Ok, so maybe I am not yoga-ing everyday…but damn if I ain’t going to give it my best shot!
A little background I suppose is in order.
I have never (yes, never) been what you would call flexible or coordinated. I cannot touch my toes. I have always been functionally strong. Just last summer I was hauling around 80 pound bags of concrete and hand mixing them with a garden hoe and shovel. I can’t do a handstand, but I can push mow acreage. I can run ridiculous distances, but I can’t do a cartwheel.
It was all very frustrating as a child so I just kind of let it go. Until I saw Rocky’s shoulders.
The picture was intended to draw attention to the beautiful scenery in the background. All I saw were perfectly shaped delts.
Chaturangas she said. A serious yoga practice she said. You can do it she said.
I took a few classes at the Y, and the instructor was awesome. But it just wasn’t for me. I just couldn’t get in to it. Natalie made running Yogis look cool. She still makes running Yogis look cool. But I couldn’t take the plunge.
In all honesty, I still thought that I was going to carve time into my training schedule for CrossFit. That “functional” thing I talked about earlier really spoke to me. Strong chicks throwing around heavy stuff with amazing physiques piqued every ounce of curiosity I had. I knew that would be my next challenge. I knew that as soon as I could figure out the finances and the time, that would be where I supplemented my cross training for my runs.
Then Jill happened. And she knows just how to motivate me.
Y’all, when I tell you she is awesome, I wish I had never used the word before so you would know just how much I meant it. Jillian was effortless, graceful, powerful.
I was in Yoga Love.
I was also in Yoga jealousy. I could not do the hand stand. I could not flip the dog. In fact, there were a good many things I just couldn’t do. And I wanted to. I really, REALLY wanted to.
You see, Jillian walked through the class and talked about honoring the body, challenging yourself, respecting your limits, getting better with practice. These are all things ultra runners talk about. The ideas resonated with me in the same way Ultra running does.
It isn’t about winning a race or being better than the guy next to you. It is about winning at life and being better than you were yesterday.
I was going to make this work. Runners need to cross train, right? We need great stretches, strong cores, resilient minds – sounds like yoga to me!
Emily says, “Come to yoga with me after a run. It looks like this.”
If there was any hesitation about this being the right idea, Lindsey put that to bed. Early on a Sunday morning, I set out to join her for a 5k run and Yoga in the Park. Awakening Yoga Studio had begun an every other Sunday Run/Yoga Group and I was anxious to check it out.
I ran with Lindsey and it didn’t take me long to realize she was fast. Not only was she fast – she was fast while pushing a stroller!
“You run about 21 minute 5k, right?” I asked while we ran mile 2.
“Yeah,” she said. “I PR’d at 20:50 but I was pushing the stroller.”
What?!?! Yes, you read that right. Go ahead and read it again. I offered to go with her to the next 5k she did just to watch James Michael so she could run free. Man I hope she takes me up on that!
She then proceeded to lead the most beautiful Yoga class. She was strong and elegant. There was no further debate in my head.
What Rocky inspired, Jillian inflamed, Emily encouraged and Lindsey cemented – Lisa made possible. Her encouragement and partnership showed me how I too could make this work within my running practice and life parameters. And if I could do it – anybody could!
So the 30 Day Yoga challenge starts tomorrow!!! Are you reading this late? Then yours starts today!!
There is a prize and a certificate…but something tells me that if this goes like I think it will, there are far bigger rewards to be had.
Yogis, thank you. From the bottom of my rooted feet to the tips of my energized fingers, I can’t thank you enough.
Stay tuned while I learn what the rest of the words mean!!!
**Rocky doesn’t just do Yoga…she does a whole heck of a lot of stuff. One of the amazing things she does is an organization called Mothers Fighting for Others. Check them out. Help if you can. They are running out of money…fast…