to throw myself up and over with such ease and grace. Then in an instant it was all gone. The ease, the grace, and the hormones.

Gradually, over the last year I watched as my strength slowly waned. I described this phenomenon to my husband as an overall weakening (physically and mentally).  Tears often accompanied these discussions and anxiety and depression were always close by.

My joints hurt all the time – every joint.

No diagnosis, just a constant battle with joint pain, fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, and depression  – this became my norm and I self medicated daily with a double dose of exercise for relief.

Refusing to talk or write about it any longer and refusing to let it stop me, I dedicated hours each day to nutrition, exercise, movement, yoga and massage.  I found some relief and just kept on trucking.  But I continued to lose strength.  

A person must sleep in order to function, and the round the clock – every 50 minutes – hot flashes were the final straw.  Dragging myself to the doctor in search of relief and my annual visit, it was brought to my attention that Ms. Menopause was knocking at my door and she was here to stay.  It’s not a matter of time – it’s time.

Many of the symptoms I’ve experienced over the last three years, are reportedly associated with low estrogen levels.  Why is there not MORE discussion of this?

Everything is starting to make sense now, and as I begin to understand what’s actually happening – I can move forward – knowledge is power.

As I slowly start to feel better and work through this change, personally and with my doctor, and because my half Ironman has been cancelled, I felt the need to conquer something.  And since I suck at sewing and all other craft like activities – we’re going with the handstand / le Poirier.

This week’s results are listed below.  Be sure to come back each Monday for the next three weeks to see how this pans out.

Writing will be vulnerable – sharing both the good and the bad. Success or not, no fake news.

What does success look 👀 like?

Plan A:  Starting in a downward facing dog position, gently and gracefully lift my lower body up and over my hips into a full handstand – holding the handstand for no less 10 seconds.

Plan B:  To throw my body upward from a downward facing dog position using the L shaped kick-ups and a lot of momentum to launch myself up and onto the back of the door into a handstand then eloquently (or with reckless abandon) lift self away from the door for no less than 1 second.

Always have a plan B.

Recap –


Day 1.  04/13/2020.  I know this wasn’t THIS hard the last time I tried.  I know I used to walk across the living room on my hands.  And I know I didn’t make the sounds I’m making now.  Progress: L shaped kick-ups that go nowhere and two big falls to the side.

Day 2.  04/14/2020. Watched a ton of YouTube videos.  Did one set of handstand tips exercises. I’ve got some weak butt arms. Progress: attempted door/wall practice and more L shaped kick-ups.  No falls. 

Day 3.  04/15/2020.  Searched for more arm strength exercises on YouTube.  And focused on different handstand techniques and reaching forward with momentum and L shaped kick-ups. Progress: three times my lead leg reached high up the door and was met with a bent rear leg that tried hard to stretch itself up.  One big FALL out of reverse door climb.

Day 4.  04/16/2020.  After much research, selected a specific workout to follow on how to do a handstand, it’s an exercise routine that focuses on strengthening the arms, shoulders and abdominal muscles.  Progress: practiced more L shaped kick-ups, actually held the body in a handstand for 1/100 of a second. Worked on the door handstand and was able to get into the handstand position (using door) and hold it for 10 seconds (3 sets). Mindful of controlling the descent. No falls.

Day 5.  04/17/2020.  Friday night found me pretty exhausted from working all week.  By the evening, I felt drained.  Knocked out the handstand exercises and drills.  Progress:  no real improvement, but no regression.  

Day 6.  04/18/2020.  Practiced slowing down the momentum and using more strength (that went absolutely nowhere).  Noticed a strain in my hamstring.  Progress:  NONE!  One HUGE fall – landing on shoulder.  Not good.  Regrouping.

Day 7.  04/19/2020.  Yoga stretches for sore hamstrings.  Attempted a no momentum lift (LOL).  Did a few L shaped kick-ups onto the door.  Worked on headstand (got-it) and crow pose (face plant).

Week 1 take-away:  Keep thinking – push away from the ground and be sure to wear your good sports bra.

How did the week end?  Totally surprised at midweek as I went from nothing to a handstand on the door.  BUT…both Saturday and Sunday were a wash.  Chalking it up to needing time for the body to adapt and to rest in order to grow.

Week 1 progression:  A94387CC-F098-48B3-A98F-9D05F0BF80C1

Plan for week 2:  Decrease the momentum and build abdominal strength.  Continue to caution self to not rush and to work through the entire process – give it time.

Focus:  Try to lift body without momentum.  Continue to use the door to build strength and practice moving the body away from the door.

What are you doing during the pause to keep yourself centered?  Let me know in the comments.  Please share.

Slightly less fearful.  Sore hammies.  Suz!

Don’t forget to come back next week.  

9 responses to “The Quest – 30 Days to a Handstand & Menopause”

  1. Suz, I couldn’t even read all your efforts…. I was just fascinated by your beautiful door 😉
    No excercise for me, no more handstands, no nothing – sorry…. what a disappointment I must be to you! I only do stuff I like doing – and excercise is not among the long list. But I shall read a book while you do your upending, ok? Love you…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kiki – 😀 the poor door is taking a beating these days. I love books! Have you read anything good during this pause?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations that’s a magnificent challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Merci beaucoup! I’m not too sure that I’ll ever press up from the downward facing dog position – but it’ll be interesting to see what I’ll actually be able to do after 30 days.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think we start losing muscle mass in our late 30s. I think we have to be gentle with ourselves during any transition. Moving has always helped my moods. If I can crawl my body outside and walk I know I will feel better. I do weights (not enough) and yoga (again not enough). You will and are handling this push boundaries

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the thoughts. I like the push boundaries concept. And yes – outside is the best!


  4. Ça y est enfin je peux écrire un commentaire sur ton magnifique blog …j’avais un souci de password et mon profil wordpress ne me l’affichait pas ! En le changeant (j’ai intérêt à le retenir maintenant !) Je vais pouvoir te dire Bravos au pluriel même si ça ne se fait pas.
    Pendant ce confinement je cours 1h dehors, je continue ma formation en Naturopathie via la plateforme zoom et la je recherche un sujet de stage. Des idées seraient les bienvenues. Je t’embrasse.


  5. Hi Suzie, I hope you are keeping well during these challenging times. Getting older is no fun, especially when our muscles are wasting away. I’ll probably never accomplish what you are doing with your handstands, but I am attempting to try to do exercises to reduce muscle atrophy. Much respect. You are amazing.


    1. Hey there running buddy – those handstands feel like a life time ago as do attending my beloved running events. Getting older is such a blessing but does come with its challenges – keep up the work over the winter – hopefully we will have a blessed spring and summer come 2021. Always good to hear from you. Suz!


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