As a former gymnast, I’m impressed to this day by my ability to do a handstand—any time, any place. I started gymnastics when I was 12, and I quickly became enamored of the sport, the culture, even the vibe in the gym. The sport helped build my confidence and discipline—not just the act of commitment to something, but my discipline of getting up and trying again.
Now, as an artist, that’s a skill I use often because I’m putting my work and my voice out there, and sometimes they fall flat.
Watch Amanda Seales talk about what she loves about her body:
But I have this inner capability to get back up and try again. I’ve even symbolized that ethos on my body with a few tattoos. I have a nutmeg, which is a national symbol of Grenada, where my mom is from. She raised me all by herself, which taught me how to be strong and self-reliant. And I have a cutlass [a sword], which is also a very Caribbean symbol, on my foot, because I cut through the snakes in the grass.
With my gymnastics career behind me, I’ve fallen in love with new ways to move my body. Tennis has become a real favorite of mine. Swimming too—I feel at home in the water as it washes over my skin. I even asked my man for a wet suit for Christmas, so I could use the pool through the winter.
But the reality is, once a gymnast, always a gymnast. At 41, a handstand, for me, is the continued demonstration of the impossible.
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2023 issue of Women's Health.