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My Yoga Journey :: Week 3

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008 I tore my hamstring in a Yoga Flow class. Basically a case of sweaty feet on a new mat–not the Yoga per se. I even wrote about my mishap HERE and this week–I’ve been thinking about that accident alot.

You see, I remember when it happened like it was yesterday. I was becoming much more active in my life. Working out regularly–falling in love with running–and here I was ready to do the whole Flow Yoga thing seriously and BAM–torn hamstring changed everything. It was like I had to learn Yoga all over again. I had to learn what it meant to be inside this body once more.

But all of that was do-able. All of that was ok. The thing that killed me is that I had a mission–a plan you see. I had it all figured out how much working out I would do–what strategy I would take to achieve the body I was aiming for.

And yes, my plan–my big amazing strategy was shot down as I spent weeks barely being able to bend over to tie my shoes. Then I’ll be honest, my spirit was crushed. I eventually let that dream dissolve and fade away.

That torn hamstring haunted me for the years to come. It grew back messed up–and I had to have extensive physical therapy for almost a year. But finally there was a day that I began to feel like my old self again…and now, the past few months–I’ve been slowly preparing my body–slowly easing into a more active lifestyle that I’ve missed and plainly neglected.

And you know what happens?

Saturday I had a big fall–and I totally did something to my lower back that is affecting my whole right leg on top of it. I spent the beginning of the week in some massive pain fluctuating between ice pack and heating pad and trying to “take it easy”. Being the dork that I am–I actually found this injury quite interesting as I took out my anatomy book and began to decipher what exactly was going on with me.

But I’ll tell you the truth. I was pissed. I was upset. I was even feeling down and out about it.

Because this ruins my plans.

I had it all mapped out–this week I would begin going to Flow Yoga again–I would even begin working out more. But what ended up happening is I went to Yoga class a couple times this week–mixed with my home practice–and ah, I over did it–and am feeling all in pain once more.

{Ugh. Will I ever learn?!?!}

But I’m not writing this for you to say “Oh poor Yogi Connie”.

Nope.

I’m writing because out of nowhere as I was buttering my morning toast I had an epiphany–a great realization about the whole hamstring mishap–and even the big Saturday fall catastrophe. It all made perfect sense immediately.

Life is not about achievement.

We’re not here to achieve things. Well, ok, we are–but it’s not the main priority. It’s not the bread and butter of life if I may!

Seriously, it’s all about the journey. And I’ve said that a million times–but I didn’t get it until just now.

What if I die tomorrow–or even today–and I never had the body I dream of, the life I am running after, or the bank account I’m planning on? What if all of this is just what there is and that’s it.

Call it a day. Call it a life.

But what I’m trying to accomplish has no weight or even value over what is actually happening right now–right here–right as everything is.

It’s the freaking journey. That’s all it is.

Of course I tore my hamstring. Of course I majorly screwed up my back just now. Of course I did all this.

It might not be part of my plan–but it certainly is part of my journey. And that’s the beauty of the journey–it never goes to plan. Never.

But what’s so beautiful about that? What’s so wonderfully exciting about a torn hamstring or screwed up lower back?

It brings us back to the here and now. It keeps us from living in the past or the future. It immediately connects us with our life.

Our life.

This huge ass gift we’ve been granted…that we moan and groan about when things aren’t all perfect and yummy feeling….but it’s a huge gift.

The fact that I’m alive–that I can feel the pain shooting down my leg–that I’m blessed with a life that provides me with yoga classes and fancy, expensive rubber mats, and butter for my toast.

This life is a gift.

My journey is a blessing.

This pain is a teacher.

And that’s all I have to say.

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