Ok, so I realize that I'm the type of person that sets out to do a particular exercise and I fully expect to do it - maybe a bit half-assed if it's really hard, but I do it. This afternoon I did something that I had really been looking forward to - Bikram Yoga. Hot yoga...whose bright idea was this? Take a challenging yoga routine and oh, do it in 105 degree temperatures. Brilliant! I figure hey...I have one of those sauna thingies taking up half my dining room and I do that in 115 degrees! Surely this yoga thing will be ok...challenging, but ok. No. Not so much.
I've recently been getting into yoga in general and what little I've done, I have really enjoyed. I find it challenging, and it pushes me beyond my comfort zone, yet I can still keep up with the practices, even if how I do it isn't perfect. I dress for this class in a pair of bike shorts and a baggy t-shirt. Safe, right? Wrong. Everyone else in the class is wearing the equivalent of a bikini. Then again, not everyone in the class was almost 300 pounds. I set up my mat and towel and lay down in savasana pose (my favorite - all you have to do is just lay down consciously...yeah!) It's hot, but tolerable. I kid myself, "this won't be so bad, it's not SO hot!" We get started...I'm playing along for the first few poses, you know, going all out. Then comes this crazy balance on one leg while your other leg is straight out at hip level. Uh...what? What are we, storks or something?
So I half-ass that one and keep going. I'm struggling...I'm feeling hotter and getting a little pant-y. This is not going so well. I'm getting pretty woozy when I notice that someone has sat down across the room. Oh? So then the chunky chick wouldn't be the only one sitting down? I guess I could swing that. Overall, I missed probably a third of the 26 poses in the 90 minute routine. I guess I'm happy I stayed in there until the end, but it was such an unsatisfied feeling I was carrying with me. I realize of course that 1) this is a hard, intense workout, and 2) it is a super duper triple dog hard, intense workout for someone of my size. That still doesn't settle my mind that I didn't really 'complete' what I set out to do, which was to at least try everything once. It isn't my nature to not accomplish what I give myself to do physically.
I amble to my flip-flops and somehow make it to my car just in time to let the tears flow. I just cried for a while. I cried for what I did accomplish, and for what I didn't accomplish. And I really cried about the reason I wasn't able to accomplish all that I set out to do.... my fat. Not my weight, weight is a number. Fat is what is in front of you, preventing you from leaning all the way forward. It prevents you from crossing your legs in some sort of weird yoga pretzel-y way. It wears your knees down so you can't sit in half of the yoga sitting positions. It makes your arms go further out because you can't put them smoothly down by your sides because your sides are a blob instead of a feminine curve. I realized today that I can't do all things, even when I set my mind to it, as long as the large expanse I call my fat hangs around.
Needless to say, I won't be giving Bikram another shot for a while. I need to part ways with some more fat first. What I did however, was come face to face with my real limitations. For a long time I've told myself "I'm flexible, I'm not limited by my size because I'm athletic, I'm not so fat that I can't do whatever I want". Wrong. I went all out and I didn't even close enough to the edge to look down. I'm going to remember this feeling for a long time, and I'm going to do everything in my power to fix the problem and not let let this happen again. Failure? For today, in my head, yes. For tomorrow and beyond? No, because I will fix the troubles of today. Until then...