Darkest Before Dawn

light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel “I’m sorry! I’ve lost my mojo!” I wailed as I clumped and teetered through a series of spin kicks. We had set up what I will now refer to as The Gauntlet: five or six holders stood in a line holding focus pads as each student whirled past, hitting each pad with a spin kick. I thought I was going to get off easy since it was getting late, and we had a large class. I sighed as I was asked to switch pads with another student and was glumly thankful that at least I only had to do the kick on my right side.
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So Just Chill Till the Next Episode

take_a_break

“To surrender,” my yoga teacher said as he looked around the dark room at our upturned faces, “you sometimes first have to build heat.”

It was my first yoga class in about a month. When asked about my long absence I gave the ubiquitous answer of “I had things going on” with a Robert De Niro-esque shrug. I did have things going on (laundry doesn’t fold itself), but that wasn’t the entire answer.
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Sit (and Spin) With the Discomfort

Last Monday I finally executed a beautiful spinning hook kick. It might not have been able to do much damage, but it was crisp, balanced, and graceful, making the “rainbow” arc with my leg that Grandmaster had asked for but usually got a falling tree stump in response. Spin kick has been the bane of my existence for a year. It holds a raw, scrubbed mirror up to the illusion I have of my athletic abilities. It contradicts everything my body has been telling me for years. How is it that in yoga I can boldly pop upside down into a standing half-moon but timidly hold my body upright (until I clumsily topple over) during that damn kick?

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