I began a new 8-week session teaching yoga to my beloved students from CarMax Headquarters. I see some new faces and my loyal’s. One loyal’s face looked new. She had fresh love all over it – I recalled that I hadn’t seen her in a session or two and she reminded me why. Her 2nd daughter arrived and her face was stamped in the glow of Mom-love. The kind that no matter the poop, the tantrums, the little no sleep, the sketchy decisions (theirs and yours), the hopes, the fails, the worries, the many nights waiting for teen drivers to get home and the unknowns – you would take that drug again and again for the high of their faces and oh, the places we all go. HAPPY Mother’s Day!
2. My fastest Fifty
Not a trick I turned but miles I laid yesterday during the Cap2Cap Half Century Bike Ride. I was hoping for under 3 hours and 2:59:10 it was! At almost 50 years of age and a slowing run pace (as if that’s possible) I was super stoked to turn my legs over like that. And it’s a good thing because Ironman Florida, here we come!
3. My opportunity
I get to work alongside my sister.
If you are interested in mindfulness, listen to this Facebook Live recording.
4. My Mom
I still am incredulous that my little soul landed in her almost 50 years ago. I have missed her every single day for over 21 years.
That time you woke up heart bursting because you get to see the Game of Life played by your first-born who left you just 6 months ago to chase his dreams, have new experiences and get a college degree.
And you walk extra slow across the parking lot to make the getting of shampoo and toothpaste and beef jerky and sour patch kids and microwave popcorn at a smelly and run down Family Dollar take hours upon hours because you know the time is nigh to say good-bye (again)
And even though you know he is safe and happy and on a path you cannot pave for him, your heart quakes a bit because the velcro sandals and the band aids no longer need the curl of your knuckles to apply. Why oh why does time fly?
And don’t get me started on the pirate costume and swords made of sticks.
And you realize everyday is another day closer to another good-bye. Next time, it will be her, then her:
The best part is, if we are very, very lucky – there is also ‘hello’ right around the corner.
In gratitude for the 11 mile run I have today and the endless hours of Ironman Training coming up,
I don’t know if is this morning’s prana pumping party (aka kundalini yogaclass) hosted by the marvelous Holly Henty or that fact that I have just had the 3rd of 3 surgeries on my face to remove skin cancers but I feel better than I have in 3 weeks.
In less than 3 weeks I have:
Received 113 stitches in my face.
Taught a yoga class and given a talk looking like this (although a shower was involved):
Learned to drink water and wine like this:
Showed up at Thanksgiving looking like this:
I also got to experience this:
I was not and am not in a health crisis but the work was necessary if I want it to say so. I feel so refreshed, so free so grateful to have access to an amazing surgeon, health insurance, and the means to pay for the balance on this bad boy. (I estimate my out of pocket to be around $25 per stitch.) Merry Christmas to me, I suppose.
Besides the people, prana, and stitch-free state of affairs, I am stoked from a run-in with an angel this morning. As I was braiding my daughters hair I reflected that my mother (almost 20 years an angel) would have loved watching her daughter weave shapes into her granddaughter’s mane. I decided to ask if she was with us. I felt her presence but wanted a REAL SIGN. (hello, where’s the faith??) I asked her to show me by having my daughter say something in the next 10 seconds, could be anything.
10, 9, 8, (lord, please let it happen)
7, 6, 5 (I just know Jane will speak)
4, 3, 2, 1 (nothing. RATS)
All good though. I don’t like to be tested either.
About an hour later, as we began our yoga class, Holly reminded us that we are infinitely connected to our source of life. Before and after to umbilical cord is cut. The connection never dies. I connected it to my mother-yearning-moment of earlier and just KNOW I was meant to hear it.
It wasn’t for anything good. As a yoga teacher, I know it is disingenuous to rate the poses or practice as good, bad, or great. However I do not mind being told my down dog is the bomb or my camel, dancer, or pigeon pose is on point.
The middle little girl in me still likes a pat on the back, a nod, some attention that she is special. But not like this.
Last week I tried out a new yoga studio. It is posh, lovely, soothing, and smells good. It attracts the hipster millennials who live in its cool urban hood. When I noticed my teacher looked like Simone Biles, the gold medaling megastar gymnast and was about Simone’s age, I thought I’d be in for a real athletic and dynamic workout. I had already started thinking how my practice would certainly stun her stunning self (so not yogic).
As is customary in many studios there were no mirrors. By my calculations, on the inside I am about 27. On the outside I am actually 48. Apparently without the help of mirrors, I forgot what the outside said. Because the next thing happened.
In a new studio I never know how each teacher will incorporate the use of props in the sequence. I do not need them but I find them to be great tools to deepen a pose or provide spatial reference or just give my ASSana a soft place to land if I want to. So I gathered a few to have at-the-ready near my matspace. (I made that word up – like a millennial would)
After the usual centering activity Simone brought us up to (wait for it…) table top – to start our moving practice. I think she thought it might be too much for me.
Simone then explained while looking AT ME that if our knees hurt we could roll our mat up a few times to provide some cushioning. Or, we could use a blanket underneath to soften the blow to our knees. She didn’t say it but she implied – like those of us with more advanced body parts. She even came over to me (only me) with said soft blanket to offer her geriatric follower some relief. I giggled like the school girl I think I still am and told her I was fine.
Some might call it a sweet gesture, others might call it ageism or profiling. Most would might call me petty.
But I couldn’t help it. What I wanted to say is: Look b*tch, I have been holding tabletop and plank longer than you’ve been alive. Have you seen my tattoo?
I proceeded to put so much zest into a slow hatha yoga with meditation class that I made myself sore – serves me right.
