A complicated look at uncomplicated topics to ameliorate your day.
The ultimate celebratory gesture, the High 5 has long been a part of cultured, civilized society.
First the Ancient Egyptians were doing it…
Then God and the Catholics got into the act …
(although it seems Michelangelo misunderstood the notion that it was five fingers and a flat palm… #rosettastone #malfunction #lostintranslation)
And the next thing we knew, they’d named a children’s group after it and dedicated a whole segment of Carols by Candlelight to it, so now they end every Christmas carol they sing with a resounding ‘HI 5!’
Thanks to these trailblazers, and a vast collection of sporting stars for whom the ass-slap was just a tad too touchy feely, the High 5 has now become part of our cultural lexicon. It is now the ultimate international expression of ‘WOO! We’re awesome!’ Old people do it, young people do it, babies do it, even puppies do it, yep as Col Porter would say, let’s do it, let’s High 5!
Considering its popularity, versatility and omnipotence, it is easy to assume that the Perfect High 5 is something we can all do with ease. But don’t be fooled. Many an enthusiast has been left hanging when they timed it wrong, left shaking their hand in pain when they didn’t go in hard enough and left cringing when they missed the target. This ancient art takes years of practice, technique refinement and dedication to ensure perfect fingertip precision every time.
Step 1: Practice your Aim
If you’re going to be a professional sports star (or anyone for that matter), you need to practice. Not just your kicking or throwing or marking or backswing. You need to practice your Perfect High 5 aim. It’s fine to miss the target when you’re in the backyard at Mum’s but when several million people are watching you, there is this thing called Youtube and you stuff it up, well there just isn’t a sandpit big enough to bury your head in.
Start simple – print this picture out and stick it to your bedroom wall, your bathroom wall, your toilet wall, pretty much every wall. Give yourself a high five* every morning as you walk past.
*It is advisable to consider the plasticity and durability of your plaster/walls and adjust your force accordingly. Let’s try and avoid an Alastair Clarkson moment.
Step 2: Arm technique
Get out the old Aerobics Oz Style videos, your best Jane Fonda 80s fluorescent G-string leotard and get sweating. If you want the Michelle Obama arms that will ensure the Perfect High 5 technique, you’re going to have to bend and flex like you’re Jamie-Lee Curtis.
The Perfect High 5 requires a flat palm at a 125 degree angle to your forearm, the fingers must be pointed upright and the arm needs to move upwards through the air. As a good friend of the 5MG tells us, the key to making successful contact with the other person’s hand is to watch the elbow as you move in, not the hand (a common mistake). And of course, the Perfect High 5 is all about the execution and most importantly the follow through, so those arm exercises are all important as you need to have enough power to rise to the challenge.
Step 3: Employ the Spirit Fingers
Those are not spirit fingers. THESE are spirit fingers! We couldn’t say we had evolved as a human race if the only thing we learnt from Bring It On was that Eliza Dushku has a great rack. Unbelievably (to some) the most important lesson from that Academy Award winning film was actually the fine art of spirit fingers.
A key component of every celebratory dance, if one has perfected the fine art of spirit fingers, one will find that their fingers stay strong and upright during the important Perfect High 5 action, instead of floppy and prone to poking someone’s eye. Yes James Faulkner, we’re talking to you. Which brings us to…
Step 4: Learn from Others Mistakes
Whatever you do, just remember, if you’re an international sports person representing your country and you haven’t practiced your technique or you’ve had bad aim since you were toilet trained, then it might be best to stick to the chainsaw or the thunderbolt, it seems those guys were on to something…