To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Not so comfortable...

When I graduated from college I still remember vividly sitting in the audience listening to the #1 student in our entire college preach from the pulpit. She basically gave her entire speech about how her greatest fear in life is that she'll turn out mediocre. I just remember thinking "really, that's your biggest fear? Like really."

Basically, I've spent my whole life just trying to fit in with the masses. I mean, when all my friends got bras, I did too! It's not like I needed one, I just REALLY wanted to fit in. It's been like that ever since. (This statement is both literal and figurative, take it as you will!)

I've spent so much of my life looking around and thinking (or often saying aloud) "you have got to be kidding me???" But, I still try to pull it off, whatever "it" may be, if everyone else is doing it. I am just one big after school special... if everyone is doing it, I am in... but, I have never feared not being good at anything... because I am not super duper good at much... but, man I have fun trying... and when I don't I just use the ole' fall back "you have got to be kidding me!"

At no time in my life have I echoed that phrase more than I did tonight. I said it A LOT. I said it audibly and LOUD. And, given my surroundings, it was like shouting in a library.

I went to yoga!

Nothing about yoga is comfortable OR natural!

I got into the Saint George Marathon, so I am in training (AGAIN). Numero dos for me. I have done tons of half marathons but, this will only be my second full. And, I was three years younger with the first. So, it's rough! I fear I may die! I have been reading for years how yoga and pilates and other strength training exercises reduce the risk of injuries. So, I started doing yoga and pilates... and I am SO no good!

Tonight's yoga class was laughable! The instructor kept saying "do it just until your comfortable"... which is nice and pleasant... until you hear it after "standing straight, just place the top of your head on the floor, but just until you're comfortable". What the... (a) how is that humanly possible? (b) for whom is that comfortable? Or "now stretch out into the full splits... but just until it's comfortable." Can anyone over the age of 10 REALLY do the splits? Ok, maybe some chicks who don't weigh enough to give blood, but anyone else?

Pilates is WONDERFUL! I really like it actually, even though, I really am no good at it. But, yoga is an esoteric version of pilates. I feel goofy doing it! I don't understand the ambiance. Ms. ridiculously-bendy-instructor-lady walked around and sprayed calming stuff on us. She kept saying "shante, shante, shante" which I think means peace in yoga-speak. She was waxing on about how no other activity brings the soul and spirit together more (I gather she's not deeply religious) and she would say things like "check in with your ankles and your toes." How do you check in with your extremities? I don't get it.

But, I still tried to fit in. And, the entire time I was trying so hard to be bendy! And, failing miserably.

So, my sweet vindication came when she read a quote (what the... you've got to be kidding me... but, no, she really did read a quote) that she attributed to Ghandi, she started out "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us... "

And, I thought in my head "That's not Ghandi! It's often attributed to Nelson Mandela (even though he didn't coin it either - it seems like it was Marianne Williamson, I think).

I may not be bendy... but man am I smart!

But, just you all wait. You should all save up your money... because come July when the OC Fair comes, I am going to set up a booth and charge you all a buck to watch me stuff my body into a 3 x 3 box like a good bendy carni-folk would!


Kari said...

1. Who can do the splits? Priscilla Pressley can! And she's 60! She did it on Dancing with the Stars, and I was amazed.

2. My mom teaches yoga & pilates, and every time I go to her class, I leave saying, "That is SO STUPID. I'm NEVER coming back." But I have. A couple times. But don't picture her as one of those shante ones, she's normal.

Tammy said...

Hi, Ali~
You are a hoot and I have enjoyed reading some of your blog posts! In lieu of being able to send this to you in an email, I'm stepping out on a limb and posting a comment on your blog spot. My name is Tammy Richards. I'm a book publicist living in Texas and your sister Kimberly was a dear friend of mine in high school (San Marcos High School, Santa Barbara). Our other friends were: Tamara, Caterina, Gwynne, and Catherine. I would LOVE to reconnect with your Sissy (if in fact I have found the right Ali related to the right Kimberly). Also, I wanted to pass along to Kimberly that our 20th class reunion is happening the first week in October in Santa Barbara. I've already reconnected with Tamara, Caterina, and Gwynne...and was hoping to reconnect with Kimberly (and Catherine but that is also still a work in progress). If I've come to sort of the right place, might you consider passing along the following to the Fabulous Kimberly and ask her to get in touch with me via email if she has the inclination?

Tammy Richards-LeSure

There is also a MySpace group for our graduating class (San Marcos Royals Group).

Please tell Kimberly that we love and miss her terribly and would love to reconnect if only just to say hello.

Many thanks in advance for your assistance and keep up the good work!

Amanda said...

You crack me up.

Kylee said...

ha ha ! I just LOVE reading your posts! Did you see my post on my blog about acro-yoga--what the?

We are so much alike it is wicked awesome!