Awake a bit early, this morning. But a lot has been on my mind, and I felt like it was too early when Jim and I went to bed last night. (He was super tired, I was super enegetic from my 6:30 class last night). Last night I had a surprisingly strong class. I hadn't been in to the studio in more days than I preferred - so much going on outside of my yoga-sphere this September, which is frankly an unusual occurrence other than work and running. I've been awfully social in my life - but the past couple years that seemed to be a little less true. Until late August and early September! BAM, social life exploded. This isn't a bad thing. I thrive when I am social.
So, this super strong class was a shocker. I was also like, "yikes. Is this so that I can go to training with confidence, or is this so I can suddenly get there and have used up all my awesome for my teacher's at home, so I can crash in training?" ;) Well, I'll crash in training no matter what. That's not a question of if, but when. So that's good. Fail your way to success. Everyone fucks up there sooner or later, it's not designed for perfection. It's designed to make you bullet proof, not perfect.
Also was looking at the new Bikram Yoga Burien photos and checked out the website. It reminds me a lot of Annette's first studio on Burnett. There's a special place in my heart for that old studio... her new one is beautiful and large and 100 other things, but that small, cozy first studio was where it all began for me. And Burien's studio reminds me a lot of it. I also checked out the schedule; nice lookin' schedule! I let Nina (the owner) know that I loved it and that the schedule rocked. Excitingly, she mentioned that after I get back from TT, I should come out and show them what I got ;) Very exciting. I would LOVE to teach there too. Bless Nina for already wanting to give me a chance!
So 2 studios lined up for possible classes... that's not too shabby considering the initial plan is part time. I was concerned with getting classes, but I think it will be just fine. I do know I want to be able to practice and really work at this teaching bit once I get home. Use it or lose it. Especially with that sort of thing......
The weekend was pretty amazing. Lianna's birthday on Friday - Jim went away to his HS reunion... and other very pleasant things. ;) I did get an opportunity to run on Saturday when I probably should have been in the studio. But I admit the running is important to me still.
On my run I had, as usual - my best thinking moments. I decompress so much this way. I really began thinking, based off of a couple conversations on Friday night - about how I got to be where I am at. About my knee injuries, my intense depression for a period of time, and how I got through all of that - and how I got to be standing right here, right now. Maybe this is a bit heavy, but I am only grateful that in my darkest moments, I prevailed over the darkness so that I would come out on the other side. I didn't think I could be in a place of joy like I am now.
It makes me think very hard and long about the thousand tears and moments that I truly, seriously was vulnerable to being awful to myself. The edge of my mortality at times was very real. I say this and am not proud, but not ashamed either. This is part of the reason I'm on this path. If there is one person I can teach and that turns their life around... then anything, ANYTHING I go through in the next 10 weeks is worth it.
I fully believe I may not have taken the exit off the depression freeway if it weren't for this yoga.
I also know I would never, ever have tried it if I wasn't desperate like I was in December 2008 - to stop the constant day in, day out - 24/7 knee pain. To be 24 and in constant pain is a real eye opener as to what life can be like. I was running and thinking about all of this... About how it broke my heart in a thousand ways because I'd built myself up to be an athlete that I did not know existed - and been for the first time in my life 100% body confident.
The knee situation seemed to rob me of all that confidence and more. It had felt all-consuming, and I had never been in the places that I headed emotionally on top of all that physical stuff. There was a lot going on that created turmoil for me. And yet... without all of that, my levels of compassion wouldn't be what they are today - and I would certainly not be getting ready to head off on this wild journey for Bikram teacher training. The yoga showed up right after we moved to our townhouse. A pivotal time in my life, I was sick of trying to run, sick of the physical therapy that I had spent 3 months in and not gotten very far with my knee pain. When the yahoos at my first therapist's office released me telling me that "unfortunately we cannot see all of our patients through pain resolution..." I was pretty upset. I spent a lot of time and effort on this PT stuff. And here it felt it did not pay off.
So, Sammantha Gribble was reading on this very blog late November 08, and she commented suggesting a Bikram class. Desperation. Depression. Having been hair-raisingly close to taking my own life in spite of having EVERYTHING beautiful around me: I decided to try out this "yoga." I thought yoga was for pussies. I was a hardcore runner and I lifted weights - if I'd been healthy and you asked me to try out a yoga class, I'm quite sure I would have wrinkled my nose, laughed, and said, "you gotta be kidding!"
But Sammantha suggested working with a Bikram teacher, and something about the way she said it made me go research (shocking, my favorite hobby). And then I signed up for the one week unlimited pass in Renton due to their great schedule and my 10 hour workdays. BAM. I took 6 of the 7 classes in the first week, and only because I got a little sick on day 5 and accidentally slept through the class time.
I took 12 of the first 14 days that I practiced. I committed, after reading up on it - to 90 days solid effort for the sake of my knees. It wasn't about thinking Bikram was "awesome," but I admit I fell in love fast. I approached the yoga with uttermost curiosity. I became a little obsessed with, "what my next day" would look like as soon as I finished my classes for the day. My practice would then turn into a 5-7 day a week practice for almost 2 years. Within 1 week, my pain decreased by maybe half. This was a huge deal to me, after seeing little progress for like 6-7 months.
Needless to say, it was me thinking back on how if I had never been injured, I would have tested for police academy, and gotten successful numbers for sure. No doubt. I was strong as hell, and fast, and pretty amazing. I really did not know this at the time though, and failed to listen to my very awesome boyfriend too. The number of pushups I had in my back pocket... the pace of my sprints........ lordy. My nearly 6 pack... you get the picture.
