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S2 Episode 84: Season 2 Wrap Up


In this episode Emmet and Mikael discuss the last year on the Handstandcast and talk about their favourite episodes.

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S2E84 – Season 2 Wrap Up

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Transcript of Episode 84: Season 2 Wrap Up

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

MK: Yo, yeah. How many times have you asked me that question? Holy shit.

EL: I don’t know. I just like to say the exact same thing at the start of every episode.

MK: That’s fine. I guess that’s what people do on podcasts. But like, holy shit, we’ve been babbling on about this shit forever. It’s weird we still have topics to talk about, isn’t it?

EL: Slowly, you know, the funny thing is we actually haven’t even covered every shape possible in handstands.

MK: No, that’s true. If we get true. But then again, we might just like, go down the asshole route of just like, well, changing every little shitty little part. And then like we, we basically never run out of material.

EL: Yeah, we could do what, you know, an episode, I suppose. What does my little finger do? What is optimal little finger placement for the two-arm handstand? Why is it different to the one arm? 

MK: To actually answer your question. Yeah, rehearsals of a show, which is great if any of our future listeners listen to this in like the doomed hellscape that is the scorched planet of whatever year you’re living in. And yeah, I am basically rehearsing during the — I don’t know — which wave is this of the COVID pandemic?

EL: We’re on Omicron, which is like the 15th wave or some shit like that, you know, unicron!

MK: Rehearsing some shows. Hopefully we’ll get to play a bunch of shows. If not, then, well, fuck it, but can’t complain. How about yourself?

EL: I’d like to say something new, but no, nothing. It’s same shit. Yeah, same shit different week, basically. Though, other than the last cast. Hopefully, we’ll have some news coming soon. That will be awesome. And they’ll be like, oh, Emmet’s happy for once. But until that moment, we have to bide our time waiting patiently. 

MK: Yes. 

EL: Well, we could say, we are, I suppose that this is our holidays episode or thing. If you do hold it around this time or not and you just have holidays forced upon yourself. Well, we suppose we’re going to do a bit of a recap of our year this year in Handstand. So, you might say I have a special sound made for this on my sound board. You could say it is.

It’s my last, it’s my last blaze of glory.

EL: So, this is my last blaze of glory for the year give. If someone can DM Mikael where that quote comes from, he will give you an award.

MK: Or if you can find where it comes from.

EL: Well, don’t give the hint, sorry. Yeah, you could say, uh, yeah…

MK: You will be facing some darkness that is very certain. Don’t go down the rabbit hole.

EL: Oh, let’s make it a little competition and give someone a free program if they can find it. But I’m not certain we can subject someone to that level of darkness.

MK: But uh, no, it’s actually more than just a little bit fucked up. So at your own risk, it is that. Let’s say it like that. Yeah, well, then the year now what the hell have we talked about? I feel we’ve had so many episodes and I’ve never listened to a single one. So, like, what? What, what did we talk about?

EL: What did we talk about? Yeah, it’s kind of like, I think we covered a lot of stuff this year. There’s definitely a few episodes that went very well down as far as we get something. But the first episode we talked about the line. 

MK: And oh, that one.

EL: Yeah, that one. I think we start every year with the line. I think we’ll start next season with the line as well. We start the very first one… We started the handstand. The line is basically the same thing.

MK: I think it should be a tradition.

EL: Start every year with the line and talk about the line again. I wonder when the line is going to become out of glory and people will talk about the curve. Maybe we should do that for the next thing. Talk about the curve and talk about handstands that are curvy. And how the line doesn’t exist. 

There’s a quote I was learning tailoring, as a hobby of mine, making clothes and stuff like that. There’s a specific style of English tailoring what’s called Rockabye or an English drape style. And one of the guys had a blog on about it. It was very informative back in the day. It doesn’t exist anymore, unfortunately, but he was talking about how he’d learned tailoring in college or university or something like that first and design school, and then went to serve an apprenticeship with this one of these Savile Row suit people, if you know that kind of thing. He started laying out. So, when you’re making a suit, you draw up a square, a grid kind of thing called the block. And then you adjust it. He pulled out his rule and the guy who was known for being super cranky, old, broke his ruler and it was like, “You show me a straight line on a human body and then you can use the ruler. Until then, you do it with your eye.” So, yeah, basically that’s it, for him you’re only allowed to use a thing called the hip curve, which you can do to draw the curve of hips. That was the only thing you would have to use. Everything else was just done with a measuring tape and guesstimation.

MK: Well, that’s certainly…

EL: If you’re paying for an expensive suit. Then, yeah, I think you need to make us… Mikael is doing a bit of origami right now. He’s making a man with a spear. I think we need to add a bit of origami ASMR into the episode, so you need to get your paper a bit closer to Mike.

MK: Can you hear this? Yeah. You can probably hear a little bit. Yeah, this is a flimsy paper, so you can’t read it. It doesn’t make too much noise as I fold it, which I am very happy about, and I actually colored the paper myself this time, which was loads of fun.

