11 October 2011


"Steps taken forwards but sleepwalking back again
Dragged by the force of some inner tide"
 "High Hopes" -- From Pink Floyd's The Division Bell

Just home from work. Long six days, with work (driving me insane), a sick Sweetie (stomach flu... down for four days but now recovered), and a side project (completed) have meant 17, 18, even 19 hour days over that six day span. Made it to two classes last week (more on that in a minute). With so much to do and very little time, I jumped right back into old habits. Pizza. Cheeseburgers. Fried chicken. Fried fish. And all of it was take-out. Worse, I actually bought and drank at least one Dr. Pepper on five of those days. EVEN WORSE, I would smoke three, four, as many as six cigarettes a day!!! I was doing so well but give me long hours and stressful work conditions and I run right back to the old vices. I have fallen off the proverbial wagon on so many fronts.

Thing is, I don't feel very bad about it. I'm rationalizing all of this with reasons (excuses) such as:

     No use cooking for one.

     Needed the sugar and caffeine to keep going.

     Really no reason for smoking other than I wanted to.

Now, here I sit, with class just under two hours away, snacking on chips and cheese and trying to drink two liters of water in the next hour or two so that I am somewhat hydrated. It is my work study night, so I need to be there anyway. Might as well take class. Don't really want to. I'm tired, my knees ache, and I've had back spasms on and off since this morning. I am a wreck, and the last thing I want to do is sweat and pull and bend and groan and twist, twist, twist. Yet, given all of this, something inside tells me to keep going.

I stopped by the studio on Sunday to pick up the recycling. Sweetie is in charge of recycling and we are lucky to have two huge bins which the city empties weekly. As tired as I was, when I walked past the room, I paused. Both sets of doors were open slightly (class had ended 10 minutes earlier). As I walked past, I felt the heat hit me... must have been really toasty in there!! I stopped short and let the heat flow around me. The smells of the room overtook my nostrils -- the strong scent of perspiration, along with traces of tea tree oil and disinfectant (used when we clean the room). Added to those aromas, I swear, for just a fleeting moment, that I could smell emotions. Determination. Pain. Anger. Joy. Disappointment. Fear. Defeat. Surrender (not the same as defeat). For that tenth of a second, I think my mind went to a different place, a different level. I very badly wanted to take class right then and there. The moment stayed with me so briefly. I've tried to get back there but to no avail. Instead, my mind has dealt with the last six days, and now I don't even want to go. I feel like a failure (again). I'm so weak and inflexible and my mind is mush. At times I feel like giving up my work study spot and my practice. I feel like I do before I started practicing. Fat. Lazy. Without direction. Yes, at times I've wanted to cry. Cannot cry though... Don't let them see you cry....


My last class actually wasn't bad. It was last Thursday and the Really Difficult Teacher (I wrote about her here ) was teaching. Since the class was smaller than usual, I set up on the front row, something I rarely do and haven't tried in ages. Since I don't wear my glasses in class, It is blurry from the second row, and very difficult to focus on myself from the back row. Any way, she was her usual self -- pushing and pushing and asking us to take off the "training wheels" and push ourselves to a new level. This time however, most everything she said was clicking with me. I begin to see where she's coming from when she tells what us what muscles and bones are involved in a given posture.  Triangle was still elusive, but in Hands-to-Feet, as I pulled on my heels, I felt a sharp pop-pop-pop as my spine actually moved! I felt really strange for a second, then I couldn't keep from smiling. Definitely the high-point of class. I just wish she would hold it to six counts instead of 10-12 in Pranayama. Just saying...

One last thing for instructors: Want to make second set of Triangle more enjoyable? Find out if anyone is having a birthday in the next day or two. If so, once you get to "...just move your arms", have everyone sing "Happy Birthday" then come out and return to the set position. I actually made it through that set!!

Anyhow, time to shut it down. I'm going to go, and set up in the front. I am going to try my hardest and try to breathe correctly. Hopefully I find that place I found on Sunday, if only for a moment.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Mark! Thank you for your kind comment on my blog! Unfortunately, work is still very busy for me as well. Class? I make it maybe twice a week. Better than nothing, but far from what I would like the number to be.

    Isn't it awesome when we get these short glimpses of "I'd really love to take a class right now"? But you know what, I only get those when I cannot take a class (because the last of the day has already started or I'm too far away from a studio). Every time I CAN take a class, it's mostly dread/anxiety I'm feeling lol

    All the best to you