But if I had continued on that path, I would not be here. The idea is very, very interesting to ponder on. I am finally starting to see that I am no less awesome than I was in late 07/early 08, in spite of having a slightly different body in many ways. Could it be that it's OK not to be quite as lean as I was? It is entirely OK>.
If we're talking strictly health - the yoga covers a lot more than just weight lifting and running could. And we're talking mental health included. Although I was in love with myself in early 2008 so that felt like less of an issue. I loved being that strong and fast and tiny. No one ever described me as tiny before in my life until that juncture - people like my awesome siblings suggested I play Rugby because I was so sturdy. Thanks guys. ;)
Digression: The path found itself to me, and it's all happening in a way that could not feel more right. And if I can open up and heal someone's life whether that is physically or mentally through this teaching - that is what I am honestly after. That is why I want to do this. I don't like the health-care field. It's made me very angry in the past. (You won't like me when I'm angry......)
I've wanted to scream and shout and throw things at doctors for not giving me any great accuracy. "Oh this will go away in a few weeks." then, "oh this will go away in a few months." then, "Oh hmm... interesting. Here's PT." INTEreSTING? We're talking about my BODY you asshole!!!!
I have to go back here and say that take 2 of physical therapy was VERY successful. And they got me back running with ease. (Thank you Balance Physical Therapy, Tiann Jefferies.) If there was a woman I could also shower gratitude on, it would be this therapist. She brought back my hope alongside the yoga.
Now I'm under the one week mark for Los Angeles. Very, very exciting. I am just profoundly grateful for being able to do this. I can't get over how amazing it is, how lucky I am, how in spite of the absurd amounts of cash I've been spending on this ... it's fell into place. (Gods, I just hope I can re-stockpile my savings again, because this drained my years old savings buffer).
Whatever, I can make more money.
Back to the gratitude part; this is something that I carry with me every day, possibly more times than I can count lately. Also hoping my friends and family aren't sick of me talking about it yet!!!! I'm just ignited with the fact my life is shifting. I WANTED IT TO SHIFT so badly since 2007. We're talking about a good solid 4 years of what often felt like a "holding pattern," sort of situation for me. No movement and all of my effort to find movement for 4 years. It was not the right time. You cannot force the right time to happen - you must Flow. I say this because I often let myself slam my head into proverbial walls on this one. IF I SLAM MY HEAD AGAINST THESE WALLS, I WILL SEE RESULTS!!! Might have been my theme for 2009 and 2010.
2011: I let go of it all. I actually entered this year frustrated because I got Plantar Fasccitis from healing my knees. What?! You say... well, I ran too fast, too far, too soon (too many hills also). *blush* Me and the hills make love sometimes. Maybe a bit too much. Can you make love too much? Well, not with people - but with hills and running coming off of a previous injury = yes.
But, because my faith was restored in my body at least, I did not get upset about the injury. Healing my knees went a long way towards my body confidence in healing (but not my body image, that was a hit that I am still recovering from).
All in all, if I have a few battles with myself realizing that "HEY YOU'RE FINE AND STRONG AND FINE AND STFU" - this is nothing compared to full blown suicidal depression. I can handle a bit of body dysmorphicness. And if I was able to work through the other stuff, it's no doubt just a matter of time before the rest falls into place too.
I'm entirely forthright in my weaknesses and scary mental issues because I think it's important for people to know that it can happen to ANYONE, for a myriad of different reasons.
And because it definitely is a driving force for my personal contribution to humanity.
So - without all that awfulness, I wouldn't be where I am today. Period. Some things really do have reasons that we cannot see in the moment always. And next week, I will try and let go and trust in the process as much as possible - knowing that each challenge and struggle may have reasons that I cannot understand while sitting in the middle of the maze. Only when I am through the maze will it make sense, but that often times means taking many wrong turns first.
So this - my friends, is my reflection for the one week mark. 6 days if you want to get technical, friends. Oh, My. Gods.
While hanging out with one of the two Jon's I saw this weekend ... I actually was so excited I wanted to scream and jump around like crazy. But that might also have been other excitement that impacted that... who knows. Oh yeah - I saw a couple of Jon friends this weekend too. Including old Jon from way back. All you close friends know who old Jon from way back is... Anyway.
OH yeah. Also, I cleaned out my old Den space in 874. It is now been re-purposed for my temple space/laundry sorting area. It was pretty screwed up before this weekend, and it was the last room in our house that was actually out of sorts. The cobalt room here needs tidied, but it is still amazing compared to the "how do I walk through Jim's room" way it was early this year and pretty much ever since I said "I won't tell you what to do with this room at all." (His messiness took over and before I knew it - I was teetering through the room trying to find a way to put my feet on open space on the floor.) This was the year I took this room over and we transformed it together. Then I swapped where our guest room was and put it in my old Temple/Library. And this weekend I took the old Den space and cleared the floor, did a LOT of laundry, some moving of stuff in there, and now it is good enough (not perfect) but good enough and has an open feel with my old pretty temple rug in the middle of it. And a place to organize my laundry. Which is important... now our top floor just has laundry issues, but this isn't exactly a public floor. And I know I will only have time to spiff up the Cobalt room and probably not the bedroom at this point... considering most of the bedroom hell is spawned by my honey. Bless his heart - he just has tidiness issues. Particularly laundry issues. We're workin' on it ;) he has made small improvements over the year and we'll continue to work on these...
Cheerio. I'll try and update more this week just to record what THE HELL is going on in my head before this !!!!