EL: I think it was kind of a bit of a team because you really got a lot of origami done this year I have to say.

MK: Yeah, last year too. During COVID, I probably folded more things and more advanced things than during the rest of my life, almost because, yeah, you certainly have a lot of time and sitting at home. So then well, folding a thing or two or 15 just kind of happens us. Yeah, as a result.

EL: No, it’s kind of cool. It was kind of, well, I think, yeah, it’s kind of like instead of having team music, we just have origami ASMR. Like I can guarantee you, there’s probably a YouTube channel making millions on the advertising thing of just origami ASMR paper rustling.

MK: I wouldn’t be surprised. I mean, paper has the satisfying sound, and people are apparently into very satisfying sounds. I mean nothing surprises me anymore. Yeah, the internet like, I mean, the last blaze of glory.

EL: I’m looking it up right now. Yeah. Origami Show and Tell the book ASMR. 1.4 million views. Gentle whispering ASMR. Yeah!

MK: Yeah, that is a market that I don’t really understand.

EL: ASMR Origami Pig, Crinkly Folding Paper Chinese New Year Special. One-hundred and thirty-two thousand views. Oh, my God. Original show and tell the collection ASMR. Gentle whispering origami ASMR. But looking at her origami, it looks like she can actually fold.

MK: Interesting. Or not interesting. I should stay away from that and not let them deprave my artform. Someone’s jerking off to that shit right now. You know they are.

EL: There’s a lot. Jesus Christ, there’s loads of them here. This is my biggest revelation. I thought it would be a bit of a joke. Oh my god. There’s so much. Fluffy sleeping whisper ASMR with a girl stroking a microphone, fluffy like their dead cat foam microphone. We know them – the kind of hairy thing that goes over a microphone, but she’s stroking it very suggestively. Get this shit off my screen. This is like, this is why we we’re experiencing COVID. It’s like the end times.

MK: I know, like, it’s because of that and because of NFTs. I think that people sell JPEGs for billions. This is divine punishment.

EL: I found out what NFT is actually. I kind of finally cracked and read up about what they actually were or another scam. It’s not even the copyright to an image. It’s not even like you own the image, it’s the receipt. You’re paying for a receipt to say you bought something. Yeah, and that you can sell the receipt.

MK: And then people will equate it to art and blah blah blah blah blah. It’s like art. Ok, fair enough. But I still think it’s jank that you can sell a fucking art piece for billions. So, it’s all just like and I guess the technology can be important – selling a JPEG receipt for that. It’s more than questionable.

EL: I was reading up on NFT and I’ve seen the best quote about them actually. And it was someone said, basically, if NFTs were really good for artists, the furry scene would be all over because they respect their artists a lot. And because none of the big furry artists and furry porn artists have gotten into NFTs. You can tell they’re not good. The point with an explainer like we’ve got a very weird crossover of people with lots of money and people are very good with computers in the first scene. So, there you go. If furries are ripping on your NFTs, you know it’s probably bad. 

You know, I can make the thing of like someone’s like, “Oh, I am a legit artist who’s doing stuff, and that’s fine.” But it seems to be just like, here’s a “Pepe the Frog and here’s a monkey giving a blowjob to banana. It’s not like, “Oh, it’s not like someone with  the original pitch “Oh, digital artists can get paid for the work.” Great. Totally in favor of that. But now it’s like it’s just turned into like shit memes.

MK: Yeah, it was just a bunch of cunts who basically a ton of pump and dump schemes to. 

EL: Yeah, yeah.

MK: I’m sure it can be used for something, but Jesus fucking Christ. That’s all I have to say about that.

EL: How do we turn our podcast into an NFT. If anyone wants to get in with that.

MK: We can make little shitty pictures. Fucking pixelated. Garbage handstands into NFTs and then say, “Look at this, this is unique. Buy it.” I got rich. You got a JPEG. Who’s smart now, motherfucker?

EL: Yeah. Basically, we’ll make more money off origami and handstand ASMR. Ugh, fell down again. Which kind of leads nicely. Going back to the topic of the episode: the kick up. We did a whole episode on the kick up as well.

MK: That’s a good, good solid topic, though.

EL: Yeah, it was kind of interesting. Well, it’s always kind of interesting just to kind of bash these things out and we just talk about them and go through all these ones. And I was like, “Oh yeah, we have the kick-ups and we have all the different ways of doing it. We have different strategies and things that were going wrong in it. 

MK: And end goals as well.

EL: It was kind of interesting. Also, my program might want to call Kick-Up Therapy: 50 kick ups a day every day for six weeks.

MK: Yeah, and just see what happens. Yeah, if you have a problem, try that, that’s basically it.

