Who’s That Cute Girl?

posted in: Day In The Life 13
Day & Son lithograph, Gayatri Jup, 1851. Image: Wikipedia.
Day & Son lithograph, Gayatri Jup, 1851. Image: Wikipedia.


I’m halfway through my 30-day yoga challenge!

Well, tomorrow will be Day 15, so I’m a little ahead of myself. But for all intents and purposes, I’m in the middle of this thing. Let me tell you some things I’ve learned.

1) Coming back to a yoga practice — or really anything you used to be really good at and then you stopped doing — is really hard. 
Because you used to be good at it. And now you’re not. You used to be able to stand on one leg and kick the other leg out while sweat dripped into your eyeball and you could hold it there and breathe and go deeper and deeper but guess what? Not anymore, toots. Well, not right now, anyway. The frustration floods in and you despair. Why did I stop practicing? How much better at this could I be right now if I hadn’t drifted away? How long will it take to get close to where I was before? Have I gained a lot of weight or just a little weight?

2) Coming back to a yoga practice — or really anything you used to be really good at and then you stopped doing — is a gift. 
Every yogini has bad habits. A bad habit in a yoga practice would be something like cheating out of a posture a few seconds before the teacher calls to release it, doing lazy sit-ups between the postures on the floor rather than really trying to make them crisp and intentional. (I just said “crisp and intentional.”) Everyone has bad habits, including me. Well, coming back in and feeling totally new and raw again, I have the opportunity to change those bad habits. I’m so open to everything, you know? I know how badly I need to be in that room and I’m putty, baby: Change me.

3) I missed this Mary.
There are many Marys. There’s Mary Sewing At Midnight. There’s Leading The Class Discussion Mary. There’s Mary On a Date. There’s Mary on TV. There’s Bookish Mary, Flirty Mary, Mary The Sister, Mary The Daughter, Shy Mary, Mary The Fool, Mary The Selfish, Flirty Mary, Goofball Mary — and on and on, just like anyone else. But you know which Mary I really dig? Athlete Mary. Now, if you would’ve told me in the sixth grade that Athlete Mary existed, I would have said something like “Gag me with a spoon!” because it was the early ’90s and I loathed and despised gym class more than anything in this universe or the next. But it turns out that I’m super athletic in the stuff that I like, like Barbie dance aerobics* and Bikram yoga. The other day in class I was pouring sweat and very intent on my posture; I looked incredibly determined (remember, Bikram yoga is done while facing a wall of mirrors, quelle horror) and I had a pang of love and longing. Because it was like, “Oh! Hi! Hi! Oh, wow! I know you! I missed you. You are such a bada*s, Athlete Mary. Okay, now don’t lose your balance.” It’s been too long since I hung out with that Mary and it feels really good.

4) If it was easy, it wouldn’t be hard. Or worth doing. Or… Just go to class, kid. 
I didn’t want to go to class tonight and I drank too much water halfway through and felt like I was gonna spew. Yesterday’s class was so hard and awful and I had to go across town to the other studio to make it work with my schedule. My challenge means that I will do a class on Christmas Day (not a huge deal, but it impacts the day with family, nonetheless.) All of these things are annoying and nobody likes spewing or making a workout a priority when there are so many other awesome things one could prioritize, like chocolate pretzels, for example. But enough. Do you want this or not? Remember why you do. And go to class.

Happy Holidays, everyone. I’ve got sad news to post tomorrow and a big, ugly topic to tackel here on the ol’ PG that I’ve been procrastinating about. That’s all coming this week. Maybe I’ll get the gumption to write it all because I’m meeting my yoga challenge, day by day, pose by pose.

