The Smell of Papaya (code for stinky feet)

My friend Grace, recently, gave me the gift of warmth, relaxation, and the smell of Papaya.  It was one of those gifts which you smile and kindly say, thank you!  But at the same time  thinking  – Dear God! You are going to make me self reflect in 90 minutes of silence doing  Bikram Yoga!  How can I get myself out of this?

So after many weeks of procrastination and excuses, Grace wrangled me down and dragged me to our first Bikram Yoga class. We prepped the whole day drinking water, refraining from eating for three hours before class, and getting ready for our hot yoga journey.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by our instructor, who informed us the most important thing was to attempt the poses, but if we felt dizzy not to leave the room, just lay down. He informed us  it was important to maintain the same body temperature thus we should stay in the room so our body could adapt to the heat.

 I thought to myself, I love the heat, of course I’m not going to leave the room. As we entered the room, it felt like a warm sauna, filled with the scent of papaya. And  I prepared for the inevitable, no talking, no laughing, just sweat and tears.

 The first twenty minutes, I struggled through the warm-up poses, refrained from drinking water, and felt pools of sweat trickle down my back. I wondered to myself, if I could make it through this whole class? It was so hot!

We moved then onto the standing poses, as I awkwardly attempted the tree fog pose, I wondered, is this for me?  I was so sweaty! I couldn’t even get a grip on my leg!  I felt tempted to leave the room, but instead, I took a sip of water, and persevered through the poses.

At one point, between, my mouth felt dry, I was balancing, and attempting not to teeter over in my awkward positioning. I began to feel extremely  frustrated and for some reason tears began to well up inside of me.

I thought,  God damn it! I’m not going to cry this is yoga! I’m not going to cry!  And I’m not leaving the room! I then laid flat, in the dead mans pose, gaining my breath, and attempting to focus on the positive.

 Once we began to move through the floor poses, that I began to feel at ease, something clicked, my mental barrier, began to break, I began to feel more open to my surroundings. I no longer wanted to leave the room, and felt a sense of relaxation overcome my body.

It was through the last set of breathing exercises, sweat dripping from my pony tail, that I realized did it. I didn’t leave the room, and I didn’t give up. It was a great feeling of relaxation as I walked out the door.

I didn’t realize until that class – how tense my muscles had become, every ache was released from my body, and I had the best sleep of my life that night. I’m grateful for Grace for forcing me out of my regimental routine and keeping me motivated!

 It was the surprising gift I never knew I wanted or would like to have…But it’s funny, what life teaches you, when you step out of your own little box, and try something new.

Since, that first session, I’ve returned and discovered it gets better with each class. I think I may have found a new love and it’s Bikram Yoga! It’s better than any therapy and who knew I could go without talking for ninety minutes? I didn’t!

The Buffoon

Over the holiday season my mother dragged me to every mall and outlet store within the city limits of Edmonton. We shopped, shopped, and shopped some more. On one of our particular trips we headed to the West Edmonton Mall.

It was busy, over-crowded, and I felt the energy being sucked from me under the neon mall  lights.  My mother on the other hand was a deal hunting matriarch on the loose and there was no stopping her.

As, we stepped out of the Gap, I was  tired and beginning to wonder when are we going to get out of this place? I heard apish sounds from behind, I paused for a moment, and wondered was this buffoon speaking to me?

I assessed the  buffoon, out of his natural habit, as he clomped past us with his girlfriend pushing a little toddler in the stroller.

He exclaimed, “Watch where you going! You Dumb Bitch!”

I paused for a moment, “Excuse me!”

“Yes! You! You F*!kin’ Bitch!”

My ears went red, I looked at his girlfriend, the stroller, as he trudged by, I exclaimed, ” Watch your language! Watch how you speak in front of your child!”

His girlfriend looked at me, looked at her boyfriend, and exclaimed “Did she just tell us how to speak in front of our child?” And as she said this – visibly upset, she smartly disappeared into the crowd. Obvious, that she wanted no part of what the unpredictable buffoon would do next…

The buffoon then charged towards me. I panicked, began to assess the situation (not a mall cop in sight), and saw my sixty-seven year old mother ready as back up, clutching her heavy purse, ready to clobber him over the head.

He exclaimed, “What did you just f*!kin’ say to me!”

I said, “Your acting like a Moron! And you should watch your language around your child.”

I stared him down, my ears were flaming red, I felt my hands shaking, never have experienced such ignorance! Especially, from a complete stranger in a shopping mall!

Once again, the buffoon exclaimed, “Dumb F*!kin’ Bitch! Don’t tell me how to speak in front my child!”

“You should lead by example and right now your acting like a moron!”

On that he turned on his heels, to catch-up his girlfriend, swearing a blue streak a mile high. I  looked at mother “Did that just happen? I can’t believe he has a child?”

My mom looked at me and replied, “I know dear!  What a buffoon! Don’t worry if he comes back I’ll clip him in the ear!”

It was nice to know my Mom still had some spunk left in her ready to kick this  buffoons ass!

 I also know the moment he began swearing at me, I felt rage, anger, and judging. I judged him, his girlfriend, and wondered what type of life would they provide for this child? We as parents are role models for our children, and should be teaching them important values such as courtesy, respect, and kindness to strangers. If we don’t who will?

If he has the ability to swear at a complete stranger with no rational thought than what ability does he have to raise this child? So, yes, the moment the buffoon began his tirade –  I  judged him.

I realize I didn’t handle this situation with tact or grace. I felt anger, resentment, and bitterness. But I wonder could I have handled this differently, and if so how do you deal with a buffoon? Any suggestions.

The Resolution Run

On New Year’s day I participated with over 1700 people in the 5km Resolution Run. A sea of orange jackets took to the streets of Edmonton. All of us with the same goal to kick off 2011 right by completing the 5km run. It was a low-key race, great weather,  no hills, and lots of fun. The race started off with a crowd of eager participants all of us out to reach our personal best. It was about starting the New Year right.

 It was through running with the crowds, that kept me motivated to stay on track, keep my pace, and make it to the finish line. I kept focusing on the people ahead and thought if they can do it – so can I! The can do motto in my head  kept me running,  as I cursed the bottle of champagne,I drank the night before…

As I reached my stride all I cared about was running the race from start to finish. I wanted to obtain my goal of 30 minutes but realistically for a newbie runner that may have been wishful thinking.  As, I crossed the  finish line at 36 minutes and 40 seconds.  I felt ecstatic, that I crossed the race  line, and reached my first goal for January 2011.

It’s through  setting a goal for myself, and preparing for the race – that taught me how to push for my personal best and following through by completing the race. I wanted to see how fast I could run,  and how far I could go. It was no longer about how much weight and inches I could lose. But what I could push my body to do!

In fact, I’m eager, feeling brave, and signed myself up for the St. Patrick’s 10km run. I want to see if I can push myself  just a little further. I know I’m not the fastest or greatest runner. But to me to finish a 10 km in March is an attainable goal that I can strive for, and looking forward to complete in the New Year.

What is one goal you are looking forward to attaining this year?