I was in extended pigeon pose (eka pada rajakapotasana) the other day during class and was thinking about the obstacles I’ve overcome and the motivation I found along the way to where I am now. Motivation is a funny thing. Sometimes it’s an inward push, where you get the feeling that “this path is right”. It could be a path branching towards your true purpose, or something that just makes you feel at peace.There are also forces outside ourselves that jerk us around like a windstorm. You have to fight through the voices to truly hear the right one calling your name.
Right now, in this present time, I have made some pretty big accomplishments. I am a college graduate with a BA in sociology, an ACE certified personal trainer, three jobs, and now on my way to getting my 200hr yoga certification from the yoga alliance. But how did I get here?
I guess I’ll have to back up a bit, to the year 2010.
High School. I was lazy and overweight. I didn’t play any sports. The most exercise I got was winter skiing, and my family didn’t go much. Freshman year of high school was the heaviest time of my life! I weight at least 20 lbs less now. The clothes I wore senior year of high school are far too large and were all boxed up and sent to Good Will.
Roger Williams University, RI. I did not have a good time. My roommate was a drug dealer (nice girl, but pretty dirty), I wasn’t really interested in the thriving binge drinking scene, and my only friends were a girl I connected with from high school and my long time boyfriend. Transferring schools was the first time I really had to self advocate. I did not want to be associated with a school that uses administrative power to try and place false blame. I said so-long to Rhode Island and headed up to the Green Mountains.
First semester at UVM. My longtime boyfriend and I broke up, my grandmother died, and a family member was diagnosed with cancer- rough start right? I was new and over 200 miles away from my parents. The break up was pretty hard since we had been so close for over 4 years. The only thing that seemed to help was walking to clear my mind and explore my new school and the surrounding town of Burlington. What started out as one girl trying to get a sense of her life and her surroundings, turned into a regular weekend thing. Sometimes 10 of us would roam around for hours late into the night- “adventure walking” and having deep meaningful conversations. It was actually really cool. I met some interesting people and learned how once you get someone to start walking, their mind starts turning, and they just start telling their life story. I started working on going to the gym and getting in better shape for those walks. My current boyfriend and I actually met on a 13 mile adventure walk.
Junior year of UVM. The old boyfriend and I tried to get back together, but it just didn’t feel like it used to. The break up was really rough, and very dragged out. Instead of walking, this time I decided to run from it. Literally. I trained for my first 13.1 and realized that this was how I was supposed to feel- healthy and whole. Running, yoga, and gaining a true sense of self and respect for what I am doing and everything that I can do.
August 9th 2013. Cancer. I don’t think I will ever forget the moment I was told I had thyroid cancer. More so the emptiness of pushing my feelings outside myself. Here I was- fit, healthy, really feeling proud of my hard work, and most importantly I was my own person. But then cancer came and rocked the boat. Its surprising how bad news can really test the foundation of relationships. I counted and relied on people to just let me figure out cancer, my senior year, and how to cope with two major things simultaneously- but that’s not how they wanted to deal with my cancer. When it seemed like I didn’t have a friend in the world, I always knew I had my safe space on my mat- and then out on the street once I was cleared to run again. My living situation was also very toxic. I needed to heal and this dark energy was just in the room across the hall (if you read my cancer blog, you’ll hear all about “it”). While everyone else was closing in on their final year of college, I was just trying to keep composure and continue to keep my heath up. Yoga helped me after surgery and running kept me sane. I totally revamped my life and dropped all the unnecessary baggage. Through out this trying time I found the cathartic and relaxing properties of fitness and I want to share those with people so they too can heal.
It was funny reexamine the past with the the knowledge I have now and to focus on one concept through time. When I look back on some of these major events, I visualize a scattered timeline with pins and string connecting the moments and the thoughts that catalyzed my journey to today.
So that’s how I got here, following what I know is right for me. Taking the positive motivation from the chaos. If it wasn’t for rocky friends, sickness, heartache, and the right kind of people finally coming into my life, I might not have figured out my passion so early.
You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.
Dr. Seuss “Oh, The Place You’ll Go”