Being a woman of both stature (6 feet tall) and shall we say, possessing a “curvy bod”, I’d always appreciated the sentiment in this song about the virtues of a prominent derriere. (for those of you not familiar “I like big butts but I cannot lie…”)
One of the great joys of yoga and retirement is the need for YOGA PANTS. I “needed” (seriously) new clothes in order to do yoga. Enter the discovery, via online shopping of Athleta.com who carries amazing stuff but to me, most importantly, Kick-Booty Yoga Pants – and in TALL SIZES. I ordered them, free shipping (hoorah) and then patiently tracked the package as it sped my way.
When it arrived I was as excited as a child on Christmas morning, racing upstairs and stripping off whatever I had on. I pulled them on, oh joy – comfortable, long, great fit all around. Then I turned around and checked out my “Kick-Booty” posterior in the mirror. It was magnificent! Needing further validation, I ran off to find Spence and model my new yoga pants. I think I even attempted to twerk (not something a woman of my age should try, but hey, it’s all about testing your limits – right?). Spence pronounced that I looked “amazing” and of course, at the end of the day, that’s what I was going for.
Look up “Grace” in the dictionary; my face will not appear. The tallest girl from kindergarten through high school, I was gangly, long-legged and klutzy. I became “famous” for my rather spectacular falls (though less admired for my unbreakable bones). Size 11 feet only added to the problem as well as my perpetual inability to pay attention to where I was walking. I also bruise like a dead-ripe peach and have avoided exercise nearly my whole life.
Now retired and wanting to fill my days with new experiences, I opened myself up to yoga. One failed attempt in a group class several years ago that went splendidly that night, followed by agonizing pain in my surgically repaired shoulder for a weeks after, I’d told myself “you can’t do yoga”. Well, never say never. At my first writing class, I met Jules, who among many skills, is a yoga instructor. Having relayed my dismal failed attempt at yoga, she offered one-on-one instruction with care to not push me beyond my comfort zone. All those falls, shoulder issues, knee and lower back arthritis, hmmm…..I was skeptical, yet intrigued.
I began with trepidation but quickly invested in a mat and just started doing it – gently. To my delight, I love it. Several months in, I feel better – more centered, less pain and flexible. I’m doing yoga not only every two weeks at class but every other day. I convert my kitchen floor into my “yoga space”. After some trial and error, I’ve managed to get Spence, Tipper and Biscotti to respect that when the doors are closed, yoga is in session. (Meaning, no asking of questions, meowing at the door or walking through the kitchen when those doors are closed.)
And yet another benefit of yoga……I LOVE YOGA PANTS. But more on that in another post!
My last day of employment was February 28, 2014. At 57 (nearly 58) I was so ready. I’d talked about retiring relentlessly in recent years which kept my focus on that goal until everything aligned. In retirement, I’d envisioned writing a book – a cookbook, comic novel, blog, travelogue – perhaps even a children’s book (about the colony of feral cats who live in my garden oasis, but I digress). It was always this “someday when I have time” kind of goal. I’d told friends, family, co-workers, customers. Pretty much anyone who’s met me would tell you it was a recurring theme with me. My lifelong friend, who also wanted to write, opened her home to a like-minded group of women and found an instructor willing to guide us. By the end of March, I was enrolled in a writing class! Each class introduced us to a form of poetry which we were then instructed to compose, in that style “on-the-spot“. And then read what we wrote in front of the class! I remember feeling a clench in the gut, thinking “don’t tank, don’t seize up” but then with a calm that I can only describe as divine intervention, this profound poem came out of me. And from each of my classmates. NO ONE CHOKED. (Thank God) It was pretty remarkable. And this happened at every class! My blog took a bit longer to begin due to getting easily sidetracked by numerous “shiny objects aka procrastination”. I’ve decided to get serious and quit talking about it, just jump in. And so it begins….