The day that I realised I could no longer put both feet behind my head was a sad day indeed. Of course, for some years previously I hadn’t been able to do this while clothed, so it wasn’t like it was a major party piece or anything (I certainly don’t go to that sort of party). Still, it gave me a small sense of satisfaction.

I was thinking of this the other day when I realised for the first time that I can put my leg over my shoulder, or, more accurately, dip my shoulder under my knee. How come I never realised this till now? I have a feeling I could do it with both legs, but I am too scared of getting stuck and/or needing the attention of a chiropractor. If only I’d realised this as a kid, I could have mastered a contortionist’s crablike scuttle. What a missed opportunity.

When I was in primary school, I learned to freak people out by sitting in the lotus position when we were meant to sit cross-legged on the floor. I wasn’t entirely kidding when I said it was more comfortable than regular crossed legs. Now, I prefer to just wrap one leg over the other, something that still gets me funny looks.

A couple of weeks ago, I was leaning on one hand on a desk or something and I got an ‘ew, I hate it when you do that!’ from Mr Woodsmoke. I could not begin to figure out what he was on about. Apparently what I thought was a straight arm is actually not. To me, it’s hardly bent back but to him it is unnatural and gross.

Every now and then my sisters and I have the what-can-you-do conversation. Make your hands not only meet at the back for the tricep stretch but grasp each wrist in the other hand. Completely fail to get any stretch at all out of sitting cross-legged and reaching forward, because your head hits the floor before there is any resistance. Mind you, the time we spend comparing bad knees and elbows is probably not unrelated.

Isn’t it strange how there’s some things that are entirely normal in your family but make you a weirdo freak child anywhere else?

I’m quite sad that my bendiness is diminishing with time, but as long as I still have one or two pilates exercises that I’m not actually crap at, I’ll hang on to some utterly unearned smugness.

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