Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Making Lemonade

We all know the saying that goes something like, 'When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.'

As winter drags on much longer and cooler than it should be allowed, I'm digging deep to stay motivated.

Those first few steps out the door truly are the worst ones of a run. Especially when it's cold and windy and you live right on top of the lake.

I went out on a six mile run two Sundays ago in the later part of the afternoon. Instead of running early in the morning, I was waiting for the rain to break and for the warmest part of the day to appear.

When I finally hit the road, I realized I had forgotten to grab gloves or a hat. It was windy drizzling slightly. As I turned a corner, the wind pushed it's way hard in the opposite direction. It nearly sent me home.

I wasn't even a half mile into the run. I couldn't allow myself the thought of heading back 'just to get gloves and a hat' because I might find some excuse to not go back out. You can't run just a mile of a six mile run.

So I toughed it out. My hands were tingling from the cold. I tried to pull the sleeves down on my outer layer to cover them. I reminded myself that things would get better once I warmed up. They had to. It couldn't get much more uncomfortable.

A mere ten minutes later I was passing my turn around for a 3 mile run. A stretch I run often before work in the summer. I started thinking about summer - Shorts. Sun. Heat. Baseball Games. Beach. Music Festivals. Marathon Training. Breakfasts. Crazy Early Runs. Gu. Chafing. Brunch with Bananas Foster.

Thoughts of summer and training turned what started as a miserable run into a fine one.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Yoga at the Lab

Sara and I have been on a city yoga studio tour over the last year. We've had some great teachers and breakthroughs with poses. No stop on this journey can quite compare to the Lab.

No, the Lab isn't a nickname or code for a yoga studio we've been visiting. It's a real place (and that place means serious yoga business, as any place using the name The Lab should). The Lab is located in a spacious location in the West Loop. It's recommended that all new students spend a number of sessions in level one classes. That's because a level one class at the lab is a level two or three at other studios (or at least the studios we've visited). But don't let that scare you. Remember, it's through being challenged where you can grow the most.

The Lab is big on inversions. I had this intel going in to the studio last month, but one doesn't have to look very far up an unassuming white wall to see its been given some tough love. Students before us had learned the basics with the walls support to take on some of yoga's most fearful positions.

For example, it's become standard operating procedure to do a forearm stand during our level one class. You know, forearm stand, that thing in between a headstand and handstand -

You start using the wall. Then graduate to no wall.

Then, I guess, as you get more comfortable with the pose, maybe the mood strikes you as you're watching tv.


Or on your deck.

Maybe during a trip to the beach.

Or while visiting an abandoned urban building.

Regardless of when or where, once you can do it, you could do it anywhere. And why wouldn't you?

Would you, for example, come home and be so inclined to demo forearm stand to your half-interested boyfriend? Why yes you would.

And maybe one day when forearm stand seems just too easy, you challenge yourself to a modified pose, maybe even a scorpion.

But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.