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S2 Episode 83: Pokemonification


Do you have to catch them all? In this week’s Handstandcast Emmet and Mikael discuss the pressure to do all the things in handstands.

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S2E83 – Pokemonification

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Transcript of Episode 83: Pokemonification

EL: Hello, and welcome back to the Handstand Cast with me, Emmet Lewis and my glorious co-host Mikael Kristiansen. How are things going, Mikael?

MK: Yo, yo yo. Yes, they are going and yeah, pretty well. Mid-rehearsals day in day out of figuring out old stuff and —

EL: Zombie show basically, huh! It’s a zombie show, basically?

MK: Oh yeah, it’s mega zombie. It’s basically it’s been dead for close to six years, five and a half years. And now we’re casting dark magic and pulling it out of the grave, which is, yeah, lots of fun. We have a lot of stuff to kind of figure out with it since-

EL: How did that come about, actually that they decided to resurrect? Did they get some bookings for the show or did they just decide to do it again? 

MK: Don’t know. I think it’s a combination of things like my conspiracy theory is basically that it’s a combination of the show was decently popular, and they probably have gotten some requests for it through the years. And it sounds like kind of a very unique aesthetic and stuff. And I think also it’s one of the last large running shows that the cirque had with the director Tilda, which is kind of the main director of the company, that had a very long show run, and they just did like a new massive production called Circus Days and Nights. But that one is basically a circus opera, so it has it can’t be played in the regular venues that the company usually uses.

EL: When you say circus opera now, I’m sure you probably mean like opera, but music and everything. But I’m kind of picturing like space opera like Star Wars but set in a circus.

MK: I mean, it kind of is. The cool thing with that show is that it’s like the music is composed by Philip Glass, if you know who that is. 

EL: Oh, wow, yeah.

MK: He’s a big ass name. I met him actually in the circus hall when they were starting the project. Really old guy. But he composed the music and they made a huge opera show. But that one is for specific venues like opera venues and large stages. Whereas, like the show piece that I’m in now is for, how to say, like the standard size stage that these types of touring shows go to. So most stages in various cultural houses or things  that can host it. Yeah, it’s a big show, but it’s not. It’s not like arena sized or anything like that. So, I guess after COVID, they really also want to have shows back on the road and there being some demand for that one, they just decided to, yeah, do black magic and ask us, “Hey, do you want to play anything again?” Yeah, sure, I guess. 

EL: Do we even still have the equipment to run the show? 

MK: It feels really like a time machine because I mean, I wasn’t on factory. It wasn’t a thing last time I ran knitting piece, and just so many things happened in in the meantime. So kind of going back in there and you hear the music and you’re on the same place, and even though you haven’t done it for five years, you still remember the cues when you hear the music you remember, remember where you were supposed to be and stuff? 

Yeah, and there’s lots of holes in our memories.So right now we’ve just been doing like loads of rigging and the show has an enormous fuck off because all of it is based on ropes and pulley systems and knitting and threads and yarn. And just all kinds of crap you can do with that. So, the rigging is complicated, to say the least. And we have a a new stage technician and she now has to pick up all of that and the markings on the old process where everything used to hang is gone because they’ve painted it or changed parts of it. 

So, no one knows how certain parts of the structure used to be. We need to recreate it a bit. It’s pretty darn cool. It’s just, yeah, time consuming. And we also have replacements that need to learn the show and stuff. Joanna Martinaud is in it, and she’s kind of my handstand partner in the show. We used to be two hand balancers, or we’re always two balancers in it and the original one named (Diana inaudible) I know she’s pregnant. So yeah, it’s a lot going on, to say the least. How about you?

EL: I’d say I have a lot going on, but I’ve just been writing. And yeah, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes, actually. But I can’t talk about it until we have some confirmation, which will probably come. We’re hoping to get something next week, but yeah, probably January before I can actually talk about it. But then you’ll be like, oh, what’s Emmet been doing? My other podcast and stuff had to be shelved for a small bit until next year and you’ll understand why when it all comes out. But yeah, I don’t know. I’ve just been in thinking hell. Do you ever think when you get into all of these thinking in circular points where you’re trying to figure stuff out mentally but have a lot going on? So, while you’re trying to remember a show, I’m just sitting here going, “Hmm.” Basically, that sums up most of my days. 