I temporarily forgot that the face that chatted Simone up before class looked like this:
I had just had a number of skin cancers removed and am wearing new but healing scars. I can’t blame my yoga teacher that she may have thought that mostly happens to old people. Because it does. Compared to my waiting room compatriots for the procedure, I am millennial.
I am old. I am young. I am whatever. Age isn’t a thing – it’s me that made it so.
Maybe the gymnast in Simone look-alike saw the efforts my body made to be strong and vital and healthy and thought I could use a rest.
Maybe she felt a tug at her heartstrings that I may have been through something recently and could use some extra softness.
Whatever it was, it was just (what for it…) nice.
For the record, I would go back. Maybe my next teacher will be her:
I have a bevy of beautiful girlfriends; smart, adventurous, fun, accomplished, driven queens of their kingdom who inspire me everyday. Of particular note, is my friend Jen who could and probably has been mistaken for Kelly Lynch or Michelle Pfieffer.
Not Jen but could be.
I was super excited when KellyMichelleJen came to a few of my yoga classes earlier this summer.
Jen gave me a book she thought I would enjoy, she was super-sized right.
Here’s the obsession
I want to attain a level of fitness as I approach 50 that is currently stunted by the untrue mantra, ‘sucks getting old’.
No it doesn’t. It means you are here drawing new, never-been-done before inhales every single second. Makes me giddy to think of it and to read this book.
Webb argues that exercise can improve our bodies at any age, hailing it as the most powerful tool we have to forestall aging and prevent and even treat just about every chronic disease that exists today. “If we had a drug that did what exercise did, it would be the biggest revolution ever and would be promoted all over the world. And all you have to do is go out for a run.”
I am staring at 50 with rose-colored glasses and this affirms my passion for exercise. I am not going down as age creeps up, unless it’s opposite day.
This book is filled to the brim with research-backed expert, nutritional advice and preaches from the Bible of Yoga and Cross Training – my own personal fitness scripture. Among other, I-love-you athletes and experts in their field, Webb went to see the world’s oldest yogi to glean sage advice for living with vitality to old age.
Tao Porchon-Lynch who turns 98 tomorrow.
Like the author:
I want to enter the second half of my life in the best shape of my life.
And I will get older, faster and stronger – a nice side bonus will be more energy, better quality, good moods, and a leaner frame. Good Lord, now I can’t wait to be fifty.
I bet this book is pretty good too:
I never said I wouldn’t have fun along the way. Margarita’s, anyone?? (only with fresh organic lime and Patron, please)
Recently some friends and I did a 3-day juice cleanse offered by the cool folks at Bikram Yoga Richmond where, besides offering mind-blowing, sweaty yoga, they sell amazing fresh made juices for post practice pick-up on a regular basis. From time to time they do a full-on cleansing program where the daily diet includes 3 juices, one shot of juiced ginger and one smoothie. All were fresh, marvelous, and packed with nutrition. Whereas I would totally do it again and look forward to it, here are some lessons from my first juice cleanse which may make the next one even better.
Hunger Games – If you are considering a juice cleanse, do it with friends – keep your phone nearby so you can text each other constantly. Let the quips fly. It’s fun and funny to give your intestines a nice flush.
On a cleanse, apparently hunger doesn’t build, it comes in waves. Have some good books on hand to occupy your mind when it does show up. I recommend each of these wholeheartedly.
2. Beets still make me want to vomit – Each juice had a number of plants in them but there is one marquee item like carrot, spinach, or beets. All were to-die-for delicious unless you have an aversion to one of the main plants. When I was 19 I went on a 3-day diet that included a lot of beets. The evils of quick weight loss fads did not resonate with me back in college. I did lose 4 pounds in 3 days but mostly from having to plug my nose to swallow the beets. After a while, I gave up eating them altogether. That was back when a girl might take Dexatrim or a good diuretic to get rid of the beer bloat. Ahhhh memories.
3. You don’t need as much food as you think. For some, hunger is associated with panic. Do your research ahead of time to keep your fear away. You can and will survive a juice cleanse and will likely feel better on the other side. There are many proponents of a limited calorie diet or occasional fasting program to encourage mental clarity, good digestion, and weight loss. This study is convincing. I am thinking of making it part of my regular cycle of eating.
4. There is a spiritual aspect to hunger. When a wave of hunger came I was forced to be in the moment, not react, have faith that the discomfort would pass and know that all is well. Deep breathing, reading and tea helps. Sounds a lot like yoga and mediation. If the practice was triggered by hunger, then hunger is good.
5. Chewing is fun. I need to masticate everyday. Just a little. Raw almonds are perfect. Toss a few back and that impulse is satisfied.
Afterwards I had more clarity, felt victorious and knew my pipes were clean and functioning well. And my 3-baby belly was flatter.
This year my daughter turns 16. Her behavior is not always sweet (what teenager’s is??) but her heart and soul always is so. She is intense and beautiful and deeply feeling. A thinker. She is my teacher of patience and compassion.
She reminds me to always do and be better. Just when I think – I’ve got this parenting thing down with her she mixes things up. First blush, this frustrates me – Can we just have a smooth sail for a moment?
The wind and life always changes. Thank God. I love fresh air. Thank her.
According to numerology:
16 – is the number of perfect completeness.
In the Tarot, number 16 is the Tower card which symbolizes great changes, moving on to something or someplace completely new.
According to the Bible:
The number sixteen is symbolic of love and loving.
This duality of true love is represented by 8 + 8 = 16.
My girl will be 16 on March 16, 2016. Triple Whammy.
Currently she is training for her SECOND half marathon to honor her beloved cousinwho left us on her 14th birthday March 16, 2014. She was just 16.