13 Responses

  1. Krista
    | Reply

    You have inspired me to get back to Bikram.
    Looking at my upcoming calendar I know that I couldn’t do a 30 day challenge right now. But I can challenge myself for a weekly challenge. This week my plan was to go 6 out of 7 days. I knew that I had to miss one day due to a prior commitment. I’m okay with that. Then I found out today that the studio is closed on Christmas – so no yoga on that day. Okay, adjust the plan. 5 out of 7 days, with maybe taking 2 classes on Saturday. I haven’t made up my mind on that yet. I’m 3 days in and had an awesome class tonight. I was able to attempt Camel pose for the first time ever without feeling like I was going to spew. That was so exciting for me. Another class tomorrow and I’m hoping that it to will be a good one as I try to find the athlete in me.

    • Mary
      | Reply

      Krista… I’m going to show your comment to the folks at my studio. They will literally cheer for you — along with me, again. Good. Work.

  2. Jennifer
    | Reply

    When I was a kid, I took ballet classes. Madame Cusack would tug our bangs to get us to stand tall and tell us we sounded like a herd of elephants while we did sautees. I was afraid of her and I loved her. When she retired, a sweet, lovely encouraging lady took over her school and I just fizzled out.

    In college, I was on the ballroom dance team. We had a coach. Wayne had us doing cuban motion drills. Ten minutes! Back and forth across the room! No slouching! Don’t stop! Head up! Bend your knees! Ribs up! And our couples _won_. For various reasons, the team changed instructors and we got people from a ballroom studio. These teachers didn’t nag or tease or drill like a coach because people taking monthly lessons don’t come back when you’re not nice to them. But we stopped improving because we never knew if what we were doing was correct or if the teachers were just being nice.

    It feels so good to grow stronger and push yourself and get better at something. You go, Mary!

  3. Colleen
    | Reply

    Thanks for the heads up on tomorrow ……..maybe I’ll skip a day
    I don’t want to hear sad/bad news

  4. Nicole Hannah
    | Reply

    Oh god, maybe it’s the wine I had at the neighbourhood potluck and carol-sing but “I missed this Mary” hit so hard right now. I’ve just changed my life a HUGE amount and I was despairing/yelling at my husband a couple of days ago that I am SO MUCH MORE than he notices. I am many different people. Thank you for being more articulate than me.

    And such a coincidence that I too have recently become much more physical. I like this part of me. Good for you, well done Athlete Mary. Have courage. I look forward to reading your next posts. Happy holidays.

  5. Rhonda Mossner
    | Reply

    What dedication you have, Mary! Think how great it will be in two weeks to stand and look back and shout “I did it!”

  6. Linda
    | Reply

    Good for you. You are pushing yourself and feeling good about it. I just finished watching a you tube video of the life of Aloha Wanderwell. In 1922 at the age of 16 she started her travels around the world. She married twice and had two children and never stopped following her dream and was 90 when she passed away. I imagine there were times where she was tired and discouraged and hot and homesick but she kep on doing what she loved.
    Bad news and sad news are also good because when the sun comes out again and we start to heal . We appreciate everything a little more and we become stronger. As I look back on my life it is those struggles that have made me stronger.
    Keep pushing Mary and the people who love you will be here tomorrow to support whatever news you have.

  7. Pam Williams
    | Reply

    Merry Christmas, Mary.

  8. Pat Hicks
    | Reply

    I admire all of you who can do yoga, I am not one of them. Mary you have inspired me to get off my behind and do something that I can do. So I am walking today seven days straight. That will be my big challenge. Have a blessed day.

    • Mary
      | Reply

      I love everyone SO MUCH I CANNOT STAND IT.

  9. Martha Bilski
    | Reply

    I am always hapt to see your posts pop up on my feed. Merry Christmas. My daughter is taking a yoga teacher training in January. I am secretly jealous and feel like I need a yoga for old out of shape people.

  10. […] and the terrorist, I spoke about my bosom friend Sophie’s kitty, how he was very sick. And yesterday, I told you that I had sad news to share. Here […]

  11. joy
    | Reply

    I just started doing Yoga a month ago.. I’m 64 wow I love it.

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