And then it’s also has been a marked increase in socializing lately and that kind of stuff with Christmas and other stuff, which is fine. But as anyone who knows me or not, actually not that social a person. So, it’s kind of like, oh no, I have to get it done. So, it’s fine. But yeah, so it’s a bit of socializing going on. We have to socialize before we get locked down for Omicron. All I can think about when people say Omicron is unicron from Transformers.

MK: Yeah, I thought the same. That was the giant planet that 

EL: turned into a thing. 

MK: And it eats other planets!

EL: And he kind of looks like this thing. He kind of looks like those models you see of coronavirus. So when I see Omicron, you really missed it not calling him unicrom.

MK: Be amazing. Like the next version is going to be called Megatron now and then they’re just like…

EL: Oh, well it’ll be so much cooler. If instead of naming it off the Greek letters and, you know, beers and stuff, they actually just called them after Transformers. Someone actually suggested whilst taking a piss. Like once we run out of Greek letters, we move on to Pokemon, which is actually an incredibly nice segway for the topic of our episode. Another good one I might take you on. Smooth. Did you like that?

MK: Yeah, good one Emmet. Yeah, yeah. So, today’s episode is about Pokemon.

EL: What’s your favorite Pokemon?

MK: My favorite Pokemon, I don’t know. Well, what’s his name? Gengar is pretty cool. I don’t know anything about Pokemon. It was just like a bit too late for me, but he just looks cool.

EL: Yeah, yeah, that’s the thing. I just don’t really know any Pokemon. It’s just a bit late for me as well. I was one of those cool kids that didn’t have Pokemon cards, but oddly enough, one of my clients is probably listening to this, not quite anymore, but he was one of my clients. He was telling me about his Pokemon. I made a joke about Pokemon cards and he’s like “I’ve got all my collection.” And he’s like, yeah, I’ve got all the collections. In perfect nick. He has loads of first-generation rare cards that probably if you can get a collection price, it’s probably like a down payment on a house. He was that kid who, like, didn’t trade them just kept them perfect.

MK: So, yeah, we should have kept… I had a friend of mine. He had a black lotus and a magic. He also sold it for, like, about a hundred euros. He’d probably get omega cash for that now. Yeah, like the actual segway into the topic, which had to do with Pokémon was that if we speak about handstand, do you have to catch them all? Yeah, I guess that is today’s topic. And I think this is kind of an interesting thing. Again, just because of like your handstand develops or handstand practice, developing kind of a culture around it and all of that stuff that we’ve talked about before. But yeah, it becomes this kind of question like to what degree do you need to do all the things or else you’re not doing handstands? 

EL: Kind of, yeah. The pokemonification. I made a few jokes that are like pokemodification of movement, but really in the early days of movement practice, when it was the thing where, you know, a certain coach was presenting certain standards that you had to have to be considered a mover. And if you didn’t have these standards, you weren’t a mover. And you see it in all kinds of disciplines. But then the standards kind of change every now and then, depending what people are interested in. 

But as you start coming into it, these standards keep on building themselves. There’s like generations of standards or generation of Pokémonification you got to catch up and  it’s movement-amon or handstandemon, or it’s like, I’ve got to be able to do all the things. And then like, you’re also going to, you know, possibly blazing behind someone who’s been in doing it for five, 10, 15 years, who has done all the things by virtue of doing just being around long enough. And then there’s also flavor of the week things as well and flavor of the month and flavor of the year things where, if you’re not doing this, you know, that’s the new standard, that’s the new cool thing. You see it in everything, you know. 

We see it in fitness at the moment. There’s a great one going on with knee influencers knee-fluencers, I call them. Where it’s obviously on the back of the ATG guy who’s, you know, the knee guy. He’s like, fix your knee, he’s got the exercise to fix your knee. And then there’s people attached to them, obviously. So that’s fine. But then there’s a whole brand of people who are not even certain they know about this guy, but they’re just copying his exercises and being like the knee guys, the knee girls, they’re like influencing you to look after your knee. Hmm. So it’s a bit of a meme. Catch of the week.

