Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hard core blessings


I try to think if nifty almost profane headlines to get my muck read.  Somehow, there's a connection ot the post.  So even if you are shocked (or bored) please read on.  This writer craves a interested reader.  Give me feedback.  (good, bad, ugly)  Am working on my work. Onward...

In a recent Yoga class we were called to focus on a blessing in our lives.  For the record the jury's out for me on westernizing Eastern philosphy - floofing up classic Yoga language to massage torqued rigid-thinkers who might not see God everywhere - only in the Book, or wafting in the rafters of a Church building.  He/She is in our spine, our hip flexors, and our shoulder blades too.  The word 'blessing' works for me but I'm rubbing up against 'oh, please'.  Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jew.  There is but One God.  My mind is too small to comprehend his enormity.  He is on my mat, in the inner arch of my foot, crawling across my torso, and wrapped under my hip in Trikoasana.  Back to the blessing.  (Soapbox, vacated.)

I thought of 2 people I just met.  They are adventure athletes that do crazy things.  Like run on the treadmill with 15 pound weights inside backpacks at a 12% incline.  They sometimes run with other humans on their back for miles.  A 24-hour race to one is short.  The other is a young, very fit all-American cutie who brings intense dedication AND playfulness when she comes to my Yoga class.  She's real and surreal all at once.  Her training and progress are unbelieveable yet she finds inspiration in the stillness of Yoga.   They inspire me because they are tapping into their human potential in a very external way.  Potential they believe that we all have.  They are elite athletes but not elitist people.  They believe we all have the potential to push, we make up our own limits and that we shouldn't listen to anybody but ourselves.  With that philosophy, though they are beginning to take Yoga classes but they are seasoned yogi's.  God love them.  They are my blessing. 

Chris bikes for 100 miles, runs for 30 then repeats the process for 72+ hours.  No sleep.  Not sure about the eating or eliminating.  I am learning this is a whole sport.  (Duh!) There are these extreme, elite, crazyass Races all over the country that make my marathon look like a stroll the mailbox.

More to come:  They agreed to be interviewed for OwnYourBackbone.

Not my acutal new friend, but an example of him.

Hard core
So while I learning about this adventure/elite athlete underground community, I asked if I was too old (almost 43) to push my body like this to be any better than a little better than average in my sport(s) of choice.  Bear in mind that Chris is 44 and been skulking with other cool crazies in rough terrrain for 20+ years and he still kicks major ass.  He told me:

"First, Clair - you are already hard core." (Whaaaaat?!!)
"Second - don't listen to anybody but yourself."
"Third, this is the most fun you can have legally.  When your body is done and your mind takes over and you have even more left  - it's unbelieveable."

All I know is in the days following this blessed conversation, I've added miles and hours to my workouts.  I feel less tired and want more.  Because I believe I have more.  Our limits are self-imposed. That Revelation is a blessing.

Did I mention this freak-of-fitness-nature called me hard core.  Yeah baby.  Look, I can do a backbend after my run...
I think I might be hard core, are you? 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Throwing up on your driveway

The best for last?  Not always

The last part of anything CAN BE the hardest.  Like:

Your worklife.  When you are about to retire in the Bahamas with your cute, fun, athletic, wine-loving best friend after working like a dog for 25 years the last 6 months on the job are for crap.


Your trip cross country in your Subaru with your dog and a wad of cash.  You throw up in your driveway from being carsick after 3,000 smooth miles on the road and a bucket of dramamine.

Your (daughter's) game.  She gets pulled after pitching beautifully for 5 innings twice (double header).  Under pressure in 95 degree heat all day. Because the bases are loaded and her team is up 3 to 2 she comes off the mound.  She's a competitor and wants it so bad she could eat the softball, but another child's fresh arm comes in to close it out.  She cries.  So do you.  Not because she wanted the win but she wanted to finish.

Your skin surgery.  After 97 stitches from  the collarbone up to remove silly basal cell carcinomas you get a scar sanded and look like this at first.

And then this.

I gave a presentation like this in front of about 150 middle and high schoolers and a cosmonaut from Russia.  I look like Gorbechev.

Soon I will be smooth as silk.  The last surgery is certainly the best.

Your marathon.   The last few miles hardest and best.

Your mother's breath.  The last few were the hardest but the best.  The best  because she was here. The hardest because now she's not.   I hope you feel good about everything you do.  It might be the last time.  It could be the best.  It might be both.

What hit you like a Tonka Truck today?