Monday, July 25, 2011

I’m always in a State

I love to watch the magic of a team coming together to win a title or a tournament.  If one of the players is one of my children that makes it even better.  I love the ultimate underdog Cinderella Story of the 2010-2011 VCU Rams during their journey to basketball’s final four.  Both of my older two children have almost made it to their titles.  My son is playing for a State baseball title right now and might yet pull it off but dang if this process doesn’t put me in a State, tournament that is.

The crazy thing is, I NEVER PLAYED TRADITIONAL TEAM SPORTS.  I was a dancer and an athlete nonetheless but I never got all those goodies folks say team sports gives you.  I also NEVER LIKED BASEBALL OR SOFTBALL and I am the mother of two muthaeffing Trojans at it.  Karma. God.  Atonement. Purgatory.  Not sure why it happened but I spend an enormous amount of time at ball fields.  I can’t say I love it but I do love watching my children do something they love and I am as into it as the rest of the die-hards.  I caught Nick’s coach talking on his bat phone before yesterday’s game.

000_1595  And yes, he is solving the word’s problems.  Training up a group of pubescent boys to work together, eat/sleep well, be accountable to each other and reach for more than they think they could ever achieve.  I think he’s the bomb.

So I ponder the issue of team vs. individual sports.  What if you are good at and like each?  What would you choose?  I love running and Yoga and dancing because you don’t have to rely on anyone else.  That translates for me to my personal history.  I like to take care of things myself, hold only myself accountable (easier/less fear and potential for disappointment).  But what about the exponential benefits of putting two or 5 or 9 talented individuals together.  Mathematically it reaps more and better benefits.  Personally it might not fit you. But the objective outcome is bigger, more and maybe better.  Not sure. 

So, I am in a State – baseball tournament.  Learning a lot from a group of 13 year old nice boys.  Batman’s wife told me Jane looked like Jodie Foster when she was a child.  The totally cool thing is that’s what people used to say about me as I was growing up.  What do you think?


See?  We do talk about things other than balls and at the field.  Maybe this team sports thing is worth acknowledging more deeply.

Where do you land?  Team or individual sports?

Friday, July 22, 2011

I have butter all over my body

I have never had very expensive yoga clothes.  I have some high quality stuff that I splurge on sometimes.  I adore my pieces from ALO, Reebok, and others.  I hadn’t visited Oz until my birthday when the yellow brick road took me to Lululemon.  Why would anyone want to go back after THAT.  Here’s my new favorite Yoga outfit:


It feels like butter melting slowly all over my body.  (Not that I’ve ever done that)  Decadent, warm, oozing, dripping, magic woven silken threads of pure I don’t know what.  That’s why my three articles of clothing cost just under $200.00 with a teacher discount.  Lawd have mercy!  Yoga teachers aren’t rich in the wallet – they are dripping with spiritual wealth but that’s not enough to support a closet-full of Lululemonade.  A dancer in dancer’s pose:


With a daughter thinking she’s full of it.  I am.  I will love this get up and know it’s purchase was a happy-birthday-to-me moment. 

After all don’t you get it with butter on your birthday?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Birthday preview

I love my birthday!  I always have.  I am the third of six children and was always the harmony-lovin’, peace-maker.  You can talk to my therapist(s) about how that manifests into adulthood but for now just know I never lost my love of my day of birth.  So much so I elected to have a child on my birthday and give myself the ultimate gift – a healthy 8 pound baby girl who’s about to be 8.  Tomorrow.  I already have received 2 gifts to mark my 44th year of life.  A lovely friendship necklace from one of my dearest, Darla.  I love her plenty and always will.  Here’s another surprise from the mailwoman in our hood:


All the way from Longmont, Colorado my beautiful SUAR (Shut Up and Run!) tee shirt with the slogan:  “never quit” emblazoned across my chest.  I love it!  My soul sister, Beth sent it to me along with a most wonderful card that lit me up.  I wish the slogan would’ve lit my family up on our 7-mile hike in Palmyra, Virginia.  We take off:


We play in the river:


Dogs too:



We realize it’s not a loop but out and back and the children say our little adventure is like this:


Horse manure.  Out the window goes my harmony.  I tell them that children in wheelchairs would give anything to be able to walk 7 miles and to be grateful.  Jane made me carry her most of the second half of the hike and I pretended I was an adventure athlete who trains deliberately like this.  60 pounds on my back through brush and mud.  It got me through to this:


Like being born.  Emerging from the birth canal of the Fluvanna Heritage Trail.  Makes  me miss my Mom.  Only I was a Caesarean birth.  No wonder my head is perfect.  See:


I drive a lot.  Tomorrow I will drive wherever the wind blows me.  Did I mention it’s my birthday?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I lied (and birthday countdown)

When I got certified to teach Yoga, I swore I'd stop doing this:
I lied.  Today, I taught a Step II class.  Awhile ago I told myself I was way over this kind of silly mindless exercise - I was much too evolved  - and that I'd only substitute teach it if one of my group exercise homey's was unavailable.  I woke up this morning thinking:  Drudgery Ahead.  I greeted the class with a fake smile, tightened my shoelaces, stacked my risers and plugged in my ipod.  Eye-rolling on the inside.  Then, Gwen Stefani (my homegirl) started singing:
Ain't no hollaback, girl.
I even lied to myself.  I am not too evolved to love. this. sh*t.  It was fun.  Sweaty, hard core, mindless, rock-your-body fun.

