Wednesday, February 4, 2015

it ain't like riding a bike

the other day I was struck by the realization that I keep choosing things that are hard.
I was on my forearms, my hips a foot above the floor, in a plank position. the instructor told us,
"now lift your right arm, and your left foot."
sweat poured, and the part of me that wasn't straining to find a way to move my arm---just lift it the tiniest bit, come on, you can do this---was laughing.
it was nearly impossible.
they call it teeter-totter, and expect you to strain, wobble, touch again and again.
it was yoga, but a core class, all about strengthening core muscles by engaging them, pushing them beyond boundaries. sweating like hell.

when I bicycle, I go up hill. I push hard. I sweat like hell. my heart beats so fast and strong I hear the tattoo in my ears.

and this winter, I've taken up skate skiing.
which is hard---especially when you're determined to make it up that rise, to the top of the next hill, just like the ones who know what they're doing.  and even they sweat.

I've had four lessons so far. I've gone out twice, on my own, to practice.  in the moments when everything clicks, I love it. the grace, the glide. the flow of it all, shifting from one leg to the other, sailing on snow.
but climbing the hills sends my heart rate skyrocketing. and I push. I bend my knees, widen my stance, speed my tempo. get up that hill.

and at the beginning of each session, I have to learn, all over again, how to be on skies.

I grew up skiing, first in michigan, then in utah. I skied until I had four children, when I stopped out of pure exhaustion.  and now, twenty years later, after 6 times on skis, my body is beginning to remember what it's like to be on skis.

it's not like riding a bike.

but it's returning. and when I have my rhythm, I'm in heaven.
when I'm pushing to get up those hills, it's hell.

some day, perhaps, I will learn how to back off.  how to take--and enjoy--a restorative yoga class.  how to go for a leisurely bike ride.  how to glide along on skis and take my time getting across the expanse of track and up the rises and hills.

but for now, I seem to be in a place of push. work. sweat. tackle what's hard.
it's not all about the chocolate cake at the end . . . though I do love my carbs.

it's deeper. it's about exploring boundaries. searching for edges. and at those places of pain and doubt, finding grace.

No comments: