Breakdancing & Ashtanga (what you learn when you’re not good at things)

So I was practicing my breakdancing moves in my living room, trying really hard to not kick my dog in the head and making a lot of weird noises, when I thought “man. I am really not good at this. Not at all. Not even a little bit.” But I didn’t feel discouraged. I just said “meh” and kept working. How often do we do things we’re not good at? For me, it’s been a while. When I learned how to snowboard, I was good at it right away (epic yoga balance and stability crossed with a background in figure skating). That was the last actually new thing I tried.

It’s the same for me with Ashtanga Primary Series. After 8 years of practicing yoga, I’m still not flexible. That’s okay, that’s my body, and it’s for a combination of reasons (1. my body is not naturally flexible, it never has been, even when I was a figure skating pre-teen (ooh double parentheses: my physical therapists used to make fun of me for my lack of flexibility. While they were helping me recover from injuries. Assholes) 2. I ride bikes for hours every day, not to mention running. My daily life makes my hips and hamstrings even tighter). The binds and forward folds in primary series kill me. I’ve been practicing for what, weeks now? And I’m no closer to kurmasana.

Yep.  That's still what it looks like.  Awkward facial expression and all.

Yep. That’s still what it looks like. Awkward facial expression and all.

Initially, regarding breakdancing and ashtanga I thought MAN, I am TERRIBLE at this, but it will get better if I keep working on it. But guess what? I’m really not getting better at any of it. And I don’t care at all. Practice for the privilege of practice, and not for the end result. It feels good and weird and hard and I like it, and I’m going to keep doing all of it. And one of these days, I’m going to videotape my breakdancing practice, because everybody deserves a good hard laugh once in a while.

Long distance running & Ashtanga (DISCIPLINE)(I don’t have it)

Here are some ways to find out you have no self discipline:

1. You finally choose to pack for your trip instead of getting in the last 9 mile run before
2. The moment you start on a long run, you start justifying why you’ve cut your run short
3. When you get texts, you stop running to respond to them immediately (because, obv, you did not turn your ringer off)
4. You clean your house instead of doing ashtanga primary series. Then, you create yourself a hulu account so you can watch tv instead of doing ashtanga primary series (because you canceled your Netflix account so you’d stop watching tv)
5. When you’re doing ashtanga primary series, you somehow end up working on handstands. This is like if a mouse eats a cookie. Then, you start working on handstand transitions and pretty soon you’re trying to figure out how to footlessly transition out of astavakrasana and you’ve forgotten that you were ever doing primary series in the first place.

Needless to say, I’ve been struggling on both counts. In fact, I haven’t been on a run since I went to Vermont (more on adventures in Vermont to come!), nor have I practice ashtanga primary series. So. Now we get back on the horse.

How do we conquer lack of self discipline? Friends help. I’ve also imposed a new post rule: 1 bagel for every 3 miles. The third bagel really makes the difference between 7 and 9 miles. Actually, this system isn’t a bad idea. Any suggestions on ideas for a post-primary series bribe? I’m going for a long run. With a friend. And bagels!

Week 1: Ashtanga (is hard), Running (which I’m crushing), Slaughterhouse Five (is awesome)

Welcome to my first update, internet and friends! Since I started on Monday, I think it’s safe to say that the bit of progress I made is a win.

So I ran 5 (road) miles on Monday and it was so, so boring (I road run to support my trail running habit). But then, I had a big breakthrough. In the form of a flat tire, which I got on my bike on my way home on Monday night. This meant I had to run to my 8am class on Tuesday morning, which is 3 miles up to the Highlands (soooo muuuch uuuphiiillll). Important discovery: when you run to work, once you leave you have to keep truckin’ and maintain a good pace or else you’re not going to be on time. Then you get a break, then bam! Only half the run to go and you’ve got to do it in order to get home. I love this new method of running, I think it’s going to be very successful for increasing my road mileage when I can’t get on the trails.  I’m also planning my next attempt on Pike’s Peak, hopefully in the next week or two.

photo

really cool picture of my foot. Because I guess it proves that I was running? Got my running shoes on…

 

My book this week is Slaughterhouse Five (Kurt Vonnegut).  I’ve read it before but it’s been a while, I’m a big Vonnegut fan.  I’ve made a dent in it, I’ve been listening to Into the Wild on audible before I go to bed instead of regular reading, so now that I finished that yesterday I can get back to real life books!

 

I also managed to do Ashtanga Primary Series on Monday and Tuesday. What I learned: it’s been a while since I’ve committed to primary series, and that shit is hard. I had kind of forgotten what it feels like to practice with discipline. It’s going to be crazy good for me, but the first time was a struggle. I knew it was going to be, so I filmed it. It starts off great, then quickly deteriorates.  Here are the picture highlights (you’re welcome):

ashtanga 1 montage

Then, after a lot of confusion and humility:

savasana
Coming up on Saturday:  breakdancing?  sewing?  am I drinking enough water?!

 

DO EPIC SHIT: goal setting

So I’ve been meaning to get my shit together and be a little more disciplined, but that’s hard and I’ve been failing a lot lately. Particularly since a few of these were new year’s resolutions…for last year. Once (upon a time) when I got peer pressured to do something called the TOTAL BODY CHALLENGE I had to blog every single day about how well I followed the rules. It was grueling but it seriously kept me on track. The thing about being awesome is, if you’re having trouble being motivated, the idea of having to tell the internet about how successful (or NOT successful) you were makes an important difference.

That’s the story of how I started writing this blog. Just now.

Here’s the part where I talk about what I want to do with my life that I have to stay accountable for: My goals are going to be highly overzealous, as good goals should be. Then I’m going to stick with it. Apparently. Because I have to tell you about it, internet.

1. Learn to breakdance. I like that this is implied to be my number one goal.
2. Ashtanga Primary Series-5 days a week (oof, that one’s a doozy)(I’m totally doing it. Thanks for the support, internet!)
3. 20 fourteeners
4. Drink more water
5. Do 10 minutes of yoga first and last thing of the day, no matter when you do your 60 of ashtanga
6. Walk Luna 20 minutes at the very least every single day
7. Sew some stuff. Maybe lots of stuff. Yeah…like curtains and clothes and stuff.
8. Get out of debt, then save a bunch of money.
9. Peak to Peak Highway and Lookout Mountain
10. Leadville Heavy Half and at least one more trail race. The implication is, I have to then train. :/
11. Stop eating cookie dough
12. Read a whole book every week

Do you have twelve ambitious goals to work on? Maybe we can do this together! I’ll be here every M/W/Sa posting on my awesome progress.

Here’s me and my multi tool. Ready for action.

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