EL: Yeah, it kind of goes like I was doing a bit of an update to tidy up on the push program. We’re actually just plugging our program as normal, but just tidying up the programs and just tweaking them a little bit to make them a bit better from based on some of the feedback we got. I decided to put in a kick-up mastery program, which is just a smaller, short program. If you find you’re struggling with the hiccups, that just takes a lot of the concepts of the kick up that we have and just puts them in and breaks it down into segments and puts them into this and then practice some kick-ups to make it a bit easier. So that will be rolling out onto the manuals and the updates soon enough.

MK: Yeah.

EL: So, yeah, it’s a good thing about our program. It’s constantly updated as we get feedback from you, the people who use them to make them better.

MK: That is an important aspect of it. And I think maybe one of the coolest episodes we had was, yeah, was that one about when she didn’t work? And yeah, I remember quite a lot of people found that one interesting to you, obviously, because they had probably experienced the frustration of feeling that they’ve lost their skills or nothing works anymore. And just that regular kind of frustration thing that comes with the trade in a sense.

EL: Yeah, that was definitely one of the ones where we got the most amount of feedback from people. It was very interesting and obviously kind of struck a note. I think we kind of went, you know, we didn’t go against the trend. We basically straight up said like, you know, don’t work hard, just stop working and just kind of gave some strategies and other stuff. Which is obviously against the trend of like train hard or train longer train smash, smash smash, which obviously has a time and place. But I think just that whole idea of like accepting some days just don’t work and it’s sometimes OK to tap out.

MK: I think a lot of that kind of work hard or go home kind of attitude and like the push through tough assed mentalities has its value certainly. But I think it’s just taken for granted that that’s what you do. And of course, particularly in fitness. And I mean, it makes sense when you’re in a set, like an overload set, and you’re trying to lift more. Well then you need to do exactly that. But yeah, that doesn’t always apply with this. And you might end up fatiguing yourself for the next session and all that stuff. So, I think it’s it’s super important to remember. Like this morning I got out of bed and I woke up too early, so I was really fucking sleepy and I was like, OK, I’m just going to drink a lot of coffee, have some breakfast, and I’m going to go and do my training before because we were going to do a run through half the show.

So, I get up, I have coffee and food, and I sit there and I’m like a fucking corpse. OK, no, but get up. We go to the hall, get ready. I go there and I’m like, on the way I almost fall asleep on the subway. I’m like, no, we’re not going to make this work. I come into the hall and I’m like, Fuck This. I’m just not training today. There’s no point. I could have done it. I could have warmed up. I probably would have gotten somewhat in the zone enough to do something. But then what could I actually achieve? Was there anything that was possible for me to do today, which I couldn’t do tomorrow better? Yeah. All I could do is just add fatigue to fatigue and just end up doing less tomorrow even. Being strict with yourself with that, I think is really important if you are one of those characters.

EL: Yeah, it’s kind of one of those things to quote one of my maths professors. He’s talking about context in mechanics when you have one of these massive equations that are spanning pages and you’re trying to solve it and sort it out and kind of factor it, make it manageable, more so, it’s like one of his favorite phrases is “Be lazy, why put off today what you can put off tomorrow?” So just about like learning to recognize grouping things and then just file them away for later when they’ll solve themselves or just become irrelevant? So, it’s kind of interesting. It’s like, oh yeah, why bother today? Why bother force yourself through stuff when you can do it tomorrow and probably be better? 

It’s always that kind of thing with a training session. I remember some other advice I got…Who was this from? Some seminars. I think it was Christian Thibadeau ages ago, but maybe it was some other power lifter and they’re talking about every training session should have a crescendo. You should have something that it peeks at. And then you can talk about crescendos in terms of like, oh, you could build up to one over the course of a training session or you start off small and then it crescendos and then it goes down very quickly. Or it could be like, Oh, we’ll crescendo really quickly and then it tapers down into the accessory work. But the same idea of like, if you come in, you’re feeling point is like if you’re feeling a bit flat and feeling you won’t be able to launch the rocket, I think was his term, then there’s probably no point of trying to launch your rocket that day. So that kind of idea of just like, oh, how’s that feeling, OK, get in and get some work done and if it’s not working, then you know, maybe a crescendo isn’t going to happen.

MK: Yeah, yeah, it’s a complicated one. In relation to the response we got, it’s obvious that people are frustrated with this and having been in this fucking game for 12 years, I can at least tell you that if someone says they have a magic solution for it, they’re probably lying. Or not necessarily lying, but-

EL: They’re probably on meth amphetamine.

MK:. There isn’t one way that is always going to work. That’s always going to work for everyone. It’s very personal. Some people they really enjoy pushing themselves through. And some might even get a lot out of it in terms of like, yeah, if they need to develop discipline, for example, and they have a little bit too easy over time, just not doing it if there is a minor inconvenience. Yeah. So, it’s not just like an end be all solution, either. I have had sessions where I started terrible and ended amazing and the opposite. So, like, it’s just another thing you need to consider when you do this thing. Like with most of the stuff in your life, not the same kind of response is going to work to all situations. Life wisdom!

