push it real good

The gym is almost exactly a seven minute walk
from my house. The gym has yoga
and weight lifting classes every morning. It is an extremely true fact that I
need to get out of the house during the day and talk to human beings, or I will
go absolutely batshit, and I need to build some muscle, or my cat will start
beating me up for kibble. These two facts mean that if I didn’t go and take a
yoga class yesterday morning, I would have proven once and for all that I
really am kind of a dumbass.

Do you know, I lived in San Francisco
for about seven years and I never managed to take a yoga class? Not once? Every
single apartment I lived in, even the ones in the crappy neighborhoods, there
was a yoga studio within walking distance. My last apartment, there were
three. Every gym I belonged to had yoga
classes, and every third person I knew loved the yoga, and the yoga loved them
back. I knew all about the healthy benefits of yoga, spiritually and mentally
and physically and how it cures cancer and is the secret to world peace. Which is
exactly why I never took a class, because forget that noise. They will stop
making American Gladiator in a
peaceful world.



But here I am feeling unhealthy and
needing something, and needing to do
something, and there is the gym schedule I brought home, after the first night
I went running, and the idea of yoga just suddenly appealed to me. Something
good for me, something I’d never done before so bonus points for
horizon-expanding, something, frankly, I thought would be kind of easy.

Hi, yoga’s not easy. It hurts. It hurts good. I did Downward Facing Dog and
Plank pose and some other poses with the business and the stuff, and my arms, and I
am still feeling the work they did, the muscles in my belly and my thighs and
this is what I was looking for, in my body. This feeling that it still works,
and can do what it needs to do, and I can push it and it will push back and it
will feel so good, and I don’t have to give up.

Walking down there, I was nervous, and
felt sick, and feeble, and a little nauseous, and completely terrified. I was too
uncoordinated, too wimpy, too tired, hadn’t taken enough vitamins, would fail
terribly and look like a fool and I didn’t want to do it, because it is so much
easier to just sink into complacency and not think too much. It’s so much
easier to be weak than it is to be strong. It is so not easy to sink from
Downward Facing Dog into Plank and then Mumble pose and then do one of those
other ones and then ow, but it is such a grand thing.

This morning, the plan is to try
something called Water Pump, which sounds vaguely sinister and as if it will
involve winches and wrenches and claw hammers, but they call it a weight
conditioning class. Don’t the weights sink to the bottom of the pool? Are they
trying to kill us? In my ongoing efforts to keep myself from killing me, I am
going to find out.

  3 comments for “push it real good

  1. anon
    March 1, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Good for you. I have always been too self conscious to take a class, but everyone talks about yoga as such an incredible thing and I’m proud of you for doing it. And the water torture thing too! :)

    The best way to combat a body that might be at a good number on the scale but doesn’t look as good as you’d like is with varied exercise. Note: I know this, but I don’t personally do it. Hence my frequent lament over my soft squishy body. I run, but that’s it. And regardless of what I weigh, even when I’m at my lowest, it’s still soft and squishy because I don’t challenge it with different kinds of cardio and with weight lifting, which works wonders for a soft squishy body (I’m told). I keep saying I’ll do it, and I encourage everyone else to do it, and maybe someday I will.

    So, yes, good for you. Continue to go forth and do as I say, not as I do!

  2. julie
    March 1, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    I really like yoga, even though I’m almost always the fattest in the class, and not very flexible (nor strong nor balanced). I crave the stretch, and it seems that every week, I can get a bit closer. I don’t think it necessarily has anything to do with San Francisco, even my dad in CO is doing yoga these days.

  3. MOM
    March 2, 2008 at 10:12 am

    Good for the Yoga! Water Pump shall be great! Take it from one who loves water aerobics, water run, water this and that. People say how are you exercising when you don’t sweat in the water (your aunt being one) but water exercise is 5x more work that on land cause you are working against the water. If you love the water as much as your dear old Mom, you’ll get to enjoy Water Pump.

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