I hate doing yoga. Well, that’s not entirely true…I really just hate doing things that I’m not good at, and I’m not good at yoga. So I guess it IS entirely true. If I ever suddenly get good at yoga, I won’t hate it. ‘Cept I know I’m not going to get better unless I do it more. And so the cycle goes. In the meantime: I hate yoga.
My friend Julianne teaches yoga and after a year of her nagging me nicely asking me if I wanted to attend her class, I caved. I brushed the thick layer of dust off my yoga mat that I had bought for boot camp several years ago and put my yoga face on. (I don’t know what my yoga face is, but it’s probably one that looks like I am in a lot of pain…)
“How hard could it be, it’s a bunch of stretches and stuff. You got this.” I gave myself a little pep talk before entering the room for my very first class. And the first half of the class was pretty easy to follow along minus the weird names of the poses. “Downhill dogs,” “Turtle touches,” “Shackanag-what?”
About halfway through the class, I really started to sweat. This stretching shit was NOT easy!! Then, we had to do all kinds of balance stuff and things started to heat up. I am not really what anyone would call “coordinated.” The expression, “Bull in a chinashop” could have been coined by someone watching me try to be graceful. I am like Chris Farley on crack at all times- a jerky, jumpy ball of nerves and energy with virtually no control over my motions.
As I attempted not to fall over like a tree being attacked by a chainsaw, yelling “TIMMMMBBEERRRRR” on my way down, I started to really get frustrated. “This is BULLSHIT!” I thought. “Yoga is all about using your own body weight. This is SO UNFAIR. Of course it’s easy for those skinny broads, because I have way more body weight than they do!!!!” But, I persevered.
The next pose was some body contortion of sorts and I found myself bent over with my head between my legs. I glanced over at my right ankle. Then my left. WHAT IN THE ACTUAL HELL had become of my ankles? I had KANKLES! They were so fat and enormous and awful. How had I gotten so out of shape? “You are a fat cow, Tracy. Nobody else here has kankles!!”
That’s when I stopped being able to tell the difference between sweat dripping down my face and the tears. The more I teary I became, the more my nose started to run. Soon, I was a teary, sweaty, snotty Gumby-resembling disaster, twisted and bent in all kinds of positions that didn’t feel natural. Screw this.
Into the bathroom I marched, ready to beak up with yoga before it could break up with me. That’s a strategy that hasn’t exactly fared well in the past but there’s a first time for everything. As I splashed water on my face, I glanced at my reflection in the mirror. Big mistake. I was a red, blotchy mixture of cry-baby face and blood pumping from the exhaustion of an out-of-shaper trying to move muscles I had forgotten existed. I blew my nose and took a deep breath and evaluated the wreck staring back at me.
I took a good hard look and I decided I need to have a tough conversation with myself.
“Tracy, if you want to see change, you have to do something different. You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results.”
“Yeah, but it’s HARD!!!!” I whined.
“Of course it’s hard. It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard…is what makes it great.”
“I mean are you serious right now? You’re giving me a pep talk using Jimmy Dugan lines from ‘A League of Their Own’?” I snorted.
“Umm, technically you’re giving you a pep talk using Jimmy Dugan lines but whatever, yeah I mean it’s a good movie and you have to admit…he’s got a point.” I said to myself.
Myself was not impressed.
“Pff. If you were going to use a Jimmy Dugan line, I think ‘There’s no CRYING in yoga!!’ Would have been a lot more effective and witty. You know Tom Hanks gets that high- pitched voice and he’s all, ‘There’s no CRYING—‘”
“YEAH I GET IT- I’ve seen the movie too…But look at me!! I wasn’t cut out for this! I’m a mess!”
“True. You are a mess. But seriously, you’re not a quitter. Just go back in there. And hurry up! People are going to think you’re taking a dump in here if you stay much longer…”
“Well, what if I just don’t go back in? Huh? Then nobody will think I’m taking a DUMP- they’ll just think I LEFT! Because that’s what I’m doing. I’m leaving. So there, dummy!”
“Oh yeah, DUMMY- well how you gonna get home? You left your purse with your KEYS in the yoga room….idiot.”
“Ugh. I am an idiot. You’re right, I have to go back in. Crap.”
“HA!! I’m totally right. I’m always right. And you took so long now they’re really going to think you’re taking a dump!”
“I’m not taking a dump! And shauddup because you are me so they’re going to think both of us were taking a dump and….gah! I need to get back in there before someone walks in here and catches me talking to myself and has me locked up!”
And so I went back to the class. And you know what, it wasn’t that bad. In fact, I’ve been back to yoga several times since…and I’m kinda starting to like it even though I still suck at it. But you know what? I haven’t teared up or left the class mid-way since, so…#babysteps.
So the moral of the story is, start what you finish- it doesn’t matter if the only reason is because you left your car keys where you started. And try things that are hard- change is hard, but you gotta put yourself out there and give it a go, even if it’s uncomfortable. And lastly, don’t talk to yourself out loud in public. Because it’s weird yo. And not everyone will understand.
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Thanks for reading! ~Tracy