A co-worker of mine recommended his home yoga studio, Kindness Yoga, as a place for me to find some healing this week. The studio name certainly fit the bill for what I was looking for. The studio is tucked between a few medicinal marijuana dispensaries, which felt a little strange, but I got over that as soon as I walked into the welcoming lobby and even lovelier “yogini” locker room.
The class was an hour-long vinyasa flow and there were many dedicated practitioners that emitted strong amounts of energy. It fueled me to set an intention close to my heart and deepen my breathing. The co-worker that recommended the studio also happened to be in my class today and as he walked out after class he told me “you already know everything you need to know,” (in context to Day 20 post). It was all I needed to hear today to put another piece of my life back into place. I find it amazing how when I open up to healing all the tools I need to get there fall right there in front of me.
Yesterday morning (my internet was down last night, sorry for the late post) I woke up at 6:30 and went for a run from my house. The convenience of being able to do that is a wonderful thing, unfortunately it takes at least 15 minutes of running to get into a prettier neighborhood. Since I tend to obsess over how long I worked out or how far I went, I decided to try something more fun and less stressing. I would run out for whatever five songs came on during the shuffle on my phone and then run home. I’m not sure how long it ended up being, but it was cold enough that by the time I got home my former frostbitten fingers and toes were solidly numb.
After my run I decided that I should go to church (which is something I have not done in way to long). I followed a friends recommendation and went to a non-denominational church in the Denver burbs. Let me give you a little tidbit about myself that you may not know. I love the kind of church where a band plays up front, the words to the songs are on a movie theater style screen and people throw their arms up to God while they sing. This was that type of church. I do not think I have ever lifted my arms all the way up before, but yesterday I had those bad boys up and open during all of worship. It was emotional, being so open to receive God and love. I am not going to get really religious on you, I just made a huge connection while I was there. I realized that the only other time I lift my arms to receive is during yoga. It’s such a powerful act to do and it feels as though you are giving yourself up to a greater being. Maybe this is why I love yoga right now more than any other athletic activity. I could not even imagine going to yoga and then church- whoa, powerful overload! But one can never have enough open-hearted, arms soaring, love coming and going, powerful healing, intention giving moments in life.
Since I truly believe this, I want to know what you do in your life that makes you feel this way? Share it with the world because these moments are what life is all about.
Depending on how well you know me, you might know a little bit about why this week has been upsetting, stressful, sad, scary….you name the emotion and I have felt it. If you don’t know me that well, then feel free to ask me what’s shakin’ in a personal email. There are some things that should not be blasted to the world and this is one of them.
On top of this restless emotional week, the wireless internet in my apartment complex has been down for three days. I am currently sitting at Starbucks on a Saturday night to tell you all how I sweat today. I am actually super grateful for the working out and the blog, as it has proved to be a great distraction to life’s events.
This morning was one of those morning’s that made me happy that I am a runner. The sun was rising as I took my first stride in Washington Park and by the time I ended it was a crisp sunny Fall morning. I ran four miles and I felt wonderful. The altitude did not bother me at all. It’s about dang time, as I have been in Colorado for almost seven weeks now!
So, thank you for being patient with my lack of consistent posts as my internet is down. Another thank you for understanding that my humor is currently on the back-burner, while my heart and mind are tied up in Washington, DC.
Day 18: The first job I took after college was in Human Resources at
Keystone Resort. If you craned your neck far enough out the window you could see the slopes from my office. My apartment was .5 miles from the gondola. Life was good. I lived there for a year and a half and had a lot of big first time life experiences; first pair of skis, first successful double black diamond run, first frostbite (in multiple places), first time eating sushi, first real job, first time paying bills, first serious car accident on ice, first love, first heartbreak, first eating disorder and the best decision I have ever made: leaving. I loved my life there, but I knew there was something else waiting for me.
Yesterday I skied Arapahoe Basin with a pair of fresh eyes and a changed heart. I am grateful for the things in my past that shaped the person that I am today. I have not dwelled on my mistakes, but I have built from them. To say that I was overcome with emotion yesterday would be an understatement. I let go of a huge part of my life a long time ago. And yesterday, more than ever, I embraced the present and my future.
The fresh snow, bluebird skies, snow-dusted pine trees and mountains framing the runs had little to do with my realization. Nelson Mandela said it best, “there is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” The mountains will always be there for me whenever I need some soul awakening. For that, I am ever grateful.
Day 19: For lack of extra time today, I have to combine the two days. Tonight I am going to practice yoga at lululemon at our weekly Vino & Vinyasa.
Today was the first snow in Colorado for the season. Denver was not messing around either. We are up to 8″ and it’s still coming down.
The general thoughts on the early snowstorm have the majority of Coloradans split down the center, they are either a. stoked because the gnar is coming early and it’s a sign of some serious shredding to come* or b. annoyed that winter is starting in October. I’m of the first variety. So much so, that I awoke with little tears in my eyes and ran to my rooftop to take pictures to send to my fiance that is in a place that never gets below 90 degrees.
So what would my workout be on a day that I’m so over-filled with gratitude? You probably guessed it. I decided to have my cup completely overflow and go to Core Power Yoga for a class. I honestly think it was the best practice I have ever had. This got me thinking, was my practice so great because my mind was so clear and happy or was my practice great because my body was warm again and moving? Either way, I was a happy girl with a crow pose that stayed strong for 30 seconds.
I feel compelled to end this entry with the words love and gratitude. How are you loving your world today? What fills you with gratitude? How can you make your cup overflow everyday? The answers to those questions continually change. I have got mine answered, at least for now.
