After Elon I spent a summer trying to find a job and waiting for the answer to my last question because I had applied to three different graduate schools. I figured that was where I would go if I couldn’t get a job. I had enough money, or so I thought, to make it to August. I lined up a nanny gig to start that fall and started hearing back from schools.
UNC – I applied too late
High Point – You’re in (but we’re a private school, so no real financial aid)
ECU ….. ECU?…… ECU! I wouldn’t hear back from them until close to the end of the summer. Somehow my application had been misplaced along the way and they didn’t find it until late. I got in there and opted for ECU which is the next part of my story.
But before I left for grad school some other important things happened to me. I kept training without a specific goal in mind and without a fitness center. In the past I had found that my motivation would drop off as I left an environment of working in fitness. This time it was different. I really didn’t have anything else to do but workout, read books, and hang with the dogs or friends who all had full time jobs. I have to admit that I did drink a lot more that summer than I had in awhile. It was just another way I filled the time.
I was poor and living off of what was left of my money with no real plan in mind. I ate a lot of hot pockets when they were on sale 5 packs for $10 at the local Food Lion. I got so poor at one point that I would eat one per day and that (with breakfast, and water) was how I sustained myself. There was also a lot of black bean chili and pbj’s. Amazingly I managed to participate in an MS ride in Virginia and complete the century loop the first day. I was truly happy despite my circumstances. I was so close to a yoga lifestyle in some ways and yet, so far from the real practice.
Another thing was going on in my life at that time. I had joined Match.com. It was actually a gift from some friends I had made at the time who felt bad for me when the Olympian and I broke it off. I went on 12 first dates and no second dates between April and the beginning of June. I learned a valuable lesson from online dating: don’t claim to be a yoga instructor.
Even though I am a yoga instructor, I wasn’t currently teaching at the time and my practice was not that impressive. Remember that five years earlier I had looked down at my feet and I couldn’t even reach them. Yoga has a lot of “sex” associated with it. Not only can you Google “yoga sex scandal” and get almost 2 million results, but there’s also the clothing that comes with yoga and the media portrayal of females and yoga. When you Google anything to do with yoga you find some pretty fit and scantily clad people twisting their bodies into amazing and provocative positions. Advertising myself as a yoga instructor on my dating profile got me some pretty lewd emails and crappy dates. There was an assumption that online dating + yoga instructor = one night stand.
I was feeling defeated on the dating scene when I posted to Facebook (I used to be a member) about never having a real first date. You know, the kind from movies where a guy calls you up, asks you out, makes the plans, picks you up with flowers, takes you to dinner and some other pre-planned activity, pays for everything, brings you home and gives you a goodnight kiss. Immediately many of my friends, some of them married, started commenting that they too hadn’t had that experience. Listen, I’m a feminist and I’m all for taking the world by the reigns, paying my fair share, and being ballsy enough to ask a guy out. But, I also don’t think it’s wrong to be treated from time to time. I’d done plenty of the treating and being forward in my almost 29 years…..now I wanted one special time for me. I’m not a princess by any means.
I was answered back by a guy that I had been talking to from Match.com, but had not yet connected with. He had canceled 3 dates on me already, but this time he called and asked me if he could take me out on my first real first date. I accepted and it’s the last first date I’ve been on.
I spent the rest of my summer with my future husband. I did yoga, ran, cycled, swam when I could get to a pool, did body weight exercises, used yoga to heal my sore and aching body, and then did more activity. I hung out and tried to let loose, relax, and know that life would figure it out for me. I spent afternoons laying in the sun with my dogs and a good book. I took it all in for one summer. I really noticed everything and I was happy.