Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I had an unusually wonderful morning today.  It pretty much turned me upside down.  Hunter woke me up and I felt like a brick.  I had struggled a bit during my tempo run Tuesday morning and I guess my body was feeling the last two days more than I expected it would.  During the next 15 minutes, an unexpected sense of openness eased into my thoughts and joints.  Maybe it's a simple matter of temperature, how warm it is directly affects my mood and today in San Diego is just plain gorgeous.  As I carried Hunter downstairs for breakfast and said hi to Shane, I wore a smile on my face.

Photo Credits:  Trevor Hawkins

We started off with 5 surya namaskara A's and then B's as we headed into the first half of my dumbed-down version of the Ashtanga primary series.  For the first time ever, Shane took a mat next to me and together we rolled through.  "Ekam, dve, trini, chatvari, panca..." only the words were silent and our synchronized breaths marked the rythm.  It was seriously one of the coolest moments I've experienced on the mat or in any sport.  I've ridden with Jurgen and Norman, ran with Meb, and swam with Hillary.  Now I can add to that list that I've practiced breath by breath with Shane, at least for a little bit.  It was surreal.

Photo Credits:  Trevor Hawkins

The practice just flowed, despite my wounded-but-healing left shoulder and my inability to do an actual pickup which is sort of like the period at the end of the sentence in the Ashtanga practice.  After every side of every seated asana you are supposed to pick yourself off the ground, squeeze your legs through your hands, crank out a chaturanga, and then lift your feet back through your hands to seated.  I can't do it yet, but each attempt makes me feel slightly less incapable.

Photo Credits:  Trevor Hawkins

Towards the end of our session, we had reached urdhva dhanurasana.  The photos above are from a few months ago, you can see a lot of bending in my arms and not a lot of ability to press my chest away from my hips.  Today just felt different, and I reached a point where I felt my arms approaching full extension with my chest pressing forward.  I could barely breathe, perhaps out of joy, perhaps out of contortion.  Shane picked up on my energy and just smiled at me.

Maybe I'm also just extra giddy today because I pulled strings on a favor from a friend who made it happen instantly and without hesitation.  I feel such tremendous guilt asking for favors or special treatment, but for some reason this felt OK.  That says a lot about how I feel about this friend, that I'm willing to take, because I feel so much more comfortable giving.  Even more thrilling is that I'm excited to share the favor with 2 of my other friends, a night we will most certainly remember.  I promise to write about it in depth

Happy Wednesday!

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