Yesterday was so full of love that I thought today it might be fun to flip the script and talk a little bit about the things we don’t love so much. Not so much the things we hate, but the things we just don’t like, particularly as they pertain to their counterparts, the things we’re quite fond of. Are you picking up what I’m putting down here?
How about an example to get us started: I love yoga (yes, I know you know this already, bear with me), but there are things about it that I can’t stand sometimes. I can be going along through my practice when all of a sudden a pose will be cued and my brain will just say, “NO. I’m not doing that. No way, just forget it. I HATE that pose and I won’t be doing it.” The majority of the time I’m able to shush that little yoga-hating voice and push through the pose, but sometimes I give in. I’ll let myself fall out of the pose without really trying to hold it, I’ll kind of half-ass it, or I just won’t do it. Of course when you’re practicing yoga, opting out of a pose is okay, but I’ve always thought you should do it for the right reasons. Not doing a pose just because you don’t like it? Hrm, not really the right reason.
During the practice I did tonight, I was confronted several times by poses I really don’t like: rotated triangle, standing split, and dolphin pose (this is the order in which they are pictured above). I’m not a huge fan of twisting poses in general, and rotated triangle sometimes makes me think that there some hidden Sadist element to Yogic philosophy. When I do a standing split, I feel a little bit like a dog lifting its leg to pee. Honestly, I don’t think I ever get beyond a 45 or maybe 50 degree angle on that one. And dolphin just makes me feel inadequate. My heels touch the ground in downward facing dog, so why don’t they in dolphin?!
Here’s the ugly truth about my relationship with these poses: I don’t like them because they point out to me that there are some poses that I don’t do as well as others, that there are areas of my body that need more strengthening, and that there are other areas of my body that need more opening. It’s totally a vanity thing for me.
The same thing goes for running. Obviously, I love running. But don’t try to get me to do any speed work. If I do somehow end up doing it, I end up dwelling on how painful it is almost the whole time. I bargain with myself, and try to find ways to allow myself to ease up on the pace a little bit. “Just run faster to that tree up there, and then you can add 45 seconds to your rest interval!” I can be pretty creative when it comes to ways to cheat doing speed work.
Ultimately, though, being so negative about the things I don’t like doing is costing me. When I give up on a yoga pose because it makes me feel like a yoga n00b, I’m guaranteeing that I’ll never get to a point where I can actually get into the pose’s fullest expression. And when I cheat on speed work, I’m guaranteeing that I’ll never get any faster (which of course, won’t stop me from complaining that I’m not getting any faster).
I guess it’s time to try learning to love these things. Or, if not love them, then at least not reject them out of hand. I need to make an effort to work on the things that I want to avoid most, because that’s where there’s the most room for growth. This is definitely something I’m going to start focusing on more. And maybe I’ll make it March’s monthly goal, since I’m still working on follow through February.
What things in life do you dislike and find yourself avoiding? Are they health- or fitness-related, or are they in other areas of your life? Have you ever thought about trying to change the way you feel about them?