True confession time. I didn’t get up and do yoga today. I slept in. My alarm went off and M rolled over and said, “Babe, aren’t you going to do yoga?” I scowled at him as though he made a most ridiculous suggestion, rolled over, and grunted no as I reset my alarm 45 minutes later.
You know what? I think I was much more tired than if I would have just gotten up and done it. The extra sleep was so not worth it! I could kick myself!
Here’s the thing—I think yoga is hard. I really, really do. It does challenge my strength, but the activities I love and look forward to do that. I’m used to pushing myself when it comes to strengthening my body. I love that challenge and the feeling of sore muscles repairing themselves.
There are two things that kill me with yoga. The first is that I am super inflexible. You know how giraffes are kind of awkward when they try to bend? I feel such kinship with them. I’m 5’11” (and a half). My toes are really far away….
Even after a hard workout where my muscles got all nice and warm and pliable, I am just not flexible. Because of my lack of ability in this area, I’m having a hard time enjoying it. I feel like a new girl all over again, after I have worked so hard to achieve a higher level of fitness.
The second is my mind’s inability to focus with its multi-tasking default setting, which I’ve gone over before. Why do I have to think about twelve things at once? I won’t belabor that point because I really haven’t had any major breakthroughs to share.
What this whole new routine reminds me of is the familiar feeling of utter frustration and contempt from when I first started working out. Every activity felt like a huge undertaking. A mile was climbing Everest—there is no way you’re making me go that far! Pushing that prowler was like taking on a semi truck. Don’t even get me started on a pushup—are you trying to get me to hold the world on my shoulders? I was heaving after jogging for one minute. ONE MINUTE! And the word “jogging” is very generous for the relatively quick walk I was doing. Why was everything so hard???
Previously, I discussed the need to work harder and push yourself if you want to see results. How your body trains itself to tolerate strenuous activity is truly incredible. I’m trying to remind myself that this won’t be so hard soon. I remember this epiphany I had while I was working out one day with Jackson, my fabulous and wonderful former trainer.
The activity isn’t getting any easier; I’m just getting better. I am able to tolerate it more. Jogging for a minute is the same level of difficulty as it was a year ago, the only difference is me. I’m different. There is very real, very tangible proof of progress.
One of the greatest exercises I did was after I’d lost about 50 lbs. Jackson had me do the stairs with a 50-pound vest on. It was a challenge that made me realize just how far I had come. My body had become so much lighter and more efficient. I totally recommend doing an exercise like that no matter how much progress you have made just so you can really feel what you’ve achieved.
Keeping this in mind as I aim to improve my struggles with flexibility and strength of mind through yoga is a source of inspiration for me. These feelings are familiar. I will get stronger. Everything is hard at first. Discipline, baby! Well, I’m working on it…