Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pretzel Logic

I have long taken a dim view of New Year’s resolutions. Even before Shape Up with the Slow Fat Triathlete was described to me by my publisher as a “New Year, New You,” book (argh), I always felt that it was a tedious cliche to make January 1 the start date for some sort of self-improvement scheme. Yeah, sure the indulgence, stress, football viewing, and sloth of the Thanksgiving to New Year bingeathon are behind you, but isn’t it just more interesting to start your new project on St. David’s Day (March 1) or the summer solstice or Halloween? Well, ok, Halloween may not be a good day for resolve. But why not All Saints?

However. I reached New Year’s Day 2011 feeling more stiff, sore, tired, and old than a person my age would really want to feel. Granted, I had just flown 5623 miles to attend my uncle’s funeral in Wales, and I was sleeping in a strange bed and driving on the wrong side of the road. But still, it wasn’t right. When I got back, I resolved that I would endure 30 sessions of yoga by March 31. It may not sound like much, but for me, yoga is a massive ordeal. I really have to force myself to do it. Especially since I haven’t done any regular “practice” for about six years.

I’ve posted before about my preference for Not Doing Yoga. But then I found myself sweating profusely on a purple mat, listening to Sierra - yes, really - instructing me to press my pelvic bones into the earth. I just didn’t want my neck and lower back and knee to suck any more. I actively wanted them to suck less.

Yup, the process itself sucked. But, predictably, after only five sessions I could actually feel my balance improving, making it easier for me to get my shoes on in the morning. I could feel a little more flexibility in some areas. Yeah, I am still tottering like an octogenarian after any long drive, and my downward dog is a bit of an elderly Rottweiler, but I know it does me good. I know it does.

And then in the last 10 days, I lost my groove. I crashed my car while driving to see my folks. (“Welcome home from Wales, and oh, could you give me a ride?”) All people involved were fine; car wasn’t. I got a nasty runny cold. I had to deal with insurance and forms and new car shopping every spare moment. And when I finally got a new car, I had to drive 240 miles round trip to return my rental. Long story. But that drive convinced me that I’m back in Sierra’s class on Tuesday morning, pressing my pelvic bones into the earth. Even if the “earth” is the second floor of a monster health club.

It feels like twisted logic: staying in one place for an hour, standing, kneeling, and twisting is going to enable me to move better? But yeah, I think it is.

Hey, we made it to 2011, most of us.

P.S. If you can't or won't make it to the yoga studio/gym etc., try www.yogatoday.com - one free video class per week or a bunch of videos online for a super reasonable price.


  1. I've signed up for numerous yoga classes, never to attend one. I don't hate it, just too calming for me. Which is actually what I need. Go figure.

    Read your book, didn't know you blogged. Cool.

  2. Good luck with the yoga! I'm trying to do 10 minutes a day with a video. Having trouble even being consistent with that. But you're right, it does good things to a body--makes me feel looser and flexible and think better too.

  3. I'm a new reader of your blog, but your books have really inspired me for a couple of years. I live in a teeny tiny Nevada town with one gym that's been open for one month. It has a room with a big screen TV that will play pre-set exercise videos for you, including yoga. But I'm scared! The beginner one was okay, until I got to the part where I was supposed to sit up from laying flat on my back like peeling a banana. Yikes. I'm going to check out the site you posted and try again.

  4. Ms. Jayne Williams-
    You are AWESOME.
    The end.

    Okay, so I wanted to write more than that, but I don't know what else to write to sum up my thoughts on SFT (both the book and the concept). I, too, am an SFT. I started a blog after reading the book and thought, well, I better check out SFT online - and here you are :)

    Don't be surprised that you are mentioned, tagged, and henceforth noted as an author, comedian, realist, healer, motivator, instigator, and ATHLETE.