MK: Yeah, but it is really. Yeah, I mean, in relation to real mimetic theory. But I think it’s important to at least be aware of because a mass digestion thing where you get pulled into it and then you start valuing the things that other people value a lot. So, if you’re in a group of, I mean, obviously you go into calisthenics and then yeah, everyone wants to do the planchet. The planchet is really cool, the planche is really hard, i.e. you should want the planche because if you do the planche, you’re one of the cool guys. I mean, this will always be a factor. I think everyone that wants to do a one arm handstand and learn one is because at one point they saw it and they were really mind blown and impressed and went like “Shit, I actually really want to do that.” Then after all of the pain and suffering you go through to learn it, you do need to value it. And that’s great. 

But I think down the line, it comes down to this thing of, so where do you set the standards? Why do you set the standards you set and do you need all those signifiers of skill or strength or flexibility, depending on what you’re doing? And I think this is where the Pokémon thing is from my perspective, you do not need to catch them all whatsoever. Like, there is a certain value to catching a bunch of significant ones in that will maybe like the kind of the primary cluster of things that give you lots of options. I mean, up to let us say that most people that are above average interested in handstands will maybe want a one-arm and if they’re serious and they go for that one-arm, there’s a bunch of skills that they should maybe attain on the way to make sure they’re they’re putting themselves there in a reasonable manner.

EL: It is that kind of thing I think you have to try everything out because you won’t know what your special talent is for a while. And this is the kind of thing I think we’ve talked about this about this before, like Kiev and performing in particular, and performing in general. It’s like if we take someone who is going to be a circus artist and has to compete with the best of the best. So, the best of the thing, then it’s better for them to have a nice vocabulary on something that’s very unique and that they’re very good at rather than a very flat vocabulary of just being generally good at everything where if you’re generally good, then there’s nothing kind of shiny on it. 

So, you need specializing, I don’t know, fire type Pokémon or something specialized in black bands. And you know, we all have natural attributes like we can kind of split people up roughly into frontbenchers and backbenchers in flexibility type. It’s like, OK, if you’re a back bender, maybe just spending more time on contortion, a Mexican and back bendy shapes and skipping them so much.

You see this with a lot of people who are a bit outside the handstand community but still do handstands. They tend to find something they’re good at and just do it because they haven’t been told that there’s loads of other stuff that you have to be able to do. That’s right. Yeah, you see it a lot, I don’t know, you see a lot of people coming from yoga or maybe aqua yoga where you know the scenes that mightn’t have so much of a formal coaching side or formal. This is this is the right way side. They come in and they don’t even know there’s a difference between a seven, a pike, a straight tuck, a hollow back. They just do what they want. And then like, they’ve got some very nice hollow back shapes because they use their strengths and that’s all they really do. So, it is kind of an interesting break. 

MK: Breaking does that thing to where you just come up with your own shapes and your own things. And that is that to a large degree when it comes to handstand related skills, at least in there. And it’s always about coming up with your own tweak to it. And I think there’s certainly a value to that. And I think that that is totally cool, and I think it’s also totally cool to, I mean, we’ve made such a stratified vocabulary ourselves with the way that we, I mean, pretty sensible or we both think is pretty sensible, obviously, because we spent hundreds of hours making these things. But like the fact that like to arm handstand leads into shapes which then entries, which leads to pressing, which leads to one-arm because both the raw level of difficulty and time commitment on them will sort of be increasing the further in you go. And the time committed and the difficulty. 

