This day began in a magical way, not shocking that my Yoga practice this early morn was the culprit. Quite aways back, I was experimenting with a variety of classes at Yoga Public, where I do my daily practice. TRX is not Yoga, but a type of workout done by doing exercises using one’s own body weight. By holding onto ‘handles’ attached to straps, which continue upwards to the ceiling, where they are…attached, provides a major cardio workout. I had pretty much a horrid experience doing this, in part at the time because unlike the other studios, this one has mirrors…..and a countdown clock, both of which provide, in my opinion much distraction. The level of strength and stamina involved in actually ‘enjoying’ this class was something I fully had no business in thinking I had, at least this particular kind of strength and stamina ( yup there’d be a difference).
Whenever it comes up these days I promote Yoga. No, I’m not that obnoxious person that goes on and on, shoving’ it down people’s throats….unless they ask. So my good friend’s 13 yr. old daughter, who plays hockey, asked if I could take her to some Yoga classes, “Ah Yaa….., of course!” We went to Hot Yin last Sunday which she enjoyed, as did I in spite of the class being packed, and my long limbs actually bonking someone on the chin! Yes, this actually happened, thankfully Yoga people are the forgiving types:) This past week my teen friend texted to say she had one evening off and if we could go to a class. Well guess which was the only one available? Yup, TRX.
O.k, alright I thought, I can do this, no problemo. It’s been months since my ‘last dance’ with TRX, Lord knows I’m stronger, wiser, heck I think I could even lead the damn class! No, not really, but you see where I was going here. I felt enthused, ready to see ‘how far I’ve come’. Having already done my practice this morning, plus cleaning a client’s house ( for child’s private school $) and then a school ( more private school $), off I went with my daughter and teen friend in tow to TRX. In order to get to class on time, I needed to speed clean the school, which ended with me in a full-out sweat, plus making the quickest pasta dinner in history, all the while eating it in the car ( done 1.25 hrs. prior to our workout:) Do as I say not as I do, I instructed the young lassies in the back seat. We were a tad late, so when we walked into the studio everyone looked at us like they’d be waiting, oops~sorry. Arlen our instructor who’s beyond lovely btw, pointed me towards ‘my spot’….AT THE VERY FRONT…WHERE THE MIRRORS AND COUNTDOWN CLOCK ARE! I took one quick look at him, then myself in the mirror and thought…”oh shit”. Right then, right there, I sensed TRX was a bad idea; too late, the music started and the class began.
I’ll save you the full version and skip to the highlights, bullet style.
- 5 minutes in, I looked at my teen friend telling her THIS here, what I’m doing beside you, ya this should be noted as an act of genuine love, for I would do this for very few!
- 15 minutes in, we are instructed to lower down to the ground on one foot then pull ourselves up and hop upright as high as possible 10x……I throw Arlen a are you fucking crazy look? He laughs!
- 25 minutes in, first break. I ‘walk’ to my water bottle while catching my daughter’s encouraging smile ( while she watched from the smart side of the sliding glass door ) I mouthed an obscenity, similar to “Holy Cow”.
- 36 minutes in, hands throbbing ( did I mention I also have severe eczema on my hands at times? this day, was one of those times). I literally saw the cracks starting to bleed and showed them to Arlen. I excused myself and went to the bathroom. I stared at my beyond red face and instructed myself, ‘Rocky style’, to “get back out there”.
- 45 minutes….done and done…OMG!
I knew at probably the ten minute mark that this was not a good idea, but honestly not for the reasons I thought at the time. When I had left the TRX studio, I did feel a sense of failure and questioned, “Wow, have I actually been fooling myself into thinking I was in better shape?” I’ve since learned the phrase ‘in shape’ means different things to different people. Off I went, back home and not long after straight into bed. My teen friend LOVED it btw and now wants to bring her entire hockey team for their ‘dry land workout’. “Bless you my child, go for it!”. TRX is a really good workout for certain people for sure, I just now know, some 26 hours later, it’s OFFICIALLY not for me.
Today I awoke in some kind of pain, good God. Most know the pain in which I speak of, the kind where it hurts to walk up, down, side-ways any which way on stairs; heck even pressing down on the gas pedal hurt. Regardless, off we went at 7am, my daughter and I to do our practice. Walking into the building we were greeted by two of our Yoga teachers. “I made a bad decision last night”, I stated and went on to describe what I did and how I was hurting something fierce. My Ashtanga teacher, shook his head and stated firmly how this was NOT good, for my body and for what I am trying to accomplish, eg. healing myself from R. A etc…I acknowledged and dutifully carried on to the change room, knowing I was shortly about to pay the price, another one anyways, for my ‘mis-step’ the night earlier…..or so I thought. It was ridiculous, it really was as I began. I kept getting flashes of the Tin Man after having just been ‘oiled up’, though the main difference here….he felt mobile after a bit, I on the other hand seriously questioned, for real, if I could actually stand upright for very long. To sweeten the pot, the day earlier I was given new poses, now bringing more time and intensity ( lovely intensity I might add ) to my practice. Just to give you a good visual example here, I am to stand on one leg, while the other one is up and parallel to the floor, all the while holding on to my big toe ( the parallel leg) and breathing for 5 Yoga breaths, which for those who don’t know the difference, is pretty much 2 seconds longer to the average 1. This among others, left me very unfocused. Unfocused=bad practice. I walked out to blow my nose and spoke to the teacher’s assistant Lori, who is a great. She said, “you know what, don’t worry just breathe and do your best, if you need to leave that’s o.k. Also, don’t go fully into the poses, just ease in”.
Back I went and literally within a few moments ‘found’ my legs, ceasing any pain or discomfort from my thoughts. I went through the practice, finished and while laying down to take my shivasana, I thought, “holy shit I actually just ‘surpassed’ this very uncomfortable pain purely by focusing elsewhere”. What I honestly find mind-blowing is the subtly of these ‘shifts’ when they occur. I am, if anyone who reads this blog doesn’t already know, not exactly a chilled out, zen kind-of-gal. Actually I think that if all the single parenting, sickness and money problems were taken away, I’d probably be a pretty chilled out cat…
Clarity came to me after my practice concerning where I really am, in reference to my present physical state. I feel it actually was good to have done TRX, because it helped me realize that I don’t need to prove anything to anyone at any point, especially to myself about where I’m at; I needn’t be more than what I currently am, period. Again, right here, right now, THIS is all that matters. Removing this pressure, much of which stems from a long history of trying to please and step up to parental expectations, created much-needed space in the place where current daily ‘housekeeping’ occurs. Why would I go and do, in this case a physical act, that caused me such uncomfortableness? My Ashtanga practice has given me so much, never leaving me with anything but positivity and new lessons learned. I’ve taken this and applied it to my logical side. I’ve also thought about the other choices I have made in my life, that have provided me only with pain or sadness. Why, do we choose to enter into anything that may not be good for us? Many a time we know better, yet go ahead to show ourselves or someone else what we’re made of; in these cases, I’ll speak for myself here, it shows only a lack of remembering who I actually am. Sometimes we need a reminder; this experience was just that for me, which I am thankful for.
When I finished this ‘magical’ practice, I gave deep kudos to this remarkable body of mine. Considering what it has endured and continues to endure with this disease, only to come through when I need it to, reminds me it is so much more important to know what it is I can do, versus what I cannot.
THIS is where it’s at.