As I’ve been bringing yoga into my #30daysofnewthings challenge, there’s something I’ve been avoiding:
Anything where I’m relying on the upper body strength I don’t have to keep me from a supercharged faceplant fueled by the added weight of my graceless legs and man-like torso. “Day Four – I’ve never been permanently paralyzed before!” #newthings (Dear glob, please don’t let that be the price for my wanderlust and sense of adventure, kaythx.) And part of what I’m learning along the way (all of a few days) into my innovation journey is kinda what yoga itself teaches: balance. Yes, I should be able to do what I want without fear – but part of that’s making sure the right precautions are in place. Like settling for a bridge pose on a bridge (Monday), rather than a tree pose in the tree I just climbed (Sunday).
Or maybe using a wall the first few times I try something I’m terrified of like yesterday:
(While that kiwani does look rather formidable, I do mean the elbow stand)
Because a pose didn’t feel sufficiently innovative, I tried some new fruit and wore crazy colored pants all day which I normally never would do because: self-conscious. My goal was to get both feet on that wall. But because I don’t stretch enough, my hips and IT bands and hamstrings are super tight. So, I’m not able to do it. Yet. Not without the wrong set’a muscles trying to commandeer my body ship and murder me (there’s a fun bit of video – since I recorded most of these and snapped stills – of me just kinda spontaneously doing a Russian Kozachok dance upside down on that wall since the soles of my feet couldn’t agree to meet on the opposite wall, the bastards.)
Oh look, here it is.
Even so, something interesting happened in the wake of my failed asana.
This is the first challenge where the pose I wanted to get didn’t work out, but felt like a win. Because I got past that first hurdle of it (being willing to have my brain below my body – very strange placement for a writer who forgets there’s even a stem to my body’s lollipop sometimes). And once I did that, it gave me something to keep working toward, which is nice. But it also suddenly imbued me with the willingness to take care of those tight muscles I haven’t had a reason to really care about – except the threat of arthritis when my meniscus eventually disappears from poor running form. But that long term fear-threat has been a poor motivator. This I-get-to-do-awesome-things prospect’s significantly more inspirational. I think that’s a part of this challenge that’s hard for anyone to really communicate. It’s just this feeling you get after you get close to reaching a goal and see what it is you need to close the deal. Now that a few successes with other “new things” you’ve tried are under your belt, suddenly that thing you lack isn’t a reason to wax pessimistic and give up. You’ve already done other things you thought you couldn’t.
Suddenly, you notice what you lack doesn’t raise the question of whether you can reach the goal.
But how you’re going to.