But I think particularly when it comes you have all these different families you have, like all this straight action shapes and which leads you to the one-arms. And then you have the press stuff, which is pretty good to have for the standing but you don’t need the low press and then you have the planche family that you can be really good, low press, but suck at planche. You have the handstand push up that you can be really good at, but still suck at planche and presses. You have the Mexican family, which you can be really great at and still suck at straights or vice versa. Or you can even be great at contortion, terrible at Mexican vice-versa and all of this. Like, there are all these different kind of variations. And yeah, just depending on your body type and on kind of leveraging your strengths or/and basically mostly leveraging your interests towards the domains or movements that you like the most, I mean it’s pretty sensible, but I think it’s easy to kind of get lost a bit with social media. You see all these things and you go like, “Oh shit, FOMO. I should also be Mexican because someone else did like a really cool Mexican.” Then you bumble around a bit and then, and nothing really comes of it because maybe it wasn’t actually the thing you wanted, but you saw it and you got that stressed thing, I should also be training on this stuff. 

But I think it’s important to kind of stop yourself a little bit on those things and go about. But is this really where I’m going to commit time into? Or is it if it can be fine to just get inspired, try a bit. And that’s it. Like, I think that’s sort of, yeah, that FOMO sensation of, “Oh shit, I should also be good at this because someone else is good at it and I am not. Then I am less of a person.”

EL: Yeah, that’s like, you know, I think that’s kind of where we probably maybe draw the line or something and we’d never discourage anyone from trying something out to play around with it. And I think once again, it comes down to being clear with yourself while you’re doing something. It’s like, “Oh, I seen something or seen someone do a sequence in whatever, and it was really inspiring and I want to try play around and just do it. I just want to have a fun session or a fun week or a fun month just trying this out ” Versus “Oh shit, I seen this person doing it. I’m not doing it. Therefore, I’m a bad person.” And that’s very important, particularly because we’re kind in a semi golden age of a lot of skill based social capital, things. Whereas like if you look at a lot of your fame, your favorite hand balancers, there’s very few of them who can do it all to a very high level, very few. Everyone has a specialization or stuff they do incredibly well, and that’s cool. Some of the Chinese artists can do everything like all the crazy contortions stuff as well as straight stuff, but it’s very, very few. 

But it is just that kind of thing, whereas you’re like, “Oh, I’m on my feed and I see ten hand balancers a day and each one of them is great because I’m following them and “oh, there’s Mikael!” What were you doing today? You were tying a knot in a string in a one arm handstand. So, I should be tying the knot, but then there’s Pavel Stankovic, and he’s doing a back flip to a Mexican to a one-arm: “Oh, why am I not doing a backflip to a Mexican?” Here’s Imogen. She’s doing something weird and you’re just like, you’re suddenly swimming. Like, you have access to some of the people who are possibly the most creative or the most top of the discipline you know, has existed or that we have record of anyway. And then you’re seeing these and you’re comparing themselves and you’re like, oh, it’s very good to be inspired and very good to see this level. But at the same time, when you suddenly start seeing all these tricks, but you’re not really relating them to as a person, you’re just relating them to your screen and thus goes you’re building up an image, a hand balancer because I’ve made a composite hand balancer, not an actual hand balancer, and made a projection.

MK: That is a good word, a composite. And I guess it like literally is a composite. Impression of what it should be or what it is, and so on and on top of that, like the classic thing that most people know, but your primal brain doesn’t know, it is the fact that you see all these things you see mainly the success you see that you see people showing their best, which is fine. And it’s the classic thing everyone knows on social media. It’s not like in real life, lol. And we’re all very acutely aware of that. But like as you see something awesome and you react to that awesome like it’s your…

EL: Dopamine feedback reward system.

MK: Yeah, exactly. That goes, OK, I should do this or I am better than that or your emotional system responds to this. And that’s where I think it can be healthy to remember that. OK, well, you see someone do a fucking switch in line with their legs together into some fancy stuff. Yeah, that’s cool. But it’s also like, I like to call a lot of these things video tricks because it’s the stuff you’d spend some time nailing it on the video, but it’s what you rehearse into your show because it is if you understand what it means to be performing at a high level with many shows a week, you just do not do those things. But still, I think your brain easily kind of has the impression that this is how real life is and it isn’t. 

