It was June 18. Class #80. The studio owner was teaching. It was a Thursday. Lots of people in the room. Going in, I felt a little tired but no worse than normal. I figured that once we got four or five postures in, I would find the groove and all would be well.
I was so wrong.
I crashed. I crashed hard. Before Triangle, I was laid out. Toast. Kaput. I made feeble attempts at Tree and Cobra poses, otherwise I was on my back the entire time. I stared at the ceiling for what seemed like an eternity, just wishing that either the class would end or the floor would open up and swallow me. Tears burned the edges of my eyes. Not only was I failing, but failing in front of the boss. I was embarrassed. I was angry. I was a wreck.
After class, as I made my way towards the door, she stopped me and put an arm around me. Asked if I was ok; if there was anything she could do. I said no, I would be ok. She then leaned in and whispered,
"You know, you don't have to do 100, right?"
She was giving me an out.
I looked at her and said,
"I know I don't have to, but I'm going to."
It was my idea to continue on from 60 to 100 classes. I wanted to see what could happen not only on the outside (asanas), but to see if I could focus in on the inside: my mind, my heart, the very core of myself. As I wrote on June 8:
'You see, every so often over the last two weeks, I've gotten a glimpse of something in my mind. A glimpse of change. How miniscule or profound that change is, I know not. So, the challenge continues. My stated goal is now 100 classes in 100 days. I think I owe it to myself to find out if these glimpses portend something real and attainable, or if they are mere mirages.'
I think that I got so caught up in the numbers game that I forgot the point of this: to gain physical and mental strength. It was no longer a journey. It was just a race to an arbitrary number. My body was trying to tell me by falling out, by screaming in pain, by shutting down.
From that day, I worked bit by bit to get back on the path. I did nothing new. I simply did what the hell I was supposed to do: hydrate, move with purpose, and breathe. I listened to the dialogue more intently. Yes, I still faltered. Yes, I still sat out poses. It was ok. I listened to my body, and it rewarded me by moving deeper into poses, by breathing more deeply, by staying in the moment more. It took 80 classes to do it, but I felt as though I had broken through and found a new level, a new love for my practice. I changed.
Next: Class 100.