EL: Don’t just tap out immediately. You still have to try a little bit, but eventually you’ll know very quickly if things are beginning to get better or suddenly they’re getting worse. I listened to another episode we had, which was talking about the fight. The battle and fighting for balance. It was kind of an interesting episode.

MK: Yeah, I think it’s one of my favorites favorite concepts. But what I hate about it is that I’ve had people confront me and ask me about, do you just mean you should brute force everything? No, it’s not about going with all your might to stay up every single time because sometimes I was also wasting energy. But I think the concept is more about you need to put yourself in a mental state where you try to stay in balance because that’s how you’re going to teach your body how to respond. And then you need to also assume, or I think it’s at least healthy to assume that you would want to develop both macro and micro corrections. Bigger ones will teach you to do bigger ones, and it’ll reinforce the more micro corrections that you do as well.

EL: It’s all with the idea of fight. It’s not an all-out battle. I think was one of the things we came across on this. It’s more the idea of applying certain constraints and then deciding on what you’re going to maintain and then fighting to maintain them throughout the thing. You could almost say, the fight, it’s almost a concentration state as much as anything else.

MK: It’s mainly that I would say.

EL: You can accept, OK, I’m going to go in and just brute force everything and allow my position to change. Or you could be like, OK, I’m just going to go in. I’m going to keep the straightest body position I can. And when I’ve arched my back or lose my hips or something, then the set’s over. But that’s the fight. Fight doesn’t have to be like every set is taken to complete and total failure or physical exhaustion.

MK: I think it’s quite healthy to not take every single thing to exhaustion either because if you do, you are also…I don’t know if you might know the more sport science answer to this, but if you get close to the maximal ability you have, like, let’s say you do endurance and you push yourself to 90 percent each time or do 100 percent each time, you’re going to have a lot less left compared to if you just go to 60 percent each time. It feels like if you go to 60 each time you can keep doing stuff for a long time, like running a marathon. But the difference between how long you can do your max sprint and how long you can do a marathon isn’t equivalent to the speed at which you move in a sense, like since you can run a fucking 24 hour marathon at a reasonable pace, but you can only sprint at your max speed for a very short amount of time and it takes a long time to recover your energy if you go towards that kind of maximal exertion every time.

EL: Yeah, there is the idea of the fight isn’t the fight to survive the failure. Definitely keeping it within the zone, particularly when you’re dealing with skill work as well. There can be a case in point for fights OK, if you know, the goal of your thing is to force more repetitions, then obviously to get more fight in that way is one thing. But when you’re dealing with skill work and staying in balance the fight to stay, the fight is the fight to keep the center mass over the base of support. That’s it. And within the constraints you’re having. I think we talked about the different types of balance you could have in this, where we have the kind of zones of balance where the center mass is, the main sort of bit of it is, in the hand. Like the further goes the edge of the fingertips, the different balance strategy you’re going to have to maintain or adopt. And then it can be a fight to keep it in that zone, going to target shooting almost.

MK: I think that general thing of developing a mindset where because it sounds a bit stupid, but like and I know the term muscle memory is kind of not exactly correct in terms of what it is. It all needs to be extremely fast and hence you need to be hardwired. That’s the way it feels. When it’s good, it’s hardwired and you don’t know why you respond, but you respond. But if you’re not in the state where you try to respond, you won’t respond. Like if you’re if your mind is wandering elsewhere, you will not be able to do those correct things. But if your level of focus is high, then the chance of success is much higher. And over time, day after day you make this concentration space larger for yourself, so it becomes easier to both maintain. And like in more complicated situations.

EL: It’s definitely one of those things like concentration is a trainable skill in some ways for a lot of people that you can train your concentration to be better. And handstands is one of the ways to train concentration. I think this is one of the ways people get really into handstands in some ways because ust to stray into esoteric for a bit. We have the jhānas and the dhyāna, which are kind of concentration states from the Buddha, or Buddhism would have described them or they’ve been described in other systems as well. You have four concentration states, then you have four Samadhis, which are deeper meditation states, but they’re kind of you have to pass through the concentration side. So the more you can concentrate, the stronger your concentration, the more you’ll enter into this.

 And it’s kind of funny if you look at the research on flow state and something all they’re describing is the entry into the first Samadhi state for most people and for most people, you know, you hear sportsmen entered “the flow” and it’s a peak life experience. But it’s a trainable thing. I think that’s why handstands, there is that moment when you’re just totally inert, essentially time stops. You know, it doesn’t exist as a concept. There’s no breaks between movements. You’re not jumping around. Your focus is just on one kind of object. I think that’s kind of one of the reasons I get addicted to it because we can do it and off, and you can see there’s different levels of focus that can be held in it.