And when we then composite together all of these things, it ends up at some impossible level and it also warps what quote unquote high level or good skills or whatever. How you would describe it warps what that is because that is always in context. Like, I would say that anyone who’s does a one-arm handstand, they’re very capable on their hands because the average general subset of skills, you need to be able to do a one-arm handstand is… It’s quite large, and the amount of time you spent is quite long. So, you’re very capable on your hands, even if the hardest thing you can do is to straddle one arm handstand.

EL: But it’s also like a percentage of the population as well, huh? Percentage of the population who can do one arm handstands, you’re kind of a freak if you get to there.

MK: Yeah, in that regard, definitely. I think it’s perhaps better to relate it to how long a time you’ve invested into the thing. And for most people, if you’ve invested a significant amount of time, you are likely pretty decent at it. But it’s also this classical discussion that I find extremely boring, really. And this is like, who is the best hand balancer or who is your favorite hand balancer? I definitely have partaking in that discussion many times, and I probably will many times in the future.

Speaker1: We all know it’s Artur anyway.

MK: Yeah, pretty much. But it’s kind of I just I find it a much less interesting discussion now than before. Through the years I found these sort of things are the most fun to train. These are the ones that I assign the most value for me to do.

EL: Hold on, we’re missing a Pokémon metaphor here. So, Mikael, tell me how you build your Pokémon handstand-emon deck.

MK: I mean, you need a bit of everything, right, because there are many elements and you need to be able to attack and defend against the different ones, I assume is pretty, pretty the classical elemental systems or most roleplaying games. However, like you won’t have, you might not have a roster of all the elements. For example, the element of backbendy stuff — that can fuck right off.

EL: Dude, I’ll tell you, you’re going to blow your shoulder doing normal one-arm handstands. You’re going to come crawling to me. Your future now as a contortionist is suffering.

MK: Oh, no.

EL: It is, I can sense it, it’s in your blood. Embrace your Viking genetics and bend your back.

MK: I’ll find them an exoskeleton or some shit. But it’s interesting.

EL: Yeah, it’s kind of an interesting thing because if we go back to the Pokemon metaphor and it is interesting, is: someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re building your deck and you have a certain amount of points, or maybe that’s magic where you have to put in. You can only have this amount of points in your deck. So, then you could specialize in one thing and then all your points go on one thing or you could spread your points over or do a few things. And then the thing is, you can change your deck month to month as well, so that’s the kind of thing. There is room to like, fuck around and change things. But at the same time, to get to the higher, nuanced levels you have to, I don’t want to say multi class or straight into Dungeons and Dragons metaphors now. If you’re multiclass, you can’t get to the highest levels of the other classes, so you do have to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages.

MK: Yeah. I mean, in the end, you have a set amount of hours to practice and to recover from if you’re for anyone. And if you surpass that ratio too much, you end up wrecked. So, yeah, I think in general, it’s good to be a bit selective. And yeah, my kind of peel back a bit or peel back often on like, OK, so what is it you actually like about this? What are the things that you aspire the most to do? And then you can branch out. You can fiddle about some days. You just have fun and fuck around, so on and so on. And then you stay in touch with the things that you like the most. In the end, trying to  chase all of these various funs because that it seems on paper the smartest thing because then you are good hand balancer because you can do a bit of everything. And then of course, also the other big topic around this, which is the one then “Are there certain things that you have more easy for learning, i.e. talent, whatever than other things? And does that align with your interests? Or does it not?

EL: Yeah, just like you and backbend.

MK: That can be a tricky one. Luckily, both pointers are kind of away from the back.

EL: I’ve seen you the one back bend a year you do and suddenly you’ve got a pretty good bridge. I can smell it. I can see you doing a triple fold. Let me sit on you.

MK: Oh, my god. Well, when I am mega dead, someone can just break my corpse into a triple fold and take a picture. That’ll be good. Then they can send that on into the elance of the future. And just look, he could do a triple fold.

