Today was day 13 and I have had a revelation.
If I treat going to bikram like it’s a chore, it becomes my chore. And let’s be honest, no one likes chores unless they are accompanied by a nice little allowance. And unfortunately, I’m paying to attend these classes so it’s not like an allowance circa 1997 at all. Not that I was hating my life for 90 straight minutes or anything today- just kidding, of course I was.
People will try to convince you that once you get into the groove of working out that it wont feel like a chore anymore. I went so far as to google this and came across a reddit page dedicated entirely to the question: How long was it before the gym went from chore to fun for you? (read if you care) The writer of the post said it took him/her longer than a year because they were really just “dicking around.” Other responses include:
- “the gym is my sanctuary. The place where I stop being Husband & Dad. Just that guy with the headphones and the Don’t “F” with me face”
- “I always finish a full 1.5 hour workout but I had to stop on monday cause I started to get bladder problems and feel like I have to piss all the time. Probably the A/C that is blasting in my small ass gym caused it.”
- “Y’all think most people should/would enjoy working out. That’s honestly silly.”
Ya’ll, I agree with person number three. I might be a tid-bit of a Debbie Downer right now, but I don’t think there has been a time in the two years that I have consistently worked out that I was like,
working out is my religion.
Which, spoiler alert, is what someone of Reddit wrote.
My revelation is this: Working out may never be what gets my blood pumpin’ (I wrote this not realizing the irony in the statement until I re-read what I wrote. Let’s leave it.), but it is a part of my life that I refuse to abandon. What it comes down to is that I need to change my own outlook on challenging workouts- I need to have the perspective that going to bikram is more than a chore. To do that, I have to identify why I’m going and what keeps me going back for more.
Maybe a little of this too:
Today after class I spent the day with my family on the beach where I fake laughed for a significant amount of time with my two year old niece. We dug up animals, we built shoddy sand castles, we jumped in the waves. We had a blast and not once did I think to myself: I really regret taking that ridiculously hot class with minimal breathable air where everyone smells and that woman literally farted in your face. She farted- in. your. face. Now that I’m reflecting on class today it’s amazing that I didn’t think about that even once until this moment. It’s because that 90 minute class is not the be all end all and when it’s over, it is over.
Tomorrow is day 14 and if I find myself cursing off the teacher inside of my head (for reasons that are not their fault- what a bitch, this room is too hot! Yes, you signed up for this class, you moron.) I will come back to my own mental list of why I’m doing this in the first place.
To rock a pair of jeans better than no other For my health. My mental happiness.
And to rock a pair of jeans better than no other.
I call myself lazy all of the time- this is usually as I’m sprawled out on the couch, phone by my side, iPad on lap, TV blaring Shahs of Sunset, or some other
garbage Emmy Award deserving show that I’m not so secretly obsessed with. I’m not actually a lazy person by nature, but sometimes, in these moments, I feel like I could exist on a downward spiral of Bravo forever and be perfectly content. In other moments I’m zipping around the house, restless: Where are we going? What are we doing? I’m bored. I’m bored. I’m bored!
Please, universe, do not give me a child like myself.
I’m probably not too alone in the conundrum of the do everything and the do nothing person- but it’s exhausting. Can’t I just be balanced? It’s when an entire day has passed me by and someone says: “So what’s new?!” And suddenly, I feel like the most boring human in the world as I stare at them blankly as though the only words I can muster are “well, I’m finishing Orange is the New Black Season 3.” Which is true, and I think it’s alright. Not as good as season 1, but what really is?
But there is a lot to share!
Today I finished day 12 of my challenge. The room was hot, beads of sweat burned my eyes, I took two breaks, but I finished. I want to tell you that it gets easier, but it doesn’t. Some days are easier (the days I take the “shorter” class, the 60 minute classes) some days are harder for no rhyme or reason. I have spoken to veterans of the practice that will tell you the exact same thing- maybe it’s what I ate before I went? Because I haven’t eaten in too long? I had too much water? Too little water? The time of the day? The humidity outside? The variables are extensive and have a great deal to do with your practice that day.
At the same time, there are constants.
I love hearing my heart beating in my ear and feeling my breath slow down as I’m practicing being mindful of my breathing. I love the exhaustion felt as my chest and stomach rises and falls in each savasana. I love reciting “namaste” to my teacher followed by the last savasana as the once brightly lit room has been dimmed and I can lay with zero thoughts, something I struggle with on a daily basis. I love when my practice is over and I stagger a bit out of the hot room to feel the sensation of the air conditioned studio. It is one of the best feelings I have ever experienced- 105 degrees to room temperature? Sign me up. This transition is a taste of heaven and it’s a reminder that you are a survivor of Bikram. And you do more than just watch hours of television.
