Day 18 — Class 17 & 18
Consecutive double, done and done. In the books. Under the belt. On the blog…
I set my alarm for 8, woke up at 7:45. Class was at 10. I immediately spring out of bed to make breakfast. I needed something in my system even though it was only 2 hours before class instead of the recommended 3(for not eating). I watched a little TV, drank water and got ready. On my way to class I texted Heather, my bikram buddy, and asked her if she was “ready for this?” She texted back “OMG NO!” So I responded with “That’s ok, you don’t have to be ready, you just have to show up.” And she did.
Being Labor Day weekend, the studio was on holiday hours so only 2 classes the 10 and 12. The 10 am was packed, full. I mean I thought I had seen the studio at capacity, but this was overkill. Mats, towels and SO MUCH SWEAT everywhere. I went in first because she hadn’t arrived yet and I really wanted to settle in to the heat. She came a few minutes later and set up in the row in front of me.
The instructor, on the way into class recommended taking it easy on the standing portion of class in order to save energy for the second class later. So I picked and chose which poses to go full out on. It was a hot class, but I did it well, knowing that that first 90 minutes wasn’t the challenge, but the 90 minutes that followed were. We ended the class and I felt energized and ready for round 2.
Heather and I met in the lobby for some coconut water and to check in with each other. She had told me that she felt like puking through part of the class and I was surprised. From what I could see of her, she looked strong. We sat in the air conditioned lobby in our soaking wet clothes with soaking wet towels wrapped around us, waiting for the energy to go back in. I drank 16.9oz of coconut water and 12oz of regular water. That was not the best idea.
Round two was good. I didn’t feel as flexible as I have on days where I’ve done 2, just not consecutively. However, my spine was definitely more flexible it was just my tummy was full of water. I have to have a real conversation with myself sometimes during class which goes like “am I not able to do this pose completely because I’m not flexible enough or because the fat gets in the way and I can’t squeeze my body together anymore because of that.”
During bow pose, in both classes I felt that I had already hit the wall. I could lay on my belly and reach back and grab my feet, however it was so much more difficult to pull and reach the legs up. There was a time, when I could get onto my hip bones. However, recently I can’t get off my thighs. Today, as I was laying there with my knees up, thighs down I just said “Push. Push through. Push through to the ceiling” and my legs reached up higher.
It was incredible and I felt so much better. Even laying in a POOL of my own sweat (1st class pool, 2nd class soppy wet mess pool) I could push through just a little but more to have my body do something just a little bit deeper. Yesterday the instructor explained if you do 1 class of bikram you may only sleep 4 hours because the bikram poses does a lot of restoration for your body during the class. However during a double you stretch out the muscles beyond their comfort level and will require more sleep to make up for it. So with that in mind, I knew the 2nd would be more difficult because I was picturing all my muscles twisting, stretching, pulling and tearing.
My first standing bow was shaky, but my 2nd class was so much stronger and controlled because I just pushed through. Those two are literal examples of the stronger and harder you push your leg up to the ceiling you have better balance throughout your entire body to hold it. It’s like that in life as well though. Just when you feel like you can not get any further you need one final push, of all your strength, from the bottom of your heart. During my push throughs I was thinking about what I would do if my dream was right in front of me, but there was an invisible wall there, too. I could see my dream, but couldn’t get to it? No. I wouldn’t just turn around and go home… give up, walk away. I would push. Push until it budged. Once it budged and admitted its weakness there would be no obstacle because I would know my strength was greater.
That is the idea of this whole challenge. Where doing 30 days of bikram and blogging can seem overwhelming and daunting to some, or just consistent to others. Yet inside the challenge, it is full of SO many little challenges. I’ve said this before but 18 days has felt like a lifetime. It just seems like I’ve been doing bikram my whole life. I love the experience and time I have with myself every day and the experience and time I have with others during this as well.
After our 2nd class, waiting in the locker room – I was in the line for the showers and Heather was already dressed and ready to go. We chatted and then both congratulated each other briefly, wished each other a good rest of the day and went on our ways. When I walked out of the building I was back in the mix of everybody. No one on the street knew that I had just conquered a challenge. No one could tell that I just pushed my body to some very extreme limits, for me. No one but I knew what I had just accomplished. My heart was smiling as I sat on the bench, waiting for the bus home.