Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I've managed to sneak my way onto a team to crew at Badwater.  This was actually the American Hero's idea at first, he had a team lined up who he was going to crew for and it got me thinking.  Then I lost my job and got caught up on life and started running again.  Last weekend I met up with Brian (who is hoping to crack 30 hours) and Jason (a veteran crew member) along with Marty and Iso for a 3 hour run in Borrego Springs as a meet and greet, effectively a tryout to be part of the crew.  Apparently I made the cut, although a big part of that was probably based on Brian's impressions of my competitive donut eating abilities from last year's Krispy Kreme Challenge West.

Brian prepares for Badwater by spending an hour in his sauna every day.  Last year he set up a treadmill inside a small framed-in, drywalled closet in his garage and used a propane heater to reach up to 150F.  He also climbed Stanley Peak in a wetsuit recently.  These are the nutty things one does to try to prepare for one of the more miserable endurance events on the planet.

Brian also has a lovely wife, a beautiful daughter, and a very affectionate golden retriever.  So I'm especially excited to crew for him because of the man he is, how he lives his life and how he goes big and succeeds. Who doesn't like to support a man of character and substance?  He was the champion of the "donutman" division of the Krispy Kreme Challenge West last year, finishing 24 donuts and 6 miles (2-12-2-12-2) in just over an hour, twice as many donuts as I ate in my "classic" division.  And he's also a very kind man, as is Iso.  I'm looking forward to feeding off their positivity and their can-do attitudes.

In the meantime, to prepare, I've been trying to double up on my hot yoga classes along with 1-2 hours of running a day.  I've been zeroing in this week on the energy flow, both within my own body, but also, and perhaps more interestingly, how the instructor's energy influences the vibe of the class.  One thing I passionately love about yoga is the ability for me to respond differently to all of the individual instructors I take class from.  Shane's sister, Summer, exudes a warmth and positivity along with exceptional creativity which makes her utterly unique.  Ashley has the kind of love and caring that only a mother knows how to give.  Christina has this special sense of inspiration and motivation which makes her class an adventure every time.  Mike has the strongest voice and body of anyone and yet his demeanor is soft and his empathy seeps through in his attitude and approach.  As I branch out with my open schedule, as I wait and hope that my latest round of interviews will lead to an offer, I've been able to zero in on the positive sides of various new instructors who I haven't made time for in the past.

I believe that everyone has a gift to give each of us and that the yoga studio is the perfect place for this gift exchange.  To share a piece of your heart with a room full of appreciative students is to give the gift of you.  I think the only classes I am disappointed with are those where I feel the instructor remains detached from the experience, it feels a lot like wasting the gift when I get that vibe.  Even if I don't personally like someone I can still appreciate them sharing their heart with the class in a manner they deem authentic.

The other interesting twists in my life are that I'll be coaching the Team Challenge crew for Vegas this fall, just like last year.  I'm just as nervous as I was before even though I've gone through it once, because this time I won't have three of the 4 other coaches to rely upon.  One is having a baby and very busy with work, one took a position elsewhere and the third decided to take a break which is the reason why I have a chance to take the lead.  It's funny to me that I'm nervous because I couldn't imagine anything I have more confidence about than running.  I think that perhaps my age is just putting me in a place of doubt lately because I'm realizing more and more clearly how much there is to know and learn about any subject and how little I've been exposed to and understand.  It seems like as I traverse through life, my initial impression of competence falls through to an inner tomb of humility when I finally crack the surface and see the depths to which each passion can be pursued.  At the same time, I know how to safely lead a group of people through a half marathon training plan and 90% of it is showing up and being there to tell them what they already know, "put one foot in front of the other and do it again tomorrow."

There's also a possibility of me starting to teach a yoga class.  I'm far more nervous about that, but at the same time I'm taking steps to finish off my teacher training requirements from last fall so that I can move forward instead of languishing in a gap of uncertainty.  I think a big part of this shift is my recent experiences with a bunch of different instructors.  I'm finally realizing that I don't have to set the bar so high for myself that I am guaranteed to be disappointed when I don't clear it.  Maybe, just maybe, it's OK to start off and suck for a while before I expect myself to be someone who enables an experience for others the way my heros have set the table for me.  I'm sure this is obvious to everyone else on the planet, but it takes a long time for concepts like this to sink in for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment