The choice to try new things and suck at them has never been one I would gladly make. CrossFit Summerville offered a free yoga class today. Marlene came to the box and offered this free class and then I’m not sure what happens in two weeks, other than I will be out of state.

So today was a chance to take a yoga class and find out just one more way I’m inadequate and unable to do most things. It was highly unlikely for me and outside my comfort zone by leaps and bounds. I showed up. I really had no idea what to expect. I’m not sure what I thought it would be like, but I was certain I would want to be at the back of the class.

That is where I chose to put myself. Unfortunately, later people got even farther to the back and so I was more like the middle, but that could not be helped. I knew I did not want to be at the front of the class.

I’m more flexible than many people my age, but I have no illusions about what that means in the general population. I wasn’t there with a bunch of old farts, I was there with a bunch of young CrossFitters and I was totally out of my element.

At least the temperature was still under 80⁰ when we started the morning at 8 AM.  When I left the house, I had told Dick that I was taking a yoga class and didn’t know if I would still be doing a WOD or not and so I had no idea when I would be home. I did not do any WOD stuff afterwards.

Off I went, ill-prepared and there I was, yet again, the oldest person in the room. Cindy was there with her daughter and so we were next to each other towards the back of the class. Best place for a bunch of folks who had no idea what they were doing.

The class started and right away I was in trouble. The child pose hurt my right knee – the one with the partial tear in the ACL. The compression wasn’t horrible until we stayed there for too long and I needed to straighten my leg out. There I was, not even five minutes into the class and an underachiever. Who knew?

What I learned was:

  1. I’m not particularly gifted at this stuff.
  2. I’m not the worst in the world at this stuff.
  3. My quads are tighter than my hamstrings.
  4. I have absolutely no balance.
  5. It is more work than you might imagine.
  6. I get really dizzy with the constant up and down stuff.
  7. I get really dizzy when I have my head lower than my heart.

I spent the last ten minutes of the class hoping I wouldn’t puke. I would get so dizzy when we were doing that arms up overhead and sweep down to the ground stretch, recovery, resting thing that I wanted to puke – literally. But it seemed like a really bad idea. So I didn’t.

There are some things that were simply beyond me and probably would be for a long time, things like a head stand or anything where your feet aren’t touching the ground. There were things where I was supposed to, in a perfect world, not have my knee touching. My knee was touching.

I was dripping all over the place but my heart rate was never high. I know because I was so dizzy, I looked. It wasn’t too low, but it was only mildly elevated, like 118. That means my heart rate had nothing to do with how bad I was doing. I was just doing poorly.

I did this. It wasn’t the worst thing ever. I’m not sure I would do it again. There is another class in two weeks but I won’t be here. I’m not sure what will happen after that. It is difficult enough to do CrossFit where I can’t do anything. I don’t know if I want to take on something else where I can’t do anything. There are only so many ways I can tolerate failure. But with practice, I could get better even if I never get to best.

But for today, I stepped outside my comfort zone. I lived.

That's me in the bright, neon green shirt

That’s me in the bright, neon green shirt