It’s Not a Competition

Or so I tried to tell myself this morning at my first (of regular) yoga class.

I’ve taken the random class before, and I think I used a DVD a few times, but I’ve done lots of random classes and used many random DVDs in my quest for fitness.

A post for another time.

Today, I started yoga with the knowledge that it will be a weekly/bi-weekly event in my life for the foreseeable future.

At the Opportunity Center, a nonprofit group is providing yoga, for free, for the residents of the housing project, and my boss (and the O Center) is letting me and my co-workers join for free, as well!

I was (am) excited about this–my main issue with working out (well, besides lack of motivation) is that I’m really busy and at the end of the day, I collapse in bed or hop in the tub with my Nook (safely sealed in a Ziploc). Incorporating it into the workday? Perfect! What could go wrong?

My competitive nature, that’s what.

Don’t worry, nothing terrible happened–I didn’t seriously injure myself, or anyone else, and the only thing showing any damage is the table, perhaps–but I am really sore.

If my co-worker–who has never done yoga–can bend her body into a pretzel, why shouldn’t I be able to?

She’s already the marathon runner. I’m supposed to be the yoga “expert” of the group, can’t I have this one little thing?

Nope.

She’s folding her body into a position that instantly sends every muscle into SCREAM on me, but I keep trying.

Now, I can barely walk.

But hey, I still feel kind of limber and loose, and I am determined that, by the time this class is over, I will  be able to do this:

That’s totally possible!

Just you wait and see.

A Whole New Fall

It’s OCTOBER!

I may have already told you this a thousand times, but October is one of my FAVORITE months. If I was decisive, it might be my favorite.

And, it’s halfway through! Whaaa??

So far, October has included this:

a short camping trip in Winter Park, CO

and THIS:

a short conference in Buena Vista, CO

a quick visit to THIS:

Bozeman, Montana!

(to get some stuff I left behind–like my snow tires–and to celebrate my dad’s birthday and belatedly celebrate my sister’s!)

So far, October in Colorado is living up to it’s name. Can you believe THIS is real? I’ve seen it with my own two eyes:

courtesy of bing.com/travel.

I love fall.

So far, it’s going by quickly…other recent developments (besides being constantly on the move) include the demise of my second Nook (I think I read too much for the product–thank God for warranties!), the expansion of my resume to include Grant Writing 101 and Editor-in-Chief of the North Lincoln Newsletter for Colorado “I Have a Dream” (CIHAD from now on), a great reunion with friends, and a visit to see Swan Lake at the Colorado Ballet!

Oh, I’m also starting yoga.

Will my body ever bend into this position?

Credit: ©Barry Stone 2005

Well, a girl can dream.

Peace Is Within You

“Peace comes from within. Seek it from yourself.”

(My most recent fortune cookie. Such wisdom).

Those words have been reverberating through my head, as I’ve spent the last three weeks working with rowdy middle schoolers.

A few thoughts:

I am going to remember just the look every thirteen year old girl/boy has given me in the last few weeks when I hit the “maybe-it’s-time-for-kids-do-I-really-want-them?” age (which may never hit, after these weeks).

Also, if I do have kids, I will seriously consider living close to their grandparents to have constant, easy access to babysitters who will adore them.

It really is a great job–even though hammering through the wall that surrounds our urban youth is no easy feat–and most of the kids are awesome.

Right, I forgot that I’m going with the theory that everyone has a decent inner core. Sometimes it’s buried deeply…like the kid who made the sweetest 11-year-old girl ever cry…but it’s still there.

Yes, I’m being an optimist. But our goal is to assume that all of these kids are going to graduate high school and go on to college, and often our after-school program is keeping them off the streets, keeping them away from their fascination with fire (which, according to my boyfriend, is a natural interest for a 12-year-old boy, but it still totally freaks me out) and in some cases, keeping them out of gangs.

So an optimistic frame of mind is sort of a prerequisite for the job.

I’m getting decent at applying this mind set to the kids–and some of them make it really easy, like the Somalian refugee who, despite his learning disability and permanent growth stunt leftover from extreme dehydration, wants to get through school, go back to Africa, and help all the people he had to leave behind.

Kids like that make this world go round, I swear.

Although unfortunately I do not have a naturally optimistic nature.

Isn’t it funny that some of these kids have more faith in  life than I do?

I’m going to start going to a Zen Club–searching for that inner sanctuary, baby.

So, peace for now!

Numbers

Well, the first day of my new job involved a lot of numbers.

And a lot of math, unfortunately, but we’ll get to that in a minute. First, here’s a sum of my FIRST DAY!

45 minutes: my commute time.

19.9 miles: total mileage of trip.

10: the number of times my new GPS (thanks Dad!) shouting “Keep left!” and such made me jump.

1: the number of times (noticed) that I was flipped off on the freeway.

3: the number of times I circled the building looking for a parking spot.

1: the number of times I went the wrong way down a one-way.

4-digit number: my educational award amount.

3-digit number: my monthly stipend.

6: other AmeriCorps members.

2: other AmeriCorps at my site, besides my site leader.

1: the number of times I spilled my coffee.

3: the number of young girls who asked “why is your hair so poufy?” (And I straightened it! A very rare occurence! Although apparently that hot stick is useless in the face of my hair.)

27: kids present at the Opportunity Center–where I will be spending most of my time from now on.

2: kids that may have actually liked me.

20: math homework problems that required my aid.

6: math problems I didn’t understand (mostly involving graphs).

3: math problems I couldn’t get right (mostly involving long multiplication).

1: math trick I was able to pass on.

0: years of math that I actually retained.

2: copies of The Idiot’s Guide to 5th Grade Math and Pre-Algebra I now need to purchase…if they exist.

9: hours on my first day.

1: hour stuck in traffic on my way home.

12: hours I slept in recovery.

Hopefully, you are not losing hope in me or the “I Have a Dream Foundation.” I may be way over my head…but it was only my first day. 🙂

Now, off to enjoy my four day weekend! Happy and safe one to all of you!