success and failure

Last night, I knew that I should get up off the couch for some sort of training for the Spartan Obstacle Course Race (OCR) I’m now signed up for. Unfortunately, I did NOT convince my tired and achy body to rally. Instead, I watched a little television, practiced my guitar briefly, and went to bed early. Was it a failure? Perhaps. However, I was successful in resisting the urge to order dinner through doordash. Instead, I took the time to cut up a whole grass-fed chicken and bake it for my boys and me. I also resisted the strong urge to get the ice cream I was so badly craving.

The sluggishness persisted into the morning. This morning, I sat on my couch sipping my shot of espresso noticing the profound feeling of blah. I did NOT want to go to yoga; I wanted to go back to bed. But I could not let myself give in to the blah energy again. Somehow, I managed to drag myself to the studio for mysore. I didn’t know how much I had in me but I figured that I would just start my practice and see how far I could go.

Over and hour later, I was still at it. My teacher spotted me just as I was preparing for (kapotasana) my most demanding asana. Kneeling on my knees, I reached up towards the ceiling on the inhale. My teacher, who stood in front of me, placed her hands behind my upper back as I bent backward, reaching my hands back and down to the mat. She had me walk my hands toward my feet and then helped me touch my toes (albeit barely) before resting my elbows to the mat for the prescribed five breaths. Then I straightened my arms (or attempted to), took five more breaths, then lifted my body back upright. One time in this pose, especially when assisted into it so deeply, is enough for one day. I was ready to move on when my teacher asked if I had another one in me. I thought about it briefly, then answered, “Yes. I can do another.And I did!

My biggest success today was deciding to just do it. I could have easily returned to the warmth of my bed this morning. Having established a dedicated morning yoga practice for nearly 6 years made it easier to get off the couch. I have yet to establish this routine in my Spartan/fitness training. If I am to be successful in my OCR training, I will need to establish a new routine for that as well. Moreover, I need to remember that I purposely picked an event that was many months away and I must keep in mind that I need to pace my efforts in getting Spartan fit. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen with a mindful and dedicated approach.

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