Thursday, January 16, 2014

Starting a New Journey

Last year, I embarked on a new fitness journey. Little did I know when I started taking classes at The Lab that it would become a place I'd relearn anything I thought I knew about yoga. As I posted recently on The Lab's Facebook page, "The Lab is a life changer."

Yoga, you's that thing that anyone can do. It's just simple stretching and relaxing, right? Wrong. The Lab is not your mother's yoga. Or at least, not what I knew of yoga.

I've taken yoga on and off over the last ten or so years, mainly with the goal in mind of supplementing running. Running was always #1. Yoga was a vehicle to fend off injury. Or something to do when injured. I never thought of yoga as being hard.

But oh, The Lab has taught me so much. It's reminded me to check my confidence at the door because yoga practice is something I have a LONG way to go on. Even now after a year of taking classes on and off at The Lab I say that. Though yoga practice isn't supposed to be about comparing yourself to others, I'm constantly learning from others. And so, seeing this on Pinterest reminded me of some of my practices. Set the bar low and start with little victories.

As I've worked through my weeks and months as a Level 1 (or barely Level 1) at the Lab, I've reminded myself that I wasn't always good at distance running either. Building myself up to be a distance runner took time (like years). I had a lot of set backs along the way, some of which were easy to recall:

I ran in shoes from Kohl's and got shin splints. 
I couldn't get past a mile and a half on the treadmill without dogging out. 
I couldn't acclimate to the heat. Or the cold.
I walked when I should have been running.
I couldn't talk while running. 
I couldn't run without music. 
I couldn't get over the fear that I would finish last in a race. 
I chaffed. 
I became injured while training for the Soldier Field 10 and couldn't run the race. 
I became injured again while training for a half marathon. 
I thought I should just give up after trying for a few years to be a distance runner. -- I'll just run 5 and 10K's, I can manage that.
I got runner's knee.
I irritated my IT band.
I didn't finish a long run.
I sprained my ankle.

But in the end, the end being the accomplishment of my first half marathon, I had erased some of the doubt. It might not have had pretty form and speed, but I finished. And that's how it starts. So I hope I can put my doubtful mind at ease as I continue to see small gains in yoga with the reminder that the master was once the student at just about anything.

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