Backpacks. Bridges. Skateboarding. Can you stand on one foot?
Can You Stand on One Foot? Bridget Sloan on the Balance Beam, U. S. Gymnastics Championships, 2008, Boston, MA
Ask your grandchild if they can stand on one foot.
After they show you they can, show them that you can too.
Then tell them you can show them a place where they will be able to stand on one foot but not the other.
They will be curious.
Have them walk up to a wall, stand with their shoulder and arm and the edge of one foot against the wall.
Now, ask them to pick up the foot away from the wall and stand on the foot next to the wall.
They won’t be able to do it.
What is balance?
Shifting all your weight onto one foot, as you do when you line yourself up against a wall, means you can no longer lift the foot away from the wall because most of your weight is balanced on that foot. This trick came from strainertin.com
Balance is maintaining a body over its center of gravity with minimal sway. Tests of balance, for stroke patients, for instance, include how far you can reach and still maintain your balance.
Weight is Normally Distributed
You can carry heavy books in a backpack easily because the weight is evenly distributed.
If you build a bridge, you distribute the weight of the bridge. Arches and beam and truss are the most common designs for weight distribution.
Changing the Weight Distribution
Balance and the ability to change your weight around your center of gravity allows you to climb stairs.
You shift your weight all the way to balance on one foot and lift the other foot to the next step.
If you are taking a swing at a baseball, you shift some of your weight onto your back leg in a 60/40% ratio to bring the most power to the hit.
If you are sledding, you start out with your weight distributed, then lean left or right to steer, forward or back to speed up or slow down.
If you are roller blading or skating, you turn by leaning on one foot or the other.
When your balance is very good, you can lift the foot not holding your weight and cross it over the other for a tighter turn, the kind you see in hockey or figure skating.
If you are a gymnast, you learn to walk and turn flips on a narrow balance beam.
If you are skateboarding, changing the distribution of your weight to one edge of the board powers you forward.
You know the larger lessons of the demonstration of the power of balance, weight distribution and the center of gravity.
As a grandparent, you can introduce your grandchildren to this wider world by asking them to stand on one foot.
Do you remember your own delight and surprise when someone taught you a simple trick?
What other fun tricks have you shown your grandchildren?
Have they taught you any?
Click here to get Frugal Friday posts in your Reader, for more fun things to do with your grandchildren.
To you and making new memories for the next generation.
Carol Covin, “Granny-Guru”
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Can You Stand on One Foot? Frugal Friday.