Before I lost my arm I would always try to do one-handed cartwheel’s. It was something I worked on periodically when I was a kid. But every time I would go to do it, I would always put my hand down. One time I got so frustrated that I duct taped my arm to my body, and then when I went to do it I slipped out of the tape and planted my hand. I used to get so mad!! It was this weird mental threshold I couldn’t break. When I started wrestling again after my accident, a bunch of my teammates were doing gymnastics in the mat room before practice. Without hesitation or even remembering I only had one arm, I did a cartwheel- a one handed cartwheel!!! I literally remember thinking to myself “that was SO EASY.” Ha! It’s funny to me, because I vividly recall getting so stressed out that I couldn’t keep my hand in the air when I would attempt it as a two handed person- and then when it wasn’t there, it was simple! I didn’t have to lose my arm to be able to do it one handed. But it did really teach me something about the brain. The primitive part of the brain has the ability to take over functioning of your body and not let it do things. In this case, my brain interpreted the one handed cartwheel as a threat to my safety and it basically shut down my ability to do it as a protective mechanism. This is the brain saying that it is overloaded and needs help making sense all of the info it is struggling to process. If you’re struggling to learn something & feel like you’re having a mental block, chances are you’re working in the primitive side of your brain & need to transfer back over to the neocortex (where your regular thoughts occur). You do this by letting your nervous system chill and breaking it down. The process takes openness and vulnerability to work through the fear and self doubt, as well as a shift in your perspective, but you can help your brain make sense of things and you CAN do them! Obviously I can’t apply this to the cartwheel thing now, but I’ve been able to learn a lot more because of my ability to control this mechanism in my brain & you can too!! So to bring this down to standard terms, be patient, be persistent & believe in yourself and you will succeed!