MK: I think there’s definitely something to that and I think it’s very comparable to both neuroscience terms of, I mean, from thinking fast and slow, all of that, with the intuitive system, one of the brain that is extremely fast at responding. And it does so with intuition, basically. And then you have the more analytical, slower version, which is the system too. Those are the terms of Daniel Kahneman, by the way, from a book called Thinking Fast and Slow if you don’t know that. 

The state is very similar to other things. So if you want to try to imagine how it is to be really good at doing a handstand. If you have a point of reference of something else in your life that you’re pretty good at doing. Something that you do very effortlessly and it’s kind of just like you take it for granted almost that your body can just do this. That is the state that you’re in when you do good handstands. You’re in that mindset. You rarely need to break it. And even if you break it, you can so quickly come back into it that it doesn’t ruin your balance, quite literally. Like you’re able to just handle that shift in state very quickly and efficiently. It becomes second nature like walking, like biking. And having a frame of reference for that can actually be quite useful to sort of know what you’re looking for because you are looking for that extremely, just yeah, you ask no questions. You just respond to the situation.

EL: Yeah, yeah. That’s a good one. Ask No Questions. You just respond or do the right thing. 

MK: Yeah, like fucking hell. So many times I just surprised myself. How the hell did I just solve this problem? I don’t know. I have no answer to that but I did somehow. And that was pretty cool. But it it’s almost more as if like you observe it happening to yourself than it is, then it feels you made the conscious decision to do anything at all.

EL: You just literally nailed one of the observation states in a meditation practice of you observe it happening to yourself. You abstracted the observers abstracted from the doer.

MK: Yeah. So, yeah, I think that’s also when it comes to the practice of handstands, it forces you there because you’re setting a certain set of limits to your body or you’re making yourself do something difficult and you need to stay in that state and then for longer and longer and longer. And I’m sure that everyone that listens to this as I have done handstands to some degree, you might lose balance because you’re fatiguing but you might also very often lose balance because you lose focus. You cannot maintain the concentration state for longer than a certain period and you start losing it.

I think for advanced one-arms, this is usually why you fall from advanced one-arms. When I was thinking about it, one of the biggest tests of that for me is if I do a training full flag. I know I need to stay in the flag for 15 plus seconds to make it all the way around. I know that I can’t start stressing at any point when I see when I’m three quarters around and I see the other cane. I can’t start thinking about it because if you do, you’re going to start rushing there and you’re going to mess up the shape. There’s so many things you need to like maintain the strength and the push. The bend and rotating the block and so on. I rarely train it. But when I do the move, it’s very often one of focus that determines whether or not I’ll make it all the way around.

EL: Yeah, yeah, no, it’s definitely an interesting test of concentration. Try to do two rounds of the training flag. Would that be possible for you or would it be superhuman?

MK: No, I couldn’t. I mean, I never trained them. I do the move occasionally. I’m sure I could do two rounds of training for flight if I trained it. If I train the endurance in full flight, I can stay for a very long time. It’s just not an endeavor that I’ve wanted to bother with, basically.

EL: I’ll give you a chance. You can train your bridge or you can train rotating flags for three spins.

MK: If I had to choose, I’d choose the flags.

EL: I know you would. A couple of my favorite episodes was this season. Well, my top favorite in terms of just like pure nonsense was the foot stand.

MK: Oh, yeah. Yeah, and some people actually took it seriously. I am absolutely flabbergasted. It was funny.

EL: Yeah, when we got comments and other stuff and critique and lot of stuff on like foot standing. I was like, OK.

MK: Yeah. And people – weren’t a couple of people asking if it was serious? And I’m like, it’s a joke. And they were like, “Oh shit, I feel fucking dumb right now!” I think one of the best things to do was the fact that I don’t know, probably not that many even knew, but you would get a discount on the program if you actually clicked on it and went all the way, all the way into kind of the link and stuff. I think that was a great play.

EL: Yeah, a few people went all the way through and claimed the price epic. Yeah, I wonder what we have planned for next year’s April Fools. 

MK: Oh God. 

EL: But yeah, that was my fault. That was the funnest episode to do. I think my favorite, my personal favorite episode actually went with them was the anthropology with Dr. Alex Pavlotski.

MK: Yes, me too. Yeah, that was loads of fun.

EL: That was cool just because we were always talking about so much anthropology stuff. You still doing the courses with him or they finish now?

MK: No, he sadly or not sadly, but he got a job, a full time job. I mean, he has kids and stuff, and he was very happy about getting that. So yeah, I can’t be nothing but happy for him.

EL: But it’s sad that you can’t take your courses anymore.

MK: Yeah. Like, of course, I would have loved to do more stuff with him because he was not only was he a good lecturer and stuff, but he had these interesting viewpoints. He had the ability to discuss all those different things and he would make people engage a lot in a good way.

EL: Yeah.

MK: I haven’t been involved in anthropology for a very long time either, so we’re kind of getting a little bit of a brush up of the entire.

