10/28/14 – Left VS. Right

Left V.S Right

I’m just gonna wheel nerd out for a minute so get ready, cause I just had my wheel mind torn asunder. Check this out: anyone who has taken an wheel lesson with me in the last 6 years or so has had me tell them that for the basic cartwheel you need to bend your arm in the direction you want to go. I want to roll to the right bend my right arm for the first half of the turn then my left for the second. That makes a lot of sense to me because it shifts your body in the direction you want the wheel to go. However, much to my chagrin I discovered at the last wheel weekend that in the German wheel handbook (yes there is actually one of those) they teach the exact opposite. Brain explosion! 🙂

I could take the time to try and talk through why this opposite world works but it would most likely just get excessively wordy. The important part is the glory of being wrong. I had a moment where I teetered of feeling quite embarrassed. Here I am one of the wheel coaches in Chicago I have a small wheel program of my own in NYC and a basic principal I have been teaching for years is pretty much backwards. Fortunately for me I was surrounded by generous and non judgy individuals who were interested more in the ideological debate than my wrongness. I was a humbling reminder for me that there is more than one way to skin a cat. That is in my opinion the most delicious difference between competition and performance. If you are planning on becoming a competitor it is very important to learn the “right” way to do an element and be able to flawlessly execute it over and over again. However performance is a different beast; a performer is allowed much more flexibility.

While I am all about throwing the book out if it isn’t working it is also important to read the chapter first because there may be a reason you are not fully understanding. So for me I will continue to battle with left vs. right. I’m not ready to give in quite yet but lets just say after teaching for as long as I have to see a very different way of teaching the most elementary trick in a German wheel is humbling. And that is pretty awesome. Keep keeping me on my toes German wheel. Please don’t ever let me get too comfortable.

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