Sunday, July 28, 2013

Fitness as a journey

Yesterday I went back to Bikram yoga for the first time in a month.

Let that sink in for a hot sec. A whole month. I knew it was going to be rough, but was pleasantly surprised when I was moving through pranayama deep breathing and half moon pose. I eve felt uncharacteristically strong during the balancing series. Usually, I fall out at least once on each pose, but this time I was able to hold both sets of each posture until the instructor told us to change.

And then I hit the floor. The floor was not friendly yesterday -- I had those feelings of being overheated that I used to get so frustrated by early into my Bikram experience. I made all the rookie mistakes -- wiping away sweat, fanning myself, angry at the heat. Basically, the second half of my very first class back in a month was rough -- and that's an understatement.

So I'm sitting there, feeling like death and about to go through all the should've/could've/would'ves about my last month of being away from my normal routine. But then I realized (probably one of those life-realization-right-before-death moments) that fitness, much like life, isn't a destination. There's not one moment where you achieve your peak fitness - it's about the getting there, failing, getting there again, and maintaining. The question is -- why did I fall off of my fitness journey? Why did my yoga and running take a backseat to other things? How can I learn from the past month so that, in the future, it doesn't happen again? And in the meantime, how do I find peace in where I currently am while also striving to reach my full fitness/health potential?

In my heat dillusion, I came up with focusing on that one class. I made it my goal to not leave the room - just like it had been for the very first few Bikram classes I attended.

And I am happy to report -  I did not die, and I managed to stay in the room the entire 90 minutes.

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