It isn’t easy. If it was easy everyone would do it. And remember, only boring people are bored!
Now, off to the city to watch my little brother do improv- now that’s brave!
After premeditating my own failure in completing the 30 day challenge, I sucked it up and went to class. I also gave myself permission to do as little as humanly possible if that’s what my body wanted. I wasn’t ready to quit, but I also wasn’t ready to damage myself for the remainder of the summer.
There are no rules when it comes to doing what is right for yourself. Unfortunately, our body can be the voice we are least likely to listen to. By practicing what I preach (for once) I found that I could have a great class. Showing up is half of the battle. Finding stillness in the heat is a battle. Finding my breath. Finding presence. Those are skills taught through practicing yoga outside of the postures.
When class was over I double checked how many days I’ve completed- 9?! What the what- I was so excited that I tricked myself into thinking this was day 10.
The title says it all and it reads like the saddest dating tag on match.com that you have ever seen.
I just feel like letting it all hang out. In the writing sense. Does that exist in this world anymore? A place where one can shout as loud as they want without worry of judgement?
Why listless with lupus? I have a theory that it’s that smack-dab in the middle of summer blues that is getting to me. My zest for life that started this blog was recently traded in for a brand new model: fear. I swing between thrilled about living and listless. What if I can’t?
So, I realized I needed to get an effin grip and grow the eff up. That’s why I’m not using curses, I’m a grown up now, people!
That being said, I was determined to get back into a healthier lifestyle, one in which I was conscientious about taking my medicine, going to doctors appointments, and listening to my body. Because I am an adult. I repeat, I am an adult.
And that’s where I found myself at a crossroads: a thirty day Bikram yoga challenge!
Q: But what happened to running?
A: Quite frankly bored with running. Here we go again, one leg goes in front of the other leg at a faster pace than when I was walking. I’m not saying I am done with running, we are just taking a break.
Back to the new fad I’m seeing: Bikram. 105 degree room, 26 poses, and sweating from places you didn’t know could sweat. I kid you not, you can watch beads of sweat forming. Bring a towel, you will need one.
It will be a good idea they said, try it they said. I love a good competition- against myself, friends, enemies, my dog, I don’t care. If you give me a challenge and I accept it, game on.
Q: How is this challenge going?
Day 1: Walk in to the studio and I learn they have shorter classes than they used to. Instead of 90 minutes of hell, you can go for 60! Wonderful! To be honest the 60 minutes was exactly what I needed and while I didn’t complete every posture, I walked out feeling confident in the next day.
Day 2: Go big or go home. 90 minutes it is, I want the experience (I tell myself.) I don’t necessarily regret the experience, but I accept that 60 minutes is completely acceptable. I even decide if those are the only classes I am able to attend I can’t beat myself up over it.
Day 3: Before I leave for class I have John take my picture because you best believe I have every intention in monitoring my progress. I refuse to weigh myself, but damn straight I want to see those love handles melt away and six-pack abs replace my “she is an adorable pregnant girl” belly.
Day 4: I got this
Day 5: I got this
Day 6: I got this so much I am going to take a picture and send it to my mom! I am actually at a point where I have filled out an entire first line on the challenge card. Only four to go. I try convincing myself that’s the wrong way to look at things but the Debbie Downer in me wants no part in any of my excitement. Additionally, as I’m walking in to this 60 minute class a girl goes, “I usually only do the 90 minutes…but…” and I feel like a failure. The class goes well, but I bolt out of the door because I have a wedding to be at in one hour.
Day 7: I got this.
Day 8: I cannot explain enough that this was the worst class. At the end of class my friend told me she got through class by imagining ways to make me laugh. The first thing she said to me was actually, “so wasn’t that the best class yet?” We cannot pinpoint why it was such a bad class, but it was.
Day 9: I’m enjoying class and then I feel this pinch. I spend the rest of the night into today hobbling around like a little old lady with sciatica, which I’m pretty sure is exactly what I am right now.
Day 10: Here I am. Drinking water and debating my next move. Do I give up? Do I push myself? Is this lupus or sciatica? Am I just crazy (side note: yes, but it’s unrelated) Can I just lay on the mat for 90 minutes? More to come my friends. More. To. Come.
Listless with Lupus