Last night's yoga session was a damn near perfect one for me. By that I mean that I went in with my back a little locked up and came out feeling bendy. In addition to that little benefit, I felt exceptionally strong throughout. I did every chaturanga, sank deep into my poses, and balanced like a boss (even if Crow was a little shady). It went perfectly with my little affirmation for yesterday which was:
This body is powerful.
I used to play rugby. It's actually how I met fantastic husband. Playing rugby was my first foray into feeling physically powerful. I dabbled in kickboxing before that, did a little shitty machine weightlifting (for real, I super half-assed it), but I wasn't trying to be powerful. I was trying to be skinny, which is pretty much the exact opposite of being powerful. I spent a lot of years basically trying to vanish. This is not to say slender women can't be powerful-I see that every day in the gym-but that wasn't my goal at the time.
Playing rugby made me feel powerful. When I started playing I was about 140 pounds. That's not big for a girl rugger, certainly not on a stretched framework like mine. My cardio game was aces, but at the end of my first practice one of the veteran players (we called her Tank-ironically that was actually her name and she wasn't all that large, though she was certainly powerful) said to me "You need to grab a pint of ice cream and eat it, skinny gets you nothing on a rugby pitch." Running at a scrum sled made me feel powerful, especially when it was loaded with players. Tackling made me feel powerful. Strangely, being tackled also made me feel powerful. There's something to knowing you can be hit really hard by a person much larger than yourself, roll over, and come up off the ground at a full sprint. My Dad used to say that everyone should be punched in the face at least once in their lifetime, just to know what it felt like.
Side note: Punching a guy in the face makes you feel pretty powerful, too. But then it makes you feel like you should probably grab your drunk roommate and vacate that frat party pronto.
These days I do less hitting and more lifting. I miss hitting. Not a lot of things relieve stress like throwing some bitch on her head, but lifting comes close. I've also come to define power in different ways. Yes, working hard in the gym creates power-physically and mentally. Charging up hills with my lungs burning and my quads screaming creates power. But I'm beginning to find power in stillness as well. Standing motionless in Tree pose last night felt like power to me. Sweeping forward and down into low plank felt like power.
On to today. I worked last night, which was once again uneventful. Three more shifts. Not that I'm counting down or anything. I managed to get a fuzz or something in my eye, so I went to the bathroom to see if I could find the damn thing. Fortunately, it was easily spotted and removed. In retrieving it I leaned in close to the mirror and got a bird's eye view of my crow's feet (see what I did there?). I take pretty good care of my skin, but I am approaching 40, and I do work nights. Florescent lights aren't the most flattering, but I found myself considering my face. I've already divulged that I hated my face pretty hard growing up. The last 15 years or so I've been pretty at peace with it. In fact, if I had my nose fixed I'm pretty sure I'd go all Jennifer Grey because I wouldn't recognize myself (and neither would anyone else). So I decided on today's affirmation.
This face is beautiful.
People think of beauty as a youthful trait. Beauty is easy when you're young. Even ugly young people are sort of beautiful. Their skin is smooth, eyes bright, hair shiny...unless they're a meth addict. Then less beautiful. I've always found older people more beautiful. Working retail pharmacy for so many years, I saw a lot of people, some of whom I thought were very beautiful. There are a few that stick out in my mind. None of them were young. Two of them were cancer survivors. I'm more likely to be drawn to a face that tells a story. A little scar, a crooked nose, freckles. These things make a person distinctive. I feel like I've finally grown into my face.
Yearbook photo. I have a color one, but I couldn't find it.
22 year old me at my college graduation. I'm in the middle.
27 year old me, with future fantastic husband.
28 year old me, full witch nose on display.
Aww, look how young and cute we were.
38 year old me, after a 10 hour overnight shift.
This face is really mine now, and it is beautiful in its way.
After work I headed home to sleep. Last night I had a couple of leftover brats and cauli rice. It was kind of a dismal looking dinner, but it tasted good. I drank a fair amount of coffee and gave myself heartburn which meant I wasn't really in the mood for breakfast, so I ate some Tums (which are kind of like food, ask any pregnant woman). I also ate this muffin. That's right. I took a cheat. I don't regret it, because it was delicious.
Lemon poppyseed. NOMNOMNOM.
The smalls had CF Kids this afternoon, and I considered WODing at the same time, but I was only 5 miles off 800 and the dog had been cooped up all day, so I went out for a run instead. It was nice to get some air, even if it was a little chilly. The dog seemed glad of it, too.
Dinner was turkey burgers and cauli rice.
Dinner was turkey burgers and cauli rice.
Cruciferous vegetable night!
Now I'm doing laundry and listening to my daughter read aloud. They are reading Stone Fox in group, and she's been slacking, so she's making it up and we are playing "20 comprehension questions" with each chapter. She's actually quite a good reader, but she has a stuffy nose, so it's a little more humorous than it should be.
I'm a terrible person.
Back to work tonight, maybe another run tomorrow afternoon. I need to get into the arboretum. The leaves are turning and I need to run the chip trail at least once before they come down. I love that route. If you want to run 7ish miles with me sometime, holler. I'll show you my little piece of running heaven. That's not a euphemism, you fucking pervs.
Okay. Stone Fox. Little kid laundry. And the continuing search for non-sucky workout underpants. The struggle is real, people.