I’m such a liar. I don’t write Odes. But I will rhapsodize about muscles today. Because all of a sudden I get why it’s a good thing to have muscles. They make everything you do, 50% easier. I honestly thought that muscles were pretty much about looking good and increasing your metabolism to burn up more fat and that’s pretty much as far as my thought process went. Because getting muscles? Not so easy and not so fun-to me.
WELL, one solid month of many, many hours per day doing farm type work and my back, legs, arms and butt are very strong and much more muscled, to the point where hiking is not all that difficult:
I finally got up Tiger Mountain in Washington state with Jeff! It was pretty dicey at points but I did it and Jeff was impressed. He hasn’t been working out very much lately so a few times he said, “Let’s stop so you can rest.” In my head I’m all, Well, I don’t need a rest. Then I would look at him and realize HE needed a rest. I’d love the appreciate that more but the man went out and did the Warrior Dash last week with absolutely no training and beat his friend who had been training diligently, every day for 3 months. And he’s older than his friend. Te man is a friggin’ machine. So I had my ONE day in the sun when he had to rest and I didn’t. I expect that won’t ever happen again.
But more than the hiking is that the yoga is AMAZING now. Truly great, great, great and I get enormously more out of my practice because I can do more, it doesn’t hurt as much, I’m not constantly thinking about how long I have to hold a pose when my muscles are burning and I’m not wishing bad things on the instructor for making me do yet another Cobra or Plank.
This week I did two yoga DVD’s that last year both brought me to tears, they were so hard. I finished them up this week and was all, “Really? That’s it? That was NOT so hard!” After each class I’m a little sore pretty much head to toe so I know that things are happening, but it’s not over challenging anymore and I suspect I’m sore because I’m actually able to commit more to the Asanas now and hold them the proper amount of time, stay strong in the pose.
More than anything, I’m delighted to find that in running, hiking and yoga, my capacity has improved so much that none of them are overwhelming, even if I run AND do yoga in the same day. I don’t plan and plot anymore about how I’m going to “get my exercise” or how I’m going to push it just a little more. I run 3 days a week (and am getting so much improvement there) and then in the afternoon I roll out the mat just because it’s what I do, it’s what I love. I never feel forced or pressured to exercise anymore. I never thought I’d see the day.
I don’t feel complete unless I do my yoga practice because the yoga is “home” to me. No matter where I am, if I’m doing yoga most days, I feel I have that piece of home with me and it brings me peace and calm and I’m thankful for my whole life. I treat people better, I’m happier (If that’s even possible) and I feel flexible and strong because of it.
That’s a little secret that I’m quite sure I must have heard but conveniently forgot, that it takes TIME for your body to change and get strong and you have to work it and continue to work it. But then, all of a sudden, it seems, it happens almost overnight. I’m still not a fan of lifting weights, though I do have little 8 pound jobbies scattered all over the country now. I’d much rather get muscle through yoga now that I can actually practice in a much more focused way, with strength. How fun getting muscles doing something you love anyway.
I’ve stayed miles away from any yoga with the word “Power” in it or “Flow” because both mean “No resting” and “Hard” and now they’re my favorites. Too funny and too cool.