It’s always been a running family joke that I’m lazy. I’m pretty sure they got this idea from the fact that a) I always “failed” gym class and b) I preferred to have my nose stuck in a book over any other activity.
While I might not be running any marathons in the near future, I feel like crap when I’m not active. This is why, instead of taking the train that’s literally just across the road from my house, I walk 45 minutes through volcano-infested Auckland. I arrive at my office moderately disheveled and wearing sneakers sexily paired with my work clothes. To say I look like a douche would be an understatement.
This is why, instead of taking some tour bus across the South Island, I opted instead to work for three weeks on a farm planting trees in Queenstown. But, as you can see from the comment my brother left on Facebook, this came as quite the surprise to my family.
This all said, I’ve never been one for group physical activities. I literally ran the other way when I spent a grand total of three weeks playing middle school soccer. And the one spinning class I took in high school made my want to light the entire room on fire, never mind come back for seconds.
So when I found myself committing to a year of unlimited yoga at a studio near my house, there was part of me worried someone else was handing over the credit card.
How it all went down…
Two months ago a friend and I walked past a street sign advertising a new hot yoga studio in the area (for those of you unfamiliar with hot yoga, it’s yoga practiced in a studio set to a temp of around 100°F). The next day I found myself sweating actual bullets while attempting to do something that involved balancing on one hand and one foot while flinging my other arm and other foot in opposite directions. All while concentrating on my breathing and attempting to “relax”.
To my shock, relax I did. There’s something pretty intense about yoga no one tells you about. Unlike running where all you have is your immense lung pain and thoughts to keep you company, and unlike adventure sports when you concentrate on the nature around you, yoga allows for absolutely no thinking whatsoever. Because the second you start stressing about work, your annoying roommates, your bank account, your crazy life… you fall. Never in my life have I been so completely and totally concentrated on what my body is doing (and so completely and totally unworried about everything else).
Two months ago my brain was all over the place. And now I couldn’t tell you the last time I had a good cry.
Surprisingly, this post isn’t to convince you to take up yoga. Though it has completely changed my life and I actually have Real Live Muscles in my legs and now I can do a shoulder stand without blinking, yoga’s one of those you-love-it-or-you-hate-it kinds of things.
But even so, sometimes shit surprises you. Maybe I grew up being known as The Lazy One. Maybe I thought anything involving group fitness was for crazy people. But – thankfully – I’ve found that trying something new every once in a while can not only alter how you spend your time, but how you view yourself.
What have you tried recently that’s taken you by surprise?