EL: Christ Mikael, you could do everything. I think that’s an interesting one actually to go on if we define our elemental types of handstands and say, what some of the attributes might be and what you might want to look out for, just for a bit of comedy. Yeah, more so than anything else. So, we have the straight shape family, which I would say would basically be our straight handstand as we know it containing the line. Now, obviously, this has all its different shapes. This is a kind of thing like the way I split handstands up mentally is by shoulder position. We have the straight-line shapes, we have the Mexican shoulder shapes and we have the closed shoulder shapes and then they have their subgroups in there, depending what your legs or torso are doing to follow along. And then we have one-arm as well, which would be a thing which would also have variations on the shoulder positions, too. With the straight one, obviously the advantages of a straight one is you get to do a straight handstand. The disadvantages of the straight handstand is you are basically going to be one of these people who are constantly saying, “No, my line doesn’t look good enough.” You can get over fixated with the line.

MK: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. This is the form specialist.

EL: The line specialists.

MK: Yeah, we’ll just like, oh yeah. Like, you constantly look at the line: “I must refine. I must look like this and I must search for the perfect… Or you can never get too much good at the basics. You must always repeat.” I just fall asleep.

EL: Yeah, it’s kind of interesting. Actually, I would say that. Because Mexican shoulder shapes people don’t train too much. They’re kind of tricky and people are generally good at them, whatever. But it’s very rare to find someone in the kind of contortion shape who does more contortions than handstands, who gets epilepsy. It was like, I must do two minutes, five by two minutes of this before we move on to my advanced stuff. It’s kind of an interesting one.

MK: Yeah, the straight family, I mean, I think everything will think through kind of like this great one-arm shapes and so on, like even all the way up until there you have people who really and mainly, I mean, they get very good control kind of balancing. They get very effortless at locking the shoulder in this nice classic handstand shape. They also often get really good at one-arm like figa style balances can also come to some degree easily because you’re in such an elevated shoulder position, if that’s what you’re constantly working towards. 

And then you have, of course, the complete opposite side of the spectrum, the planchers, who basically, I mean, I’m sure most of you people that are out there that do a lot of handstands and interact with a lot of handstand people, you know, like those couple of people who are just like, “Hi, I do planche.” And that is all that matters. Like, as if it’s your entire thing, all you train hand balancing, you do all different handstands. That person does planche. They need to be a horizontal line. That is the only thing that matters. I know several people that are like that, like for many years. It’s just like they need to be a horizontal line or else nothing matters, and you need to have the epic fucking feeling of just floating above the ground by the sheer force of your shoulders.

EL: We could always call these like the linear geometry types we have, like the straight up and the straight sideways ones.

MK: Yeah, and they form a cross when they meet.

EL: The holy handstand.

MK: But I mean, people that do those of planches and all that stuff. Of course, you have easy access to low pressing to a degree as well. Like form up in handstand might often not be the greatest since you leverage the forces you have. And it’s easier for someone who’s omega planching to just lean into their biceps and delts. But they have loads of power. And if they combine that with more quote unquote technical hand balancing, you usually see people have the planche stuff and have it easily to a degree are also people with good strength to weight ratio and leverage in terms of body proportions and stuff and strength moves are of course, accessible to such people. Then you have the benders, of course, like everything back bending, and I think there is a…

EL: A flexible type and a stick type.

MK: Yeah, if you look upon among the ones that do back bending. Maybe Mexican type would be like ice element and contortion would be water element because they don’t necessarily overlap. Yeah, they’re in similar kind of areas but they’re not… I know contortionists, too are like, “Oh, fuck Mexican.” Yeah, the opposite.

MK: Yeah, no, definitely. It’s the similar, but not the same. I would agree with that. Yeah, and then we have subgroups of spine bends type and fuck you I’m just going to open my shoulders type. There is the open the shoulders type is a classic one in the two open straight line as well. You’ll generally find that in tuck and my butt is hanging over as well kind of shapes as well. You get that. Whereas not necessarily the back is bending as well, whereas the scorpion with the closed shoulder type, we get them really good. Or when you want to work on that skill, then the back has to bend. Otherwise, you’re doing a planche. If your back doesn’t bend, you close your shoulders.

MK: Yeah, there are several. Yeah, what other ones do we have? I mean, you have the arm benders, of course, like handstand push up.

