Saturday, November 21, 2009

Shoulda Been a Water Ballerina

The week started out with Masters swim and the coach telling me I missed my calling as a water ballerina.  Huh.  Not really what one wants to hear when hoping to get faster in the pool, as a Triathlete!  However, there seems to be hope.  I will continue waking at 4:30am to swim alongside (as in the lane next to) the fast boys who make swimming look like a relaxing activity.  On Friday, I was able to put my fins and paddles on to do a few sets with the guys at their cruising pace.  Humbling experience but a fun one indeed.  I'm grateful for their willingness to take me under their wing, in the hopes that surely, I can get faster than I am now.

I also went to yoga on Wednesday night.  I needed to find something "relaxing" to do because my body is all jacked up from throwing myself full-steam back into training without considering I'm totally out of shape and lacking the  strength/flexibility in many muscle groups that I once possessed.  I didn't know what "Mysore" meant but wow, still today, my sore. 

I showed up at Yoga Shala and was greeted by my English teacher in the lobby (the woman who is responsible for getting me to come in the first place) and was informed that Mysore is "work on your own" yoga.  This gave me the giggles considering I didn't have any tricks up my sleeve to bust out while everyone else  folds themselves neatly into pretzels.  As people started showing up, my giggles turned to panic as it became clear by looking at them and the way they laid their mats out and sprayed them "just so", that I was most definitely the reject of the group.  Shocker.  Not like I haven't been HERE before.  Usually, I laugh my way through my inadequacies--an inappropriate survival tick.  Problem #1: you are NOT allowed to laugh in yoga or talk for that matter.  Considering the previous statement, suppressing my urge to giggle proved to be more challenging than originally thought.

However, I did it.  I only had a few, very short, well recovered, snorts.  There was this woman in front of me who was doing things that made her body look unrecognizable; is that her foot or her arm? Who else is in there with her?  Our instructor would go around to different people and give them tips to help them achieve their poses.  She would give me a few poses to do in succession (as to not overwhelm me) and then she'd come back and check with me.  As I sat patiently waiting for my next set of "tricks", I observed everyone.  More often than not, I forgot the steps in my poses and I'd just sit there and look like I was meditating--duh, I didn't forget, I'm just getting in touch with my Chakra.  At one point, there was a woman getting help with a handstand and I had once again forgotten what I was supposed to be doing.  So, I pulled out my only trick:  A headstand.  However, I quickly realized that my poorly crafted headstand was child's play compared to the kind of things they were doing.  As people all around me put Gumby to shame, I just stayed in my headstand, preferring the feeling of blood rushing to my head over the grunting and grimacing that accompanied trying to calmly hold a pose without shaking uncontrollably.  The lesser of two evils.  What an incredibly humbling experience.

For all of you who think Yoga is an activity you can't get your a$$ kicked in, I'm here to tell you you're wrong.  What I took away from this experience was, I need to go back many, many times.  I obviously need to work on or at least locate,  my flexibility and strength.  I'm grateful for the folks at Yoga Shala who welcomed that runner girl who can't even touch her toes...Yet.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Climb

How has my life been reduced to a Miley Cyrus song?  I'm embarrassed to admit, the lyrics of this Disney prodigy's song actually have had an emotional affect on me (and more than once...sigh).  I take comfort in the hope that she didn't actually write it.  Moving on now...

The past couple of weeks have offered a few "climbs" but not without reward.  I'll just say this: I'm grateful for the undying support of family, friends and the inimitable love of my boys.  My youngest had his first slumber party at a friends house last night so I took my oldest (11) on a "date".  What strikes me, and never ceases to amaze me, is the love and admiration children innately have for their parents.  What a treasure.  They don't care how much money you have, what kind of clothes you wear or what your job is (or if you even have one! LOL).  They don't need you to be perfect in any way, except in your love for them (and sadly, even that's negotiable).  I am grateful that the one thing I have an endless amount of, just happens to be all they truly need from addition to the essentials, of course.

I've been plugging along in the training department and have made some gains in the pool (hallelujah!).  I'm looking forward to the snow and the opportunity to get back out on the skate skis.  This is an activity I have yet to master, but it is (by far) one of my favorite Winter activities.

My parents came out for a visit, and my dad took the below photo of me running (yes, I'm running!) through Manito park.   Check out his website if you have the time.  While you're at it, you should look at my mom's blog as well.  I'm very proud of my parents.  They are talented, smart and fun to be around but more than  anything, just really exceptional human beings.  I don't think I've ever appreciated them more than I do now.

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall". Confucious