Celebrating Success and a Personal Best

For those who think of Canada is synonymous with cold? Think again. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that Canada has extreme weather. It is hotter than hades around here with no relief in sight. And I have earned myself a nice sunburn from my camping trip so its even a little more unbearable. My freezer is broken but luckily my fridge still works. If my access to cold water fails, there is no question I would have to abandon ship.

Poor Magic doesn`t seem to know what to do when the temperatures are 33 C for days in a row. I don`t know what to do about her black fur coat that she just refuses to part with. I fear that this weather will cook her. Oh…speak of the devil, here she is at my feet staring up at me with her expectant eyes with her favorite shoelace in tow.

That said, I am just about to head over to the hot yoga studio. Today is my last official class of the 30 Day Challenge, if I want to finish a day early. I am actually on day 40 of my own personal challenge. I did a double the night before I went camping then a 6am so I am more than caught up. I think that by leaving my body little to no recovery time was the cause of the immense pain I went through. It has been bad for about a week but I could barely walk on Thursday.

I took the day off yoga yesterday as I had compensated with the double on Tuesday. And it may have been the thing that saved me. That or maybe sleeping on the hard ground when camping. All I know is that this morning, I was lying in bed when suddenly I realized it. I was not in pain for the first time in over a week. I was in disbelief at first thinking that if I just twisted wrong or made one off move, I would be back to square one. I really felt like Charlie`s grandpa when he leaps out of his bedridden cripple dancing and clicking his heels upon learning they had found Wonka`s last golden ticket.

I have really started to appreciate proper health now that I have had a taste of what chronic pain does to you. It makes you nuts. It affects everything you do and is like a drippy faucet on your energy. Man, this morning I almost cried tears of relief to know that this was not a permanent issue. Hip and back pain seems to be the worst kind just rippling pain to all your extremities. I have tried the massage, the muscle creams, and obviously the stretching but it was still unbearable to the point of not sleeping.

Rest. And I am not sure how much affect this had but I began a very brief visualization that my core was strong like steel and solid. I only tried it half heartedly but I have a feeling it somehow contributed. I say that because the very few seconds I could summon that desired feeling was quite like the one I woke with. Honestly, it couldn`t hurt though I wonder how powerful it would be if I really focused.

Another thing that really helped me even if only psychologically, was that the instructors Judy, Julie, and Melissa took special efforts to give me a little boost. They contributed electrolytes when I was tired and gave me extra attention in class with my postures. There were two kick ass massages that they gave me during a pose that seemed to revitalize me instantly. It sure makes a difference when one takes pride and generously tap into their healing abilities for their students.

So I talked my neighbor Anita who I am just starting to get to know into trying hot yoga. She is in medicine so I was thrilled when she actually took me up on the offer. I want to hear a budding doctors` point of view on this practice. Although I didn`t mean to, I think I must have really scared her with my warnings on our way to the studio. I was just trying to prep her but turns out, she didn`t need it. This girl is tough as nails!

I prewarned her that I would be taking it easy this class as I have many factors working against me. And I am not signing up for that world of pain again so I would take ubercare not to over extend myself. I planned on sitting out at least a quarter of the class knowing that it would probably make her feel more comfortable as well, the newbie she is.

But my cute and petite new friend tricked me! She not only did every single posture, but she did them with precision and focus. And to top it off, she barely touched her water. So of course, so as not to be shown up by my guest, I had to execute the entire class to the best of my ability.

I am so glad I did because the feeling of accomplishment made me feel high, lightheaded but so happy. I was sooooo grateful to have not had any pain in this class and I was able to enjoy it again. Just like the old days. Oh I am so funny. Seriously though, I am ecstatic that I have mastered this discipline to this level in such a short time. I am very proud of myself but am gently humbled by Anita`s performance her very first class. There will always be those who are greater and lesser which oddly enough, gives me a feeling of comfort.

I guess it`s about not having to be perfect or comparing ourselves to others. This is such a futile waste of time. Instead of coming from that weakened state, I prefer to abide in a deliberate place of empowerment. Sure it is easier said than done with the negatively manipulative culture we currently allow to exist. But I think for me, it comes naturally when I challenge my comfort zones and become curious as to my limits. I will admit that it takes me some hard focus and mental conditioning to convince my conscious mind to go there. It is most definitely harder to go to that place when at home. I notice that when I travel, this attitude flows freely. One more reason I advocate travel so passionately.

(Interesting thing I noticed today`s date….it`s Friday the 13th which means pretty much nothing to me. But it is also exactly 5 years since the day I stepped on the plane to travel around the world. Five years ago that I embraced that moment that changed my entire life.)

On my table in a tall glass of water stands a lone proud lemon yellow gerbera daisy which I received as a prize for completing 30 days. It is a simple thing but has brought me such pleasure…just admiring its intricate natural beauty. I am exceptionally fond of my flower perhaps because it helps me to appreciate my own delicate strength and magnificence. Having this small token reminds me of the importance of celebrating our successes and wins. In the past, I have not been able to comprehend the value but now I understand the vital importance of this ritual. These are the moments that we will draw upon to give us strength to finish the next race.

Grateful for support.

~A smile of encouragement at the right moment may act like sunlight on a closed-up flower; it may be the turning point in a struggling life.~

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