Friday, October 29, 2010
So it’s been twelve days since my last run, aka the Girlfriends Half Marathon. I’m still pretty proud of my race - in fact I’m wearing my finishers necklace at work today! It reminds me that I am strong and some days I need that reminder more than others. Today is one of those days.
But let me back up a bit.
Before my HM I’d been toying with the idea of trying hot yoga. Most folks I asked had good things to say about their experience with it and several of my runner friends said that it was a big part of helping them recover after long runs. Hmm…recover after long runs. You mean like after 13.1 miles? Sounded like something I should check out.
So eleven days ago I carefully walked into the local yoga studio and plunked down my $10 for 10 classes. I wasn’t sure what to expect except that it’d be hot and I’d only be out $10 if I hated it. But I didn’t hate it. In fact I loved it. I came home from that first class woefully aware of how tight my lower half was but totally energized and looking forward to my next class. Four classes in I paid for six month unlimited membership – with a huge smile.
So I’m hooked. This has been, by far, the easiest HM recovery ever. I was ready to go out and do a long run less than a week later. No stiffness. No soreness. In fact stuff that was sore before I ran that half eased up too. I walk out of practice feeling on top of the world and incredibly energized. In fact on the days I don’t go I feel a bit out of sorts. I’m guessing that will go away as I add some running and strength training back into my schedule next week. Another “fringe” benefit? Me time. An entire practice session where I’m focused on absolutely nothing else but me, my body and how it is performing each posture. That is a priceless gift in my busy world. And after working my body that hard I find myself making much better fuel choices when I get home. I’m back to looking at that questionable food or beverage and wondering if it’s really worth it. And so far, for the most part, it hasn’t been.
They say that yoga is a full mind, body, soul workout and I have to agree. Unfortunately I came to that conclusion after a full blown sobbing breakdown in the middle of practice last night. I was having a pretty good practice (I finally got my silly leg up close to the right position for the “tree” pose!) and we were only 4 or 5 poses away from the end when the music changed to “In the Arms of an Angel” and I completely melted. Overwhelming grief overcame me and I dissolved into helpless tears as I wept for my son Sean. It’s been several months since I had a breakdown and even longer since it was so deep and so uncontrollable. I was in the corner of the room and I don’t think too many folks saw me and if they did I truly don’t care. Sobbing is my right. I stayed in the room until practice ended (too far away from the door to escape) and then found the instructor. I tried very hard to hold myself together as I explained to her that I am the Mom of an Angel Son and that her choice of that particular song was very difficult for me. She was beyond apologetic and instantly said she’d remove it from her playlist. She found me outside as I was trying to gather myself enough to drive home and apologized again with tears in her own eyes. I could see how horrible she felt and on any other day I would have been able to comfort her but last night all I could do was cry and thank her for coming out to check on me.
So today I’m wearing my finisher’s necklace because I need to be reminded that I am strong. I am strong even through my tears. I am strong because I choose to be. I am strong because I have faced the worst and survived. I am strong…and I’m going back to yoga tonight even stronger.