Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Spazz, with a Capital S

Chimney Rock YogiImage by Gare and Kitty via Flickr

I was chatting with a yoga student after class yesterday and she asked me which sports I had played in high school. My answer seemed to surprise her. The truth is, I never played any sports in high school. In fact, I spent most of high school volunteering to play ping-pong with the special ed kids so I could get out of gym. I was not athletic. I was an uncoordinated, gawky honors student. I was a Spazz. (Note the capital S.)

So how does the high school klutz end up teaching yoga and participating in triathlons in her 40s? I've been thinking about it, and, honestly, I don't know. I can't remember what drew me to the first yoga class 13 years ago. Desperate to lose post-baby weight, I made a fool of myself in all the aerobic and spin classes they offered in the gym. Maybe I figured yoga couldn't be any worse. I can say with certainty that after one class I was hooked.

Fast-forward 12 years, and I'm finishing up 500 hours of yoga teacher training. I knew the day was coming soon when I wouldn't be spending one weekend a month at the yoga studio, and I wouldn't be compelled to practice every day. My body felt great - strong, flexible, coordinated. I'm afraid that once I lose teacher training, my motivation will go with it. I needed something else to do.

A couple of months later I was in Colorado for a Yoga Journal Conference. I went a day early to do a yoga and rock climbing intensive with Jason Magness and Team Yogaslackers. Rock climbing was something I always wanted to try, so I figured I could scratch that off my bucket list. (I loved it, and now my whole family climbs at an indoor gym. We're hoping to get out on the rock again next summer.) During the intensive, someone mentioned triathlons. I wasn't paying much attention, but I guess that triathlon idea worked it's way into my head.

A week or two later I found myself googling "triathlon" and "training plan". I can't say for sure what made me think I could do a triathlon. I could swim well enough to avoid drowning, bike around the park, and I'd run a 5K once. Not really what I'd call a solid base. I just wanted to do it, so I did. Twice. Now I get to call myself a "triathlete". Notice the "athlete" in there?

When people say "athlete" I still assume they're talking about someone else. But I'm working on it.
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