When Evansville native April Nading turned 50 in 2012, she created a list of 50 things she wanted to do. Performing a handstand without support made the cut, so she set out to accomplish her goal and found a community along the way.
“Handstanding is a journey you embark on,” Nading says. “It takes an effort, but it’s a very happy feeling every time I do it.”
That journey has followed Nading all over the world as she posts photos of herself across social media, and on her website, handstanding in front of iconic landmarks. Her online handstanding journey really took off in 2022 — she even gave herself the nickname “Handstanding Grandma” — after she left her sales job at WEHT-TV.
If Nading’s name sounds familiar, you may remember her from “Planking with a Purpose,” Evansville Living’s story in the May/June 2021 issue. As you can see, she didn’t stop there.
On a European trip, she did handstands in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, on her 60th birthday. Later, through Italy, she stood on her hands in front of the Colosseum, Tevi Fountain, and Spanish Steps in Rome; the Leaning Tower in Pisa; and the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City.
She also has done handstands at the Grand Canyon and landmarks in places like Scottsdale, Sedona, and Winslow, Arizona. (Bet the Eagles didn’t predict a handstanding grandma to be one of Winslow’s “fine sights to see”!) Her handstands also have popped up in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Chicago, Illinois; New York City: St. Louis, Missouri; Louisville, Kentucky; and Nashville, Tennessee.
Locally, Nading has tossed her hands to the ground and feet in the air on the USS LST-325 for Veterans Day, near Mesker Park Zoo’s monkey ship, and in front the Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse, the Ohio River, and Downtown’s Christmas lights displays.
She says followers react positively to her posts about yoga, fitness, and fashion, and some even start posting about their own journeys to handstanding.
“It’s fun to know when people think it’s neat or they appreciate it,” she says. “I especially like it when people say I’ve inspired them!”
Nading says her handstands are far from perfect, as she cannot quite go straight from hands to toes yet. For those just getting started, Nading has one piece of advice: “If your hands are on the ground and your feet are above your head — even if they’re on the wall — it’s a handstand.”