12 Years of Yoga: The Football Team

First a little health update: Wednesday morning I went out for a run thinking that I was feeling alright. However, my time proved to me that I wasn’t yet 100% and still faced 6 hours of teaching ahead. I missed breakfast that morning, taught four hours, and then had to survive on snacks available in the office for lunch. My performance was less than stellar by the time I got to my afternoon class and my voice had pretty much disappeared. I finished the day at CFCC, went home, got groceries, and was quickly out the door again to CPR/First Aid/AED training to keep up with my certs and stay pro. I finally got home around 10pm and had dinner around 1030 and crashed hard. I had to teach again early Thursday morning and again I could tell my body just couldn’t hack it. My voice was a scratchy squeak and I have skipped my Friday run and will probably skip tomorrow’s too. Mileage is not as important as health. Your bodies need rest when they are ill, no matter who you are. TAKE IT!

On with the story….

I left Colorado in August of 2008 for two reasons. The first was that I was getting a divorce and couldn’t realistically live in my soon to be ex-husband’s house forever. The second was that my job at UCCS had ended and I had a new one lined up at Elon University in Elon, NC….so I packed up and headed East.

At Elon I was in charge of the fitness floor, group fitness classes, personal trainers, and the pool. It was a lot to take on and I spent the first few weeks living in our Administrative Assistant’s guest bedroom. I moved out and in with a girl who was subletting a furnished condo. It was awkward and didn’t feel like home. It all didn’t feel like home and I desperately wanted to be home, but couldn’t go there. I started teaching classes and especially the noon time yoga for faculty and staff members. I tried coordinating some things with the wellness programs and I tried to make friends. I was trying to get to know my student staff and yet, keeping a professional boundary, but I was just plain lost there in Elon.

california trip 1In October I took a chance and took a flight to LA to see a guy. It was a weird and much needed escape. Not something I would recommend any other single women do. Don’t jump on a plane and fly across the country to visit someone you don’t know that well. The best part of the whole trip was just laying on the beach, alone. I even had him snap a photo of me doing yoga on the beach.

By the time I returned I was divorced. It was official and there was nothing left to do but to push forward. I kept working and tried my best to fit in to the new environment. I felt a strong connection to the group fitness staff I worked with and gave them a lot of my effort. The first real workshop that I did for them was on yoga. I felt I had a strong connection with that practice and that it was my “forte”. HAHAHA! I think back on that now and all I could provide for them were the basics….a very mechanical yoga. This is how you place your foot and hold your arms and point your gaze.

Throughout that year I learned more about myself than I ever thought I would. I learned that Elon was a great place to work, but that I can’t work in a strict environment that requires I check every decision with someone else before making it. I longed for the laid back setting of UCCS and the ability to take an idea and run with it. I missed staff meetings over breakfast burritos with our feet kicked up on the tables….not sitting on a low couch under the front of my boss’s desk being made to feel inadequate.

I started dating again that year and learned that I was okay to be alone (not in a relationship), but very much enjoyed being around people. I started training again (for real) and my body changed a lot that year. I learned about my ability to lead and to teach. I learned about connecting and being a mentor. I learned that in all of my practice at UCCS, I still was not a yogi, a gx instructor, or prepared for the demands of full time in campus recreation. This was my first and only full time job and I was sinking fast.

I kept doing yoga, but my focus was on something very physical and specific….do the splits by my 30th birthday. I was now 28 and had big shoes of my own boasting to fill. My ex brought my dogs to live with me in December when I moved out of the condo. I needed my own space.

I taught yoga to the football team at one point at Elon and would go back and completely change that whole experience if I had the chance. I pushed them in ways that I now know aren’t the best for football players. There are certain sports in which certain joints should stay tight for protection.

I dated an Olympian and felt my competitive edge take over and my insecurities start to spiral me out of control. We broke up and I started competing in triathlons again. I had a goal of a race per month from April until my 29th birthday. I looked to my family for support and decided to leave Elon after only 10 months.

There I was, alone, jobless, and with just a simple question hanging over me…..

What comes next?


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