Pushed Past the Comfort Zone


One of my many Thanksgiving indulgences (thank you to whomever invented elastic waistband sweatpants) is diving headfirst into the twenty weeks of People magazines that my mother has saved for me at home.  Surrounded by my colorful stacks, I sat and read about the resurrection of Elin Nordegren, Sandra Bullock’s new baby, and how Glee has jumped the shark… a half year of playing catch-up on all that the entertainment world has regurgitated. If anything, it’s a gigantic gracias for the normalcy of my own life. My own little private Thanksgiving, of sorts.

At one point, I asked:

‘Who’s Demi Lovato, why is she in rehab, and why do we care?”

Intended as a rhetorical question, Dad piped in, while watching the Patriots game:

“Oh, she was with Joe Jonas for a while, but they broke up.”

(silence, as five startled pairs of eyes, looked at him, awestruck)

In an attempt to know more than my father about Hollywood gossip (he, the man who broke the news to me over IM that Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise separated), I forged ahead with my reading.  Ironically, one of the stories I read was about Nicole Kidman and her husband, Keith Urban.  If you’ve kept up with the tribulations of Tinseltown, Keith has been to rehab several times with alcohol and cocaine addiction, most recently leading to cheating on Nic (I call her Nic, we’re buds) with some girl (cough, floosy) during their engagement.  Nicole found out after their wedding, staged an intervention, and got him into rehab again, his third attempt in eight years. This time, with much more on the line, he was ready to make the change. Four years later, he is releasing a new album, songs written for Nicole and the following love note in the cd liner notes:

“Nicole Mary—I continue to be brought to my knees by this love of ours… I am in awe of how this blessed family we are creating stretches and fearlessly opens my vulnerable heart…and I just want to be a better man, for you, and father for our heavenly Sunday Rose and have you go to sleep every night knowing that no one has ever, or will ever, love you as much as I do…and all we need is faith.”

In my last night of yoga (adios, Equinox and your $173 membership), I was pushed far past my comfort zone.  And I wasn’t the only one…three people walked out within the first few minutes.  This instructor does not lead my favorite class…she teaches a loud practice…but with their sudden departure, she talked about the difference between people who stay and people who give up…that the only way we grow in our practice, through our lives, was to stay and push through the hard times.  Some days our feet won’t get into that headstand, sometimes our arms won’t hold us firm, some days we don’t like what we’re involved in. But every time we attempt, we grow stronger. We take the risk and kick our legs up…and sometimes that’s all it is that day. Maybe the next day, we’ll get there, stable and still.  Some will give up, walk out and leave, their mats unused.  Others persevere, push forward, challenge themselves, and become stronger for it.

At the end of our class, my instructor said “Yoga, like everything in life, especially true love, is not born, but made. Choosing one person, choosing to stay, fighting through the difficult days, the unsteadiness…and celebrating that choice for the remainder of your days is the only way to live.  Don’t give up, and don’t walk out.”

And that’s when my least favorite yoga instructor became my favorite yoga instructor.

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