*I should not be able to use the words shred or gnar. Those words are reserved for bros. A more acceptable sentence for a blonde blogging skier would be, “excited because the snow is coming early and it’s a sign of some amazing skiing to come.”
I typically decide my workouts a few days before I complete them. Today’s workout was chosen four days ago when I realized how much I missed my yoga routine while I was out of town. I chose a class at the closest Core Power Yoga studio to my house and found a time that worked for me. Little did I know that the class that I had chosen, “yoga fusion” actually meant “our style of Bikram.”
I walked into the studio, wanting more than anything to have a nice vinyasa practice. I was so excited about it that I fell asleep waiting for class to start (this is happening a lot lately, uhh?)! When the instructor came in and asked us to start out with the Bikram style breathing exercises I felt defeated. I woke up for my slumber on my mat for this?
After my first experience at a true Bikram studio a few weeks back, (see: Day Three & Four: Too Hot To Handle) I had sworn off trying it again. However, the yoga guardian angel that is watching my back (primarily when I’m in wheel) must have had a different plan. To me, giving up after trying something once is a lot like just giving up. Giving up after trying something twice means, “I stayed open to it and tried it again.” So after deciding that there was no way I was walking out of a class as it started, I gave it a second try. I enjoyed it a lot more this time around. I also realized that I happen to love everything about a vinyasa style class, this just might not be my dig….and that’s ok.
This morning I was going to use the stationary bike in my Dad’s basement for my workout. That did not workout the way that I wanted. I could not adjust the bikes resistance, which would have resulted in a poor workout. So I moved on to the elliptical. I got on, pedaled twice and hit my head on the ceiling. Fail times two.
Third up? The rowing machine. I did this for 15 minutes and then I got an idea, “this is going to be a workout to eradicate back fat.” I got off the ergometer, grabbed some weights and did about ten different random sets. I was confused. Fourty minutes had gone by and I had zero clue what I did. I was ALL OVER THE PLACE.
This workout reminded me of something I frequently ask my life coaching clients, “are you clear on what you want?” If you’re not clear on what you want, then how are you going to get it? The same thing applies to working out. I can’t just go wing it and expect a great workout (unless of course, I am at a fully equipped gym). Emotionally, a fully equipped gym looks a lot like being clear on what you want and building it over time.
Even though today’s workout was chaotic and made zero sense, I gave myself a huge acknowledgement for realizing only 15 days in that for 350 more days I need to have more clarity. Clarity for what I want that day and for this entire challenge. So here are my questions for you: What do you want? What are you doing to get it? How will you continue to better it? Just a little food for thought on a day that might be just as confusing to you as it is to me.
Day fourteen started off with my Dad waking me up after coming home very late from the wedding last night and me saying, “I think I’m hungover.” What I really meant was, “the wedding last night was fantastic and I can’t wait to go to the Anchor Bar and get buffalo wings.”
Which it was and we did. I ate lots of wings and am eternally grateful for Mother Teressa (the creator of the original “buffalo wing” in 1964). After a snooze on the way home from Buffalo, I thought it would be a good time to workout.
My workout consisted of a 70 minute walk around my Dad’s beautiful town. I got passed by a tractor carrying hay and saw four deer running around in a meadow. It was really a beautiful day that made me reflect on how grateful I am for everything in my life.
Three weeks ago I never would have made an attempt to do anything that required moving today. However, two weeks into the challenge and I did not even question whether or not I would get moving today. Hopefully I will feel the same way after my wedding day in ten months.
This weekend my cousin, John, is getting married to his longtime love, Tara. The nuptials were held in Buffalo, NY and the majority of the family congregated to help the couple celebrate. Although the celebrating started last night, I still had to squeeze in a workout.
Luckily, my brother, his wife and my cousins are pretty dedicated gym goers and came with me. Little did we know that the pictures of the gym at our hotel that the website boasted, were far from what the gym actually looked like. There were three machines; a treadmill, bike and eliptical-ish thing. We took turns doing our own type of circuit workouts and got the tiny room’s temperature up to at least 101 degrees. At one point my brother and I did a quick treadmill switch-off and I hopped right on thinking I could be smooth about the transition. BOY was I wrong. Thank goodness I had a death grip on the bar across the top because if I hadn’t, then this challenge would have ended today!
I am not really sure how to report what my workout was, but I think it looks like this: 15 minutes on the eliptical-ish thing, 10 minutes on the treadmill, 7 on the bike (apparently that was not my thing today), lots of planks/core work and numerous free weight lifting.
If I could workout with my family everyday, then there is no doubt in my mind that I would finish this challenge. If you haven’t taken the time to sweat with your fam lately, I highly recommend it!
Whenever I come to western New York I have one mission in mind: chicken wings. When are we getting them? How good are they going to be? And who is the poor sap that has to watch me gobble them down? Seriously. As you all know, Buffalo is the home of the original chicken wing and on Sunday, yours truly gets to go to THE original wing spot, Anchor Bar. In order to prepare for this, my Dad, Step-Mom and I went and ate wings last night at a local joint.
With the additional caloric intake last night, I was fueled for a nice run this morning. I was thinking that with my newly acquired lung power from living in the mile high city, I’d be able to run 11 miles. This was not the case (I blame the wing grease hiding in my arteries); I ran for 45 minutes and only busted out one version of my air guitar. The whole time I was running I was envisioning my fiance’s calves when he runs and Anchor Bar wings. Unfortunately, I’m dead serious.