Day seven: I don't remember much of last night's dream. My
hairdresser was there, but I'm not sure why, or what we were doing.
Oconomowoc is a small town so I'm used to running into people I met at
one place in another. Several months ago a girlfriend of mine and I were
out picking up zinc lozenges, we met up with a woman who works at the
health food store, and she introduced me to a woman that I had seen
around town, but had never officially met. I hate being jealous of
people, but there was no reason to like this tall confident woman with
the shiny blonde hair who has her life figured out. At the time I was
thin, I didn't feel like my body was good enough, I still don't, which
is why I avoid going to group exercise classes.
My body hurts, and it hurts quite a bit most of the time. I don't
have a way to gauge what others are going through, but I see people
doing things while thinking to myself, my shoulder/knee/back/neck/etc...
would not allow me to do that. The woman I met told me about a class
that was offered in a town that's about twenty minutes away from where I
live. She explained that a former ballet dancer taught it, and I've
always been envious of the women with long lean legs so in my mind I
pictured a class full of women who were matchy matchy in their yoga
clothes sweating bullets as they imitated what the instructor was doing.
I've gotten to know the Nordic beauty better so yesterday when we
were talking I decided that regardless of how I felt about the ballet
instructor, I needed to go to this class. Since I didn't want to go, I
did some procrastinating, but for once I realized that I needed to take
into account driving time, and build in a few minutes to figure out
where the class was held as I hadn't been there in a while. I found an
old pair of yoga pants that still fit me, put on a shirt that I paid way
too much for, filled a water bottle, and headed out with a lot of
As soon as I pulled into the parking lot I gave myself a mental kick
as everyone else had remembered their yoga mats. The instructor greeted
me at the door, and I pretty much hated her on the spot for being so
upbeat and possessing that lithe graceful body that I associate with
dancers. Her voice was high, gratingly sweet, and instead of workout
clothes she had on a bright turquoise sweater that tied in front. She
asked if I was there for the class, I told her I was feeling rather like
a very small and out of place child. She smiled at me, and pointed at a
bin of extra yoga mats so I grabbed a dark gray one, and headed towards
the only man in the class.
Across from me was a woman who turned out to be the human pretzel.
Her yoga pants really fit her well, and I had a lot of inner animosity
and resentment for no good reason other than she can easily do things
that I will never be able to. Fifteen minutes into the class I wanted to
sit down. Twenty minutes into it I wanted to cry. I had to take a lot
of breaks, partially because I'm out of shape, partially because I had
this weird upper left arm weakness that interfered with some of the
motions, and partially because I couldn't see the instructor well so I
had to go out of what we were doing to get a better look at her.
Believe it or not, I made it through the entire class without crying,
and my body lasted through the entire hour and fifteen minute workout.
Like I said, I had to take breaks, but I had anticipated that, and as I
looked around the room, I saw a lot of older and middle aged women who
weren't in any better shape than I was. There were a few women who were
what I had feared, but they were far from me, and the man next to me
didn't seem to care that he was in a room full of women with jiggly
thighs and flabby upper arms so that helped too.
The music was not what I expected. Most of the yoga classes I've been
to in the past have played sounds from nature, or meditative Middle
Eastern music, this was bouncy Christian rock, and as we went through
the class I wanted to cry at some of the lyrics, but I managed to hold
it together mostly because I didn't have extra breath to waste on tears.
After class was over, my waif like instructor with the honey blonde
hair, amazing skin, and incredible body came over to talk to me. I was
so uncomfortable in front of her, but she was very gracious and I had
enjoyed her class so I told her that and thanked her for the opportunity
since she lets everyone have a free month.
While I was talking to her, she told me that her divorce had just
been finalized the previous Tuesday. She's been surviving on oatmeal,
has no idea if she'll be able to keep her house, I didn't ask, but I'm
not sure if she has another job or if teaching these classes is her main
source of income. Regardless, the things she told me about her
ex-husband were just awful. He suffers from PTSD, and after the twin
towers went down on September 11, 2011, he had a more trouble than
he's had in the past. Since then he's had numerous affairs, he travels
internationally, and has essentially been going from job to job and
woman to woman.
Probably the most startling thing was how strong this woman was. She
said that she still loved him, she had nothing but forgiveness for him,
and as we stood there, she encouraged me to have a really good cry. It's
been a while since I've done that. She said there's been scientific
studies about the stress hormones that are released by the type of
cleansing cry she wanted me to indulge in, and I remember reading about
the science of tears in a link that someone here had recently posted.
The woman told me to reconcile my differences with my husband so I
don't leave a legacy of divorce for my children, and a couple times she
gave me really nice hugs, and even kissed me which sounds strange, but
was exactly what I needed.
I intended to write more, but then I got distracted so I'll save the rest of it for another time.