Lately, I have been feeling in a rut when it comes to exercise, running, and working out. After having three kids, a double hernia surgery, and not being 21 years old anymore, I admit that I haven’t felt the best about myself and my body. My belly button is deformed, my stomach now has this pouch covering it, and it seems I am gasping for air on every machine.
So, I did the scariest thing for me, and approached the head of group fitness and wellness at my gym. Let me first start off by saying she is a beast. And, not in size per-say, but fitness and strength. I have the utmost respect for her and am in awe of the things she’s able to do, teach, and model. She suggested I change up my routine, that it may be good for me.
Change? In my routine? That’s the only thing scarier than going up to her to discuss my dilemma. But, I listened, and was willing to give it a try.
Today, she taught a hot yoga class for an hour and fifteen minutes. It was clearly ONE hour too long for me. I walked into this packed, steamy room, and there were women in there (to be fair, there was one guy), all set up for a workout they were familiar.
I, on the other hand, was the only one without my own mat, missed the memo on wearing lululemon’s power Y tank, and my short, stockier figure did not even come close to matching up with a class full of lean, skinny women. I was sweating profusely before it even started (though it doesn’t take much).
Nonetheless, I had already stepped through the door, and there seemed to be no way out (except of course knowing I’d cut out early to pick up my child from preschool, which was, in fact, legitimate).
Then, it was even clearer I skipped college, and went right to the pros. Because oh my goodness, these women were doing things my body and mind were incapable of doing. My thoughts couldn’t help but wander—do they eat? My stomach was already growling. And, if I was as skinny and as lightweight as them, I’d be able to hold my body up for that long, too. I’m sorry, how could I not think those things? The positions they were in, the strength they needed to get there, and the mental focus and fight to not give up was mind-blowing.
I realize that my weight and body have nothing to do with my inability to execute and hold yoga poses. But, in the moment, I was desperate to make up some valid excuse as to why I stood out like a sore thumb. To be frank, I looked like an idiot. My knees were bent, I was about six positions behind, or just laid out flat on my stomach (which is not a proper yoga practice).
After leaving early, and realizing these women were able to continue for even longer, I became more sensible. It was my first time ever doing hot yoga. I only knew the position downward dog from my kids coming home from preschool and showing me what they learned in “oga” that day. These women had experience, and it showed. I was impressed by each one’s strength, flexibility, balance, and determination. Though I felt like a complete failure today, except for the fact that I perfected child’s pose, I am inspired to try it again, to see if I am able to make positive steps forward. And, let’s be honest… it can only go up from here.