The only one you’re hurting is yourself.

For the last 5 years I have been trying to force yoga.  I have been high-strung, Type A since the day I was born and from what I understand, yoga has a calming effect. So on and off I have been attending yoga classes trying to find my center or chi or whatever the fuck else.

Being that its new years, I have made a (was silent, but no longer silent) vow to myself to “relax”. So I bought some aromatherapy bullshit, soft socks, tea and an Apple TV… Feeling “relaxed” (and apparently fearless) I enrolled in a yoga class that is near our new favorite place in Herndon.

When we lived in Hilton Head there was a yoga place that I liked, it was in a nice smelling room with hard wood floors and pretty symbols all over the walls painted in metallic paint.

I felt like I was going to be walking into the Northern Virginia version of this yoga studio in attending this studio.  So I find their website, sign up online, make my online payment and I am ready to roll.

For the next three hours I try to figure out how to get my money back without looking like an asshole.

5:15 rolls around and its time to walk over for my 6:00 class (Type A, remember?).

I walk the 10 steps to the door, climb the stairs (my heart rate skyrockets) and i walk down the hall to the studio breathing heavily.  I followed my nose.  The smell of a yoga studio is distinct — dirty feet and pachouli.

I walk in and im talking to the forest nymph, Stream, about my enrollment.  He gives me a mat and a towel and I buy a water.  I asked why I need a towel, I didnt really sweat in my other yoga classes so I didnt expect anything different in this class.

Stream then informs me that this is a hot yoga class.  Ahh yes…hot yoga, my FAV!

Stream then tells me that they heat the room up to 95 degrees with 60% humidity. Oh, and the class is 90 minutes HAVE FUN IN THERE!

Being overly punctual I decide to get in the room and pick my place.  I chose by the windows hoping their contractor cut corners and there would be little gaps between the drywall and the window panes.

It was 5:43 and I already had swass.

Swass: sweaty – ass. swass. used in a sentence: I had swass at hot yoga before it even started.

I made a friend, I dont remember her name though because it had too many syllables.  She was nice, weighed 87 pounds soaking wet and practiced yoga everyday.

We chatted while everyone else filtered in and got their spots.

The instructor walked in and began class.

We started the class with three ohms. if you dont know what an ohm is, its the sound that nobody wants to hear when you exhale. Keep that shit to yourself.

We start with down dog…about 5 minutes into our first iteration of down dog, I lost feeling in my hands and realized I need a pedicure in the worst way.

She then made us fly through like 9 sun salutations at lighting speed.  I had a sweaty ass, sweat in my eye, snot running down my face and my feet were beginning to slip on the mat sealing my fate of a broken nose.

At this point I noticed the bare chested, white, middle-aged man sweating profusely behind me. Our bodies brushed not once, but 5 times. I can still imagine the caress of his calloused feet on my hand, the puddle of sweat that my hair absorbed from the floor and his fish-belly white, except for the exceptional amount of hair, chest.

She then had everyone stand in mountain pose, take a deep breath and levitate.

I tried to keep up except for those 5 minutes I laid face down on my mat in a puddle of sweat.

We neared the end of class because she started telling us to do shit laying down. Dead bug, happy baby and other shit that I wasnt listening to because I was drowning.

She had us slip into pidgin pose, at this point i started to giggle. audibly. and started tapping my foot because…why not? I couldnt contain myself any longer. At this point our dear instruction announced to the class to “not fidget” and to “clear our minds”. this did not help.

Our last pose was an inversion which, you know what? pretty much sucked.

We ended by laying on our backs and pretended we were dead which i did very well.

Things I have learned from yoga today:

  • get a pedicure, you’re not an animal
  • Yoga gives you a flat ass
  • Stream is a shitty name for a boy
  • I have to do laundry now because I cant wear these yoga pants again tomorrow
  • I paid $20 to sit in a hot room with strangers

Be Thankful

Today in the Washington DC metro area is a rainy and cold one.  Being that I am 4 years old and insist on wearing unseasonable clothing in the cold I was dreading getting gas. Typically @jaredwsmith is kind enough to get it for me but since he has been exceptionally cranky for the last 48 hours I elected not to ask.

I loaded up my 2010 red VW beetle with my mega bag and myself in running shorts, flip flops and a hoodie and off I went.  In the spirit of being a pansy I neglected to stop at the first 3 gas stations I saw.  The 4th one I saw I decided I would rather be cold for 5 minutes then cold and get yelled at when my car ran out of gas on the road and @jaredwsmith would have to come help me push.

I pulled in and saw a guy standing by a table with cans of something on it.  Since I am not an atypical “car person” (read: really girly, afraid of things with 4 wheels and barely passed the drivers exam – the written one) I thought I wouldn’t be a target.

I roll out of the car and off the heated seats into the cold, wet air.  I did my card, selected the grade and installed the pump in my car safely without being accosted.  Then he hit me:

Kid: “I know you want to check this out”

Me: “Not really”

Kid: “oh, ok”

Never one to pass up a teachable moment I decided to momentarily take this kid under my “mama salesman” wing.

Then I got back in my car after giving him a flimsy “it’s cold and im getting back in my car”.

My gas pumped successfully (YES!) and I got back out.  I saw him hustling some other guy in a Malibu and felt a tinge of nostalgia.

I started in sales (not commission based THANK GOD) at 22 and I was awful at it.  I would come home from work and cry because of one reason or another.  But my dad, a lifelong salesman, told me to “suck it up” and “get over it”.  I did and I have gotten a little tougher and a little better since.

I waited for the kid to finish up being told no and he came back, head held in shame.

Me: “Hey, lemme get one of those”

Kid: “yeah?!”

Me: “yeah, how much are they?”

Kid: “$25 for two”

Me: “WTF $25? what is it?”

Kid: “Let me show you, it basically details your car for you”

Me: “I pay Jose for that”

Kid: “Well this works better”

Me: “fine, well give me two”

Kid: “I’ll tell ya what, $20 and I will give you this coupon”

Me: “Great”

Kid: “Are you doing this because you feel bad for me?”

Me: “Pretty much, have a good one”

And I got back in my car.

I did feel bad for him.  It was cold and raining but he was wearing an Under Armor jacket so not that bad.

It also made me so thankful for every one of our clients. Without them I wouldnt have the opportunity to wear shorts and flip flops everyday, or even write this blog post.

November is a time to be thankful and I think that it is important to be thankful all year.  Its like people who go to church on Easter and Christmas and think their conscience is clear. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.

So next time you see some kid trying to sell you some car wax, buy it.  Its $20 and it will get him home to his mothers basement where he belongs until he graduates college and can write a blog about when he had to sell car wax at a gas station all day.