What I’ve Been Up To: Training For Polar Opposites

Here’s what I’ve got going on:

courtesy of outsideonline.com
courtesy of outsideonline.com

I’ve done a mud run before, but I have a feeling the Hard Charge will be an entirely different experience. I feel out of my element, so when I found a training schedule online I decided to roll with it. This plan is for an 8-week schedule, but I’ve got less time than that. Six weeks. I’m going to do the best I’ve got with what I’ve been given and see where it takes me on this journey.

Paralleling right alongside the obstacle course training is my yoga competition practice. I attend class every Saturday afternoon, where I am working on the proper technique and the proper holds. Slowing down as I get into each posture. The judges will look for control and discipline. A five second hold at the fullest extent of the posture, which doesn’t sound like much but it sure feels like a long time.

practicing standing head to knee
practicing standing head to knee

My favorite so far is standing head to knee, or Dandayamana-Janushirasana (sanskrit). It’s my favorite because it’s the one I feel most accomplished with, but my instructor tells me the hardest poses will become my favorites. I look forward to that. I’ll share my other poses with you another time. I think it will be an interesting experience to chronicle the changes from the beginning to the day of competition, to see the progression in my practice.

This morning while I completed Day 5 of my obstacle course training (4 mile hike) I reflected on the simplicity of merely walking. I used to do it a lot as a kid and for the past five years or so, running has been my go-to for so many things. I forgot how enjoyable a hike could be, even one through a concrete jungle. I didn’t have access to anywhere for a hike that far, and the closest park to me with access wasn’t open yet. So, I chose my neighborhood, with all its twists and turns and abundant hills. I thought about my life and its own twists and turns. Things are well, but my 9-year old recently traveled out-of-state to spend a month with his dad over the summer. It’s the longest we’ll have ever been apart from each other, and even though I know it’s the right thing and good for him, I’m still missing him something fierce. It feels as though someone is missing in almost everything I do in my everyday life. A real adjustment period. It’s moments of reflection during this hike where I can focus on those feelings and be okay with them. Own them. It’s during my practice as a yogi where I can zone out and not think about anything but the way my breathing feels while I extend, bend, and move. I can work through what’s going on externally in my life, internally.

That’s where I’m at right now. Taking things a day at a time, with my training. Luckily, yoga works as a counterbalance to the obstacle course training, and I can work on stretching out my muscles with my practice. Even though they are polar opposites, in a strange way they go hand in hand.



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