EL: Yeah, that’s pretty cool. Let’s try to pull up the transcript because there’s so much in that one. We have transcripts, by the way, on the website, all the episodes that you can check out. And if you want to read and pick stuff out. There was so much stuff in that one. I’m just going through. Yeah, reading the proper and improper body, the pure and impure laid the physical practices. We have concepts of form ties into Judeo-Christian morality almost where it’s like, this is good/this is bad. Someone has decided and it’s very obviously simplified and Victorian force on it. But it’s very quickly defining not just because we have got good technique or particularly in social and subcultural or social capital, because things get defined as good as bad. But it also relates back to this concept of impure and impure. And then the body itself can never really be pure because the mind is the purest thing.

MK: And that’s to me is kind of like also linking into that thing of technique. Technique is pure in that sense. And you should be trying to achieve the perfect technique but the perfect technique doesn’t actually exist. It’s just a figment of imagination. And it meets the tainted body in a sense in that if we’re going to go all the way down the rabbit hole with that one. And I think that it’s super interesting. 

And I guess that that is a recurring theme for us on the cast to just like this, you know, the constructivist approach of what we do since it’s not it’s no different than most other practices that humans do. We have assigned certain signifiers of meaning to certain actions and then we do the actions and then assign value and purity, impurity etcetera to that. 

But that ties into loads of different anthropological notions and like even religious notions of, like you said, both Judeo-Christian but also just the general tendencies that you find kind of if you look cross-culturally on how loads of primary metaphors and the key symbols of various cultures function. And now I’m not going to go too far into all that shit.

EL: I feel like I could ask you about four questions and get you deep into it. Go on Mikael. 

MK: Probably

It’s my last – It’s my last blaze of glory.

EL: Do it, do it.

That was kind of interesting just to lay out because of his studies in other movement cultures obviously he came from a parkour background and studied around and seeing these kind of things. It’s not just a handstand community thing. Obviously, we kind of knew that, but it still is…There’s always a proper and improper. Maybe we should get him back.

MK: Yeah, we totally should. I can probably get it to happen.

EL: Yeah. I like to think he had a great time on our cast.

MK: I think everyone has a great time. I guess so. Yeah, we should get some more guests onto.

EL: Yeah, that’s definitely something we need to do to get more guests on next year. I think it’s just because our schedule was so all over the place this year. Like, you don’t understand the battle. We have to get together for casting on time, on other stuff. We say we organize time and then we’ll always have something come up or, you know, when it was trashed or other stuff. So, then we don’t record or shit because whatever it is, have this shit going on. So, it’s like we really need to lock down times where we can get guests on.

MK: Yeah, the behind the scenes of the podcast is basically, can we do it tonight? Yeah, I guess so. The end.

EL: Yeah, it gets to that. It’s kind of weird. Yeah. You’ve been super busy with all the acts and shows lately as well.

MK: Yeah, the last month has been kind of busted with travel and kind of kind of feeling like it’s reliving my previous life, my pre-pandemic…

EL: Mikael’s last blaze of glory.

MK: Yeah, almost my last blaze of glory. It could be my last blaze of glory for all I know. 

EL: All in all if you do handstands, you got a good 20 years left in circus.

MK: Yeah, if I want to. It’s actually fucking fun. I have to say it I like being able to return. Particularly this show, the one I’m doing now. For those of you who haven’t heard me blabber about that one, like I basically played that for how many years? I think we toured it for about three and a half years. So, I played the show 260-, I think it’s between 260 and 270 times. So, I am pretty well versed in it, to say the least. It’s a full show not just one act. I do a ton of different fucking things. A of really dumb shit. Yeah. Just being able to revisit it and relearn it, it’s been a blast. It’s just like, whoa, shit. It’s a kind of time machine to step underneath the rig and hear the music and it’s like, “Damn, yeah, this was my life for several years.” 

And yeah, the cast. The cast of the show is also a bunch of really fun, nice people who also used to play before. So, it’s for all of us. It’s sort of a big, big, big reunion in many ways. So, it’s very satisfying to be able to get back on that, at least for a while. There’s probably mainly going to be touring in Sweden, which I think is going to work out for the most part, and then we’ll see how it goes with international touring. But there is a decent plan, at least. So, I think that most of it can go through to some degree or other.

EL: We should organize a group outing from the Handstand Cast to your show.

MK: You know there will definitely be some casting from the road, that is for sure.

EL: Yeah. I don’t look forward to that, to be honest. Where was the last cast the one because you were in Norway recently doing the show as well with the girls.

MK: Yeah with the girls. That’s the other one. 

EL: The cast, people don’t know, our soundstage for that one was recorded under a bunk bed in a hostel. Was that in Hamstead?

MK: No, it was a bunk bed because we were touring as a school show. I created it with two friends. It’s super cute and adorable. And for six- to 10-year-olds. Yeah, so we were  in the middle of fuck off nowhere. I’d been in New York the week before and I fly from Manhattan basically to a place in Norway, which has a population density of three people per square kilometer. And it’s just like cold, freezing valleys and mountains over there. And uh, yeah, the selection of places to stay isn’t exactly ginormous, so you just had to take what you got. And that’s the place we got designated by the tour scheduling people. It wasn’t too bad, but yep, that was the bunk bed time.