EL: I don’t put the arm benders to wide arm handstand type who just have their arms really wide and slightly bent as well. It’s a rare type generally like it goes along with the “I’m strong” crew. But at the same time, not the “I’m planchet-y” crew.

MK: And then, of course, flyers. Yeah, very. That’s definitely one.

EL: Flying type.

MK: You put them on top of someone in hand-to-hand, etc. They kick ass. They can usually do pretty well on ground, but particularly on two-arms. But like one-arms can, there is often a discrepancy between the ability of one arm on the ground versus what they do on the base or on cane versus base, where they breathe through figures and  combinations and whatnot on the base and you put them on the ground. And the searching for balance element is not developed to the same degree, even though like technique and placement and body awareness. And the position is just like stellar. But there’s no response mechanism and kind of the force you need to correct balance constantly. It’s just not developed. 

EL: How do you call that, flying type? Obviously flying type, but I’m kind of picturing…

MK: Maybe wind element. Are you sitting making some fucking lists of this Emmet?

EL: We’ll have the transcripts, so it’s fine. We’ll make Handstandemon as our next Kickstarter. 

MK: Oh God. I mean, some people are probably going to take us too literal here and think that we’re actually doing elemental types here. 

EL: You know, someone is actually just going to take this whole episode and turn it into something and make it into a system. It’s OK. We came up with this first.

MK: Ice Type! You just find your handstand phenotype. 

EL: What we really need, though, like is do you remember top trumps? 

MK: No, no, no idea.

EL: Oh my God, don’t remember Top Trumps! So top Trump like a playing card game or like the classic one would be, you’d have cards or comic book villains like Marvel villains or Marvel heroes, and they’d have attributes and skill points put onto them like weapons one-hundred, strength fifty. And you’d be playing with me and I would have a battle, so I’d pull out someone and it was my go. I’d call out like, you know, galacticos weapons one-hundred and you’d go, oh, Reed Richards, shit, I’ve only got weapons ninety, so I take your cards and whoever’s card trumps the other one.  

It could be like, cars as well. Oh, Audi, no indicators. You’d be like, oh wow, my BMW has indicators. That kind of shit.

MK: Interesting. 

EL: So you could have one for handstand. You could have a handstand top trumps where we rate all the things, you know how hard it is to do a balance required, you know, flexibility, blah blah blah. So you can rate all the kind of things and then have a handstand top trumps.

MK: We just need to adjust for all of the variables in the known universe. So there’ll be many cards.

EL: Yeah, exactly. But that’s how we keep getting our next generational ones released like generation two, once everyone’s got a whole set and we’ll release G-three.

MK: But you also have press to handstand nerds. That is definitely one. 

EL: Press nerds, yeah.

MK: I’m certainly in that category. I remember when I learned my first press. I didn’t know it was called a press to handstand; my legs just went off the floor. “Shit! That’s pretty cool!”

EL: I invented something new that no one’s done before.

MK: Yeah, it’s like mind blown. What? What, what just happened? But yeah, I think I think the search for gravity is at least some sort of common denominator between most people that do this stuff on more than just a semi-regular basis. And I mean, for me, that is certainly something really fucking cool about the way that you yeah, you just like fucking fly.

EL: I’ve seen that shit you’re doing on handstands recently as well. Where you are literally flying. 

MK: What? 

EL: What was that sculpture, Joey was doing handstands on her story recently. The contraption.

MK: You mean she’s up high? So basically it’s handstand canes that have two dolls kind of attached they go through two dolls. The dolls are actually knitted, weird kind of puppets that she’s hand standing on five metres in the air. It’s pretty terrifying. I’ve been up there doing a couple of one-arms myself and it requires you to focus. And she was a bit worried about it at first. But now it’s coming along. 

EL: Cool. I think it’s time to wrap up the cast right there.

MK: Yeah. So, loads of different things you can do. Commit to the things you like the most.

EL: I think the moral of the story of this cast is maybe you can’t catch them all.

MK: Yeah, exactly. And it’s still fine. 


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