Other lies I've told:
  • Of course, you child can stay over an extra hour.  I don't mind a bit.
  • No thanks, I don't want another glass of wine.  I usually only drink about 1 glass then I'm finished.
  • I love running.
  • I hate running.
  • I don't blog at work.  It's wrong.
I will be 43 on Monday.  And that's no lie.  How old are you?  Don't lie.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Go hard and go home

So the Goochland Angels 10U All-star team and District Champions finished up #3 in the State.  Hearts were breaking wide-open last night as our run to the #1 spot in the State ended.  I tried to keep the Yoga calm I arrived with at the tournament but I got twisted, spooled and ultimately saddened by the tears from a sweet red-head with style.  On the last day I went on a hunt for the local Bikram Yoga studio and ended up going back to the hotel even after I finally found it hiding in the hills of Lynchburg, VA.  Since us parents never could predict exactly when we’d go home we all made peace with the idea that we may be jobless and broke since our bosses couldn’t count on a return-to-work date.  So we, like our girls decided to go hard and then go home.


Mom’s Muggin’.  (Yes, that’s me with the wine.)


My hero’s hangin’ as the run to #1 began.


The coaches’ corner.

Earlier I had said I saw a beaver and a snake on a run behind our hotel near Liberty University.  I have my hairy things mixed up – it was a groundhog.  But isn’t it remarkable that I’d see both a male (snake) and female (beaver) euphemism on one silly 3 mile run?  Admit it, you thought I was lying.  About this I could not…

I was standing in the hallway outside the laundry and heard the following conversation:

Him:  So what is it you really want to do with your kitchen?

Her:  I need it to reflect who I want to be and not who I am now

Him:  What  does that mean?

Her:  I want orange and red and other fiery colors that show I am independent and passionate not a freeloader who can’t get away from her aging parents.

Him:  I know what you mean and I can help you get there.

They offer interior design and therapy solutions at the Spring Hill Suites.  So cool. 

And so we are home.  Saying good-bye to one amazing experience and readying our hearts and minds for the next.  In the meantime, I need some sleep.  But not before I tell her:



This:  “I love you, my girl  I am so proud of you.  You went hard and now you are and always will be home in my heart.”

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Where I am


My daughter’s softball team made it to the State Tournament.  We are near the city of seven hills – Lynchburg, VA.  A beautiful hilly little town that’s home to Liberty University (Jerry Falwell), Sweetbriar College (Equestrian), and Randolph College (formerly Randolph-Macon Women’s College).  Maybe we can learn something and come home with a trophy.

What I learn These travel nicely…



I am not a very fast runner.  I am a yogi who likes to run.  I bring my mat and shoes most everywhere I go.  Today I ran through the lovely back trails behind Liberty where I think they are building a football field.  I saw a beaver and a snake.  Yesterday before we left I practiced (Bikram) yoga and taught a class to get my mind right for the journey ahead.  Today, the run kept me on my path of good energy and a quiet unattached mind.  Unattached to the drama of 14 eleven and twelve year old athletes.  Unattached to the constant requests by my almost 8-year-old Jane for more gum or ball field food (eww).  Unattached to the miss of my son’s own all-star tournament in another part of the State.  Instead calm, steady approach to enjoying the now of my weekend.  THAT’s where I am.  It’s sweet.

Wherever you are is a good place to be.  Even Lynchburg, VA.

I want some of these…


Anybody have them?  Got any feetback?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

God, the smell...

I invited my very cool sister to join me for 6 AM Bikram today.  She has done this Yoga ( 90 minutes.  105 degrees.   40% humidity) a number of times.  Her reaction was this:
"I don't know, Clair.  I'm just not ready for that smell."

"It smells like a cat box in The Room because you are supposed to leave your shit in it."

Just imagine 30 to 50 people sweating to soak a beach towel in a carpeted room several times a day.  Studio owners work hard to keep it clean and it's hygenic to beat-the-band but you can't run away from That Smell.  It almost smells like you-know-what - a bodily fluid that's as natural as the day is long but very, very, private.  The first time I went to Bikram, I thought someone had accidently grabbed their - you know, 'wipe-off' towel instead of the intended sweat-sopper.  I was embarrassed for everyone until I realized the human litter box was collectively contributed to by all of Us.  Volumes of sweat pouring out of the brave souls that enter the latrine Hot Room can create a nectar of sorts. 

You can almost hear the collective lymph system motoring to pump out toxins - literal and emotional.   Every time I leave the sauna class I am more clear and ready for my life.  Surely I am a little less full of sh*t.  It is afterall, a litter box.  The results are totally worth the smell.  We'll see if I can convince my sister of such.

What have you tried to get your sister to do lately?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

108 degrees in the shade

I love me some rhythm and blues.  I took an African Dance class in college where we learned the tribal skill of making love to the earth by reaching low with our hips and pouncing up with our leg strength.  I think they call them squats now. 
Anyway, if I could sing AT ALL I would grind it out from my soul to my extremities telling stories, scant singing all to the pulsation of a low bass.  Sing to me sisters and brothers!    Reggae, islands, and poetry are some of my favorite things.  I wish this were me:
This the the best song for summer. 96 degrees in the shade
Real hot in the shade. 
(Third World)  On Sunday it was 108 degrees with 50% humidity in the hot room.  Real hot in the room. Bikram Yoga is NEVER easy but some days are better than others.  There have now been 2 times true panic has set in for me.  Claustrophobia, suffocating sensation where I wanted to leave The Room and give up.  And yet, I didn’t.  That is what keeps me coming back in the most oppressive of conditions in The Room.  My African sisters and brothers kept coming back time and time again in the most oppressive of social conditions to improve, progress and liberate their souls.  They still do.  And they still are.  We can then  use that inspiration to keep coming back to the mat, keeping lacing up your shoes and keep loving our lives.  True peace comes from within you not the space you occupy or the thing you do.  It comes even when it’s 96 degrees in the shade.
I wish this were me:
This is more like it:
It just needs to be 108 in the shade.  Sing it!
What inspires you?