Honey…There’s A Monkey On The Roof!

When I was a little girl, just about 7 I lived in San Francisco in a tall house.  It wasn’t that big but it was three stories high.  The basement was at the bottom level but unlike some it was above ground so that constituted the first level and then the kitchen, living room and playroom was on the second level and the bedrooms were on the third.

My parents had a TV in their room so I spent a lot of my free time lying on their bed watching I Dream Of Jeannie (I SO wanted to visit that bottle with all the pink pillows of hers) and Mission Impossible.  Now and again I’d go over to their window, pop it open and lower myself out of it so that I was doing a straight-arm hang.  My routine was to look down at my fuzzy slippers then I’d look to the right, look to the left….all while dangling high above my dad’s big rhododendron bush…then I’d pull myself back in the window.  You could say I started life with great motivation to be able to do a pull up.  My little stunt was just something I’d do to amuse myself.  I was never afraid. I knew I would be able to pull myself back in the window but in retrospect I’m glad the old wooden window sill never gave way. That the worn wood might fail never occurred to me.  I knew for sure that my body wouldn’t.

Reminds me of myself...but when I hung out the window there was nobody else in sight.  Lucky I never saw this picture as a child.  I would have wanted to try a one-armed hang and might have ended up as fertilizer for my dad's rhododendron bush.

Reminds me of myself…but when I hung out the window there was nobody else in sight. Lucky I never saw this picture as a child. I would have wanted to try a one-armed hang and might have ended up as fertilizer for my dad’s rhododendron bush.

I also used to climb an old rickety ladder from the landing outside my bedroom window to get onto my roof.   It was flat and full of tar bubbles and gravel.  When it was hot, which wasn’t very often, the tar bubbles would get all soft and melty and they were great fun to play with.  I loved it up there and when I got bored on mine I’d hop onto my neighbor’s roof.  The thing was the roofs weren’t connected.  They were about 4 feet apart so I’d just jump from one to the other and keep on roof hopping halfway up the block until I reached a gap between roofs that was way too far apart to jump.   A single misstep would have been fatal but again I was never afraid. I had a grand old time playing up there, throwing pebbles and watching them bounce on the black top below.

These are the types of San Francisco rooftops I used to play on.  They were flat and the view from up there was wonderful.

These are the types of San Francisco rooftops I used to play on. They were flat and the view from up there was wonderful.

Perhaps I had too much time on my hands….perhaps I should have had more supervision but I made it just fine.

Who would have thought this sweet looking little girl was going to turn into a roof hopping, window hanging daredevil?  That stuffed monkey was my favorite toy.  I took him everywhere. I think it's safe to say we were kindred spirits...

Who would have thought this sweet looking little girl was going to turn into a roof hopping, window hanging daredevil? That stuffed monkey was my favorite toy. I took him everywhere. I think it’s safe to say we were kindred spirits…

The point of these little vignettes from my life is that it’s a good thing to be able to trust your body, to know that you’re capable and strong.  Lots of us felt that way as children and then somehow we grew up and lost that pleasing connection between mind and body.  I’m not suggesting you take big risks.  That’s not a good idea but pushing just a little beyond your preconceived ideas of what you think you can do might have a pleasing effect that’s more than just physical.

I remember when I started doing real squats.  Not the assisted ones or the type using machines but honest to goodness free weight squats.  I thought 100 lbs was HEAVY and it was.  That was until I found out there were plenty of women who could squat much more.  My competitive spirit kicked in and I made a new goal…to squat 220lbs because that marked 2x my body weight.  I worked on it and worked on it and finally with much sweat and swearing (inside my head of course) I got it…for reps!  I was delighted.  It was evidence that I’d gotten  physically stronger but it also made me feel satisfied inside.  I hit a target that I’d never have even thought of when I first started out.

knowing that your body is responsive, adaptable and reliable is a fantastic feeling and it doesn’t have to stop with your childhood.  No matter how old you get it’s good to remind yourself of that.  Don’t ever stop….KEEP ON PUSHING!

10 responses

  1. Ahh love to read that you ur hitting the free weight squats as well! Good work!

    1. Oh yes, the free weight squats! Gotta do em! Took me just about 17 years to learn that lesson. I wanted the results without the work but I finally wrapped my head around the idea and started doing them consistently. Voila! The results I was looking for…funny about that…

  2. It is funny how we do things as children without ever questioning our own ability. Something I try to get my kids to understand. You CAN do anything and if you can’t at the moment, you just need to train a little and you will be able to achieve! The highlight of my day is to visit your blog and spend some time with you! Be good my beautiful Spider Monkey (see even your picture proves you were destined to by my spider monkey)!

    1. Yes! Now you know the truth…I really AM part spider monkey! I sure had a great childhood. I was always up to something. I didn’t mention in the blog that on occasion I’d take eggs out of the refrigerator, climb onto the roof, then throw them down onto the street. Now that was fun…and I admit a little naughty. Can’t figure out why my parents never noticed that there were eggshells in the street at the same time the eggs they thought they bought went missing. lol…

      Happy, happy weekend!!

  3. adorable u r

    1. Thank you. I was always making up new challenges for myself and I had a great time just playing alone. Both my parents worked and although I had babysitters I enjoyed my own company! Hope you’re doing well and enjoying these winter days!

  4. Great story roof hopper.. Yes so true..trust and push your body to the limits… You were so adorable as a child..well not were.. You still are adorable lol

    1. Thanks Artie! I had a great childhood…spent a lot of time playing by myself and making up things to amuse me when nobody else was around. I used to love to challenge myself and I still do!

  5. Awwww! Another great blog. I just love the pic of you OMG so very adorable… I still smiling (can you see me?). Keep rockin it!!!!

    1. Hi Matt! I was a very happy go lucky little girl. I played a lot by myself and had a great time doing my daredevil tricks!

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