Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Om No

Well, I think I've gone and done the dumbest thing ever.

Have I told you all about the time I accidentally went skydiving?

An ex-boyfriend was going and asked if I would like to go to watch and I accepted, joking all day long about what a gift it was to see your ex jump from a plane. I also flirted a bit with the instructors because I was particularly obnoxious then (this was a very long time ago. I'm still obnoxious but not in the same way.) One of them asked if I'd ever go skydiving and I said sure, but I would never pay to do it. He asked if I would go if he took me for free. I thought he was asking me on a date, at a later time, and I said of course I would without hesitation, and was pretty pleased with myself.

Ten minutes later I was strapped to this guy and riding in an airplane. It was certainly one of my bigger, "I've made a huge mistake," moments in life.

I realized then that I did not want to go skydiving. I considered how I was going to get back to the ground and realized my pride was not going to allow me to ride back down in the plane. Standing in the open doorway, able to see the outline of most of the lower half of Florida, I clearly remember thinking, "Motherfucker! What have I done?"

He said to jump on the count of 3 and I jumped on 2 because if I waited one more second, I wouldn't do it.

It was without a doubt one of the most exhilarating, amazing, empowering, peaceful, incredible experiences of my life.

(I later found out I was wearing my shirt inside out, which was probably obvious to the guy strapped to my back and I felt slightly less sexy and confident and powerful then but oh well.)

Often in life when I feel scared, I think, "You've jumped out of an airplane! You've gotten tattoos and didn't cry! You've had two kids! You can do whatever this is!"

Lately I've lost that power though. I was nervous to speak at a PTO meeting last night. I've jumped out of an airplane and would happily do it again to avoid public speaking and/or PTO meetings. I used to be in sales and marketing, where did that social swagger go?

I've been feeling a bit adrift, lately. Don't get me wrong--I love that. I live an easy peasy life and most of my problems are my own creation. But my 35th birthday was a big reminder that, "Hey, you're not really doing anything. At all. Really. You're not," and made me notice that I don't even care. I'm just blah. Just sitting here doing the bare minimum. A lot. And feeling afraid of things that are ridiculous, like speaking at PTO meetings.

So I somehow ended up at my yoga studio's teacher training open house (and that may or may not be because of a rumored boutique discount for going) and I learned that the certification course was really freaking hard, like yoga boot camp and therapy and intervention all wrapped into one and also expensive and I was like, "Oh well, there goes that thought," and ended up not even being able to use my discount before it expired.

A friend and I briefly discussed doing it together next year, and I liked that idea a lot because I like planning things more than I like doing things.

And then a week later, one of my dorky science podcasts was randomly about the science of yoga, and I had yoga dreams, and when I woke up I had a brief thought that if I could afford it, the teacher training course would be good for me as a human being. When I opened my inbox that morning, there was a work scholarship offer from the studio.

Damn it.

Everyone I have spoken to talks about how brutal it is--how they keep you there all day and night, how there is a ton of self inquiry and group therapy and how they break you down to build you back up again inside and out. The Woman I Want to Be is intrigued by the thought but the entire rest of my being is ready to kill her right now.

They also teach yoga (obviously), meditation, anatomy, nutrition, public speaking, presentation skills and a bunch of touchy feely stuff that I will want to roll my eyes at and dislike doing and that I probably need. I do love the studio and the people though, and I want to be just like them if I grow up. I'm also very grateful for the opportunity, it is a nice offer.

As if I wasn't uncertain enough about whether or not to do it (particularly since I'm not sure I want to be a yoga teacher at all and I am sure I don't like sweaty people), I took a really intense hot yoga class today and almost died. They asked me to update my emergency contact information after class and I believe it is a direct indicator of my performance even if they swear it's not. So this is a terrible idea.

"Before I sign many people have died in teacher training?" I asked one of the managers.

"Ashley, there are senior citizens in your class."

"Are you saying you think they might die?"

"No one is going to die. You will not die. You're going to think you want to at some point, but I promise you won't. It will be good."

"Everyone I talk to says it's super hard but they're all proud, like beaming, and they speak highly of it." 

"That's because it's like Survivor for yogis. You'll never see the ones that quit again. It is HARD." Another teacher offered (and it didn't help).

"Okay, but it gets better? You end up looking forward to it after the first few sessions?"

They both smirked. "You'll never look forward to it, but it gets better."

I warned her that I was not an outwardly warm and fuzzy type of person and she assured me that was her greatest challenge as well, and that I'd be getting over that. I don't know.

I don't see how touching sweaty people can be taught, either.

So I guess I'm accidentally becoming a yoga teacher. I'm not jumping on 2 this time either, I'm clinging to the sides of the open door and requiring a few firm shoves. My friends and family range between "You better freaking do it," and "At least you'll have writing material," so I'm not positive they have my best interest at heart.

What the fuck am I doing, guys?

I start in 9 days and every time I think about it, I'm just perplexed about how this happened. Can't I just jump out of a plane again instead?


mom said...

I guess I should try thinking before speaking sometime since I was the "at least you will have something to write about". I think it will be really good for you, painful, frustrating and everything else the other yoga people said but it is really a big compliment since they came to you! Sounds like something everyone needs, except for all the hard physical stuff!

Unknown said...

You were one of about half a dozen looking forward to the writing material. I was joking about the "looking out for my best interest" thing, I don't really think that, I just think it's majorly in the plus column for people who are looking forward to hearing about the craziness about to unfold!

Brianna said...

LOL you are crazy. there is no way in hell i would do that. think cat desperately trying not to go in a bath. That would be me. GOOD LUCK!

Nova said...

Good for you! It doesn't hurt to go for something new and really try. Getting out of your comfort zone feels terrible but you will be glad you did it. At least for the stories like the people who commented before me have said.

But really, I never even want to try yoga because I feel like I'd hate the instructors, but if there was a sarcastic funny one like you, who didn't really want to touch my sweaty body I'd consider it! :)

Julie H said...

Sounds a lot like the 62 mile bike ride I did. Someone asked me if it was fun and I said ask me tomorrow. But it is nice to look back and say "I did that" ;)

Unknown said...

I'm on the 'you better freakin do it' side'! "Lean into your fear and take action." (no mystery where the quote is from!) If you start drinking freshly made juice out of a jar, posting pictures of yourself in inverted poses and signing off with 'Namaste' I will know the transformation is complete! :)

Anonymous said...

Quite being such a wussy and just leap already, mang.


Kaite said...

It sounds as though all elements have aligned to push you off this cliff... just breathe through it. Reading this post more than a week after you have published, I hope you are embracing the exciting opportunity to come!