Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Words, as gifts

You know that you're a lucky girl when you send a friend a somewhat generic answer to her text message, she reads what wasn't written and sends you this;

will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.
fully alive - dawna markova
Words are such a powerful gift.  And the friends that know how to give them, the right words at the perfect time, those kinds of friends are the best kind.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Balance and Strength

Against everything I believe to be holy and good in the universe, I finally resigned myself to the fact that it was time for a gym membership.  Off I went, innocent friend in tow, to fall prey to the "its that time of year" high-pressure sales pitch.  Seriously.  This woman was intense.  Clearly someone is paying her by the number of mortal, slacker souls she can get to sign contracts with the big, corporate, workout devil.

Luckily, we had done our research ahead of time and knew that this particular stink-cave of torture was the right one for us, so sign on the dotted line we did.  Through some maneuvering we were able to sign for just six months at a rate that's really no more than we were already spending at the bar on those "OMG, I need a drink" post-work attempts at stress relief.

When you look at it that way, we're coming out ahead.  Less money spent.  Calories burned instead of ingested.  And arguably cuter butts and improved outlooks on life.

Ok, that last one might be a stretch.  But a girl can dream.

Let it be known, I'm not completely anti-gym.  I think they're great.  For some people.  I've just found that I'm not one of those people.  I have to drag myself there kicking and screaming.  One hour inside those confining and odor-filled walls feels like an eternity.  Alternatively, grabbing a friend to go play outside (even, or especially, when "play" means a couple thousand feet of uphill hiking in adverse conditions) can make the hours just fly by.

The saving grace of my new indoor playground is yoga.  Out of all the options available, joining this gym was the most economical way to have access to fitness options AND yoga.  In the last year I have really started to embrace yoga, and without the topographically challenging landscape that was once just out my front door, yoga seems to be the best way to maintain the balance and core strength that walking on uneven terrain used to provide.

As is evidenced by the unique soreness I'm feeling this morning after last night's class.

Oh yoga, I always underestimate you.  I mentally prepare for a relaxing hour of stretching and meditation and then am brutally (yet blissfully) reminded of the unique way you challenge me when halfway through class I am being asked to hold body parts in ways that are unexplainably impossible.  I mean, its my own leg?  Why is it so hard to hold it in the air like that?  Its not a two-hundred pound block of cement?  Its my leg.  I move it every day to get from place to place.

And so a new year begins, with a search for new paths to balance, strength, and growth.  And renewed hope for a beautiful journey filled with new adventures.