EL: Yeah, some unique sound stages like we’re in everyone’s apartment at the moment, but that was an interesting one. I feel like I need to get more on the road and record. I’ve got some seminars booked in for next year. Loads of them actually. So, I’m going to record on the road and you have to suck it up.

MK: Yeah, I need to suffer with you, finally.

EL: I feel like we need to do an episode where it’s recorded with you in a sauna for a true northern European experience. You gotta last the whole hour where you’re caught in the sauna. And slowly will crank the heat up.

MK: I’m decent at saunas, but I’m no Finn. You can’t beat them at their own game. It’s just not possible.

EL: Why are they so hardcore about saunas. I thought all of Norway and upward…

MK: They came from there. I mean we have them everywhere in Scandinavia. But it’s a Finnish tradition. That’s where it’s kind of, I guess, also Russia. I guess the entire region has had variations of it probably through hundreds and thousands of years. But yeah, the Finns are kind of the experts. If you want proper sauna you go to Finland and they’ll set you up with some terrifying heat.

EL: I’m not sure that sounds good. I can’t do. I’m Irish. We do middling. It’s not too cold in winter, it’s not too warm in summer. It’s perfectly beige as hot as liquid.

MK: Yeah, that’s for you. It’s just green and miserable.

EL: Yeah, green and miserable. What more do you want? Uh, can’t think of other episodes to talk about. It’s just so many and that’s the thing we could talk about every single one. Talk about all the ramble casts and this is going to be a ramble cast, but a nostalgia trip, basically.

MK: Well, every episode is in reality, a ramble cast. I think we have to admit that that is our natural habitat. So you can’t take us out of our natural habitat too much, I think.

EL: Yeah, fair enough. I think we’re pretty good at staying on topic, I have to say.

MK: Yeah, in parts. Sometimes we can speak about a topic for an extreme time. And other times we can barely even start a fucking topic without it having passed 20 minutes.

EL: That’s kind the nature of podcasts is you to have to fight very hard to just not turn into conspiracy casts.

MK: Yeah, yeah, it’s true. We need to also start our conspiracy casts.

EL: Yeah, that’s the thing. It’s kind of like, I think for women, like podcasts for women, eventually, podcasts will have to all turn into true crime podcasts.  And for men, you just have to slowly turn into Joe Rogan, wouldn’t it be?vUnfortunately, I’m not buff, so that’s pretty good. It keeps us away from Rogan. We’ve done a lot of solo shows this this season as well, that was kind of, yeah.

MK: All the travel and stuff. What was my last one?

EL: Training myths.

MK: Training myths that

EL: I haven’t got the transcript, eaters quickly read it or is it up? No, it’s not up yet. Well, still got our transcript person working on that. Yeah. What training did you do?

MK: Yeah, I don’t remember because I just talked about things and then I have no idea what they were usually like, I don’t know. I’ve never listened to a podcast or our podcast, so I just simply do not know. But I am pretty sure I talked about some things. And let’s see. Yeah, I talked about the line thing. I talked about technique as kind of a remedy for everything thing. I think I bumbled a lot around the thing where I look upon technique as a coming together of various other subsets of skills like strength, flexibility, understanding, etc. and when applied in a certain way, then it ends up being technical. Whereas the idea of technique being this kind of thing you just understand and then apply and hence you just need to understand technique and hence you will be able to stalder press. You know what I mean?

EL: Yeah, the abstract versus technique, the embodied kind of thing is very different. Those are kind of a thing.  was wanting to look to kind of keep it at a higher tier or higher level. Always find this idea. When we’re doing solo casts on interesting stuff, I think about the ones I’ve done as well. I’m drawing a blank. I think there is kind of a state or talking state you get into when you experience workshops as well. When you’re talking and you’re doing, you have your workshop planned or roughly know what you’re going to do and then you go off and you’re like, oh, I had this amazing 15, 10 minute segment of explaining something that I’ve never explained before, but I’ve totally forgotten what it is because I was totally in the moment. And not bothering to remember things. 

MK: Yeah for sure. 

EL: I think that’s an interesting state to get into. If we could go back to a season of this, like, did I talk about that? Ooh, Magic Pills. That was one of the hot ones as well for me.

MK: Yeah, yeah, that’s a good one. Also ties into that technique thing. 

EL: The technique pill, I think, was definitely one of the, we definitely had the technique pills in there. 

MK: Yeah, the magic pill is, of course what everyone wants, and technique is a very attractive one. It sounds very sensible because when you see someone is really good at it, you can see the technique expressed and then you think,” Hey, I just need to achieve what this person has.” Basically, what you’re trying to do is “I will try to mimic the aesthetics of what I see.” I think that’s what you do. You see the handstand looking in a certain way and then you try to mimic how that looks. But it might not either be possible due to limitations of your physique. Or it might indicate you’re not strong enough. You’re not flexible enough. You don’t have control over your body in that way. But all of those hours that are between where you are and where you need to be to do the thing become forgotten because like that’s the expression of and I think that that’s also relating to another episode with spotting. I think that’s where spotting gets it wrong because it puts you there and then it gives you the idea that you learn the technique, you learn the placement by being held there. But there is nothing, very little of your body that needs to work to keep you there.

EL: I think it’s an idea of you’re mimicking the effect and not the cause of the effect.

MK: Hmm. Yeah, pretty much.

EL: Basically, yeah, especially when you’re trying to copy an aesthetic.

MK: Because that’s what you see. You see the shape, OK, I’m going to try to put myself into the figa shape. And then you think that if I get into the shape correctly, then I should be able to stay. But that case is very unlikely.

EL: Yeah, unfortunately. That would be so nice if you could just put yourself into position and just stay there and didn’t have to actually balance it. 

MK: Hand to hand. Well, then again, if it’s hand-to-hand, you need at least be able to get there well and you need to have a base that actually knows what they’re doing in a pretty solid way.

EL: In handstand, yeah, you need to be able to climb on top of your base, and that’s probably the hardest bit. That’s why they have all the fancy mounts to be able to get up onto your shoulders because the flyers don’t want to actually step up, is my conclusion.

MK: Yeah, I mean, it’s of course, it is a pretty solid skill set. Put me on top and I am a quivering, useless hunk of flesh.

EL: Sure. This is our secret retirement plan is we’re going to take all the steroids and become the rollers part two. And don’t forget. 

MK: Yeah, that’s right. I forgot about that. 

EL: I think what we need to do is just like age 45-50. Just YOLO it. Just take all the gear. The works. Everything DNP load it off, get  shredded and then just do the most basic hand to hand act. Slow, but shredded and oiled up. And then to use my sound one more time.

It’s my last. It’s my last blaze of glory.

MK: That would definitely be the last blaze of glory. Forever.

EL: Don’t cycle the gear and just keep taking. Keep doubling the dose until eventually you have a heart attack.

MK: Full on blast until we die.

EL: Yeah, none of this cruising stuff. Just blast.

MK: Two saucies just die from saucification.

EL: The thing is, if you could manage to get big enough and like oiled up enough to get into Cirque or something, if you died on stage, the insurance would pay out mega so your family would be looked after.

MK: Hmm. Smart.

EL: Yeah, you know, there’s a big brain move here, it’s not just me saying, let’s take steroids for fun and oil ourselves up for fun, though maybe that could be fun. Maybe we haven’t tried it. 

MK: Doesn’t sound like my kind of thing, but.

EL: Well, you haven’t tried it, have you? That’s the thing. 

MK: No, I haven’t. 

EL: So maybe it could be a thing. If anyone wants to oil up Mikael’s muscles and put him in a fake tan. He’s down to try it out once just to see if he’s into it.

MK: Here.

EL: You know someone’s going to DM about that. 

MK: Oh God. 

EL: He won’t turn you down if you DM. I mean if you’re brave enough to DM he will let you do it.

MK: No! Help! Catastrophe.

EL: It’s okay, just be like me, no muscles, no one will want to oil you up. Anyone wants to oil me up, you’re welcome to it! But I get to oil you up in exchange, back. 

MK: I think we need to cut this cast.

EL: No, no no. Cut this cast before Mikael gets some uncomfortable offers. Right.

MK: Exactly. 

EL: We’re approaching the thing. I think that kind of sums up this cast of like how do we end most of our episodes? OK, let’s just finish there.

MK: Yeah, exactly. Say some stuff and it’s like, OK, fuck it. It’s been kind of an hour. Bye!

EL: Yeah, I think the hour is a good time. I think when we first started doing this…

MK: I called it. It’s 56 minutes, 43 seconds at least of recorded time, on my recording thing.

EL: Yeah. Anyway, let’s wrap this up! So anyway, this is our holiday season and give us a bit of a break episode. It’s going to out sometime around 20th of December. And then just a big thanks to all the listeners out there for: 1) Getting so far into the episode and 2) Getting so far into the season that you actually listen to us this far. You know, this is the reason we keep doing it because we get so much feedback everyone is enjoying it. We have a great audience. Everyone just shares. All these kind of things are super important and it’s great just to know you’re out there and that you’re enjoying it. You know, it keeps us coming back. 

We’re going to take a break. I think we were going to do something on the Handstand Factory Instagram. Just take suggestions for topics and guests and other stuff over the holiday period so we get lined up. I suppose we’ll be back sometime in January. 

MK: Yep!

EL: Probably the first week of January, possibly second week. Other than that, this has been our last blaze of glory for this year. Thank you for checking us out!


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