So much for Shavasana...
Last Wednesday I received a message from my favorite yoga sculpt teacher, Jessie, asking if she'd see me at all this week. Due to my job being an in-office gig, it's not always possible to get to Corepower by 5:00 PM, but my heart (and let's face it, my obliques) were missing her "I'm going to inspire your heart and soul while kicking your ass so hard you're going to be able to pass for an extra in Law and Order SVU and also squeeze in as many inappropriate jokes as I can so you forget how much you hate these pulses" type of classes. So, I made a plan to get there.
Prior to this, I'd had one hell of a week. I was dumped twice in one week by my boyfriend who I thought was incredible but turned out to be more emotional than a menopausal woman, work was stressful and I was pretty much told I wasn't doing anything right, my best friend and I have hardly been able to talk since I've started my new job, I'm looking for new apartments like it's my job while kicking it with my parents in Bloomington (yet nothing reasonable is coming up) and I had PMS. Sweet.
I got to the studio early. Threw my hands in the air upon seeing my blonde vixen of a teacher and yelled "Party has arriiiiiiiived." I gave J my usual line "Yo, I'm trying to leave here with a six pack, so do what you gotta do to get me there. Get in my face, call me names, yell at me to squat lower, I don't even care." Like always, she called me something related to "psycho exercise fanatic" and sent me into Big Bliss to grab my weights and block -- it was go time.
I put my mat in it's usual spot: right in the front, to the left of hers. Nothing forces you to kick ass in a sculpt class like being next to a former Division A athlete who I'm pretty sure was a drill sergeant and spiritual Goddess in another life (kidding, I don't actually believe in other lives) and knowing that when the class looks to her, they're also seeing you.
Class was great and it started out with J calling me out in front of the class for being a super strong yogi even though I'm missing half of my arm -- nothing like a some words of affirmation to get the party started. I still find myself baffled that there aren't more guys that take this class -- an insane workout with a class full of fly bitties going after squats like it's their job. Seriously, if you are single, male and have a steady job you need to get a Corepower membership. Anyways, I digress...
An hour of non-stop planks, burpees, squats, lunges, push-ups, arms, and core work later, class was done and I was wiped. I had a Chipotle date following with my friend Alissa (don't judge me for eating Chipotle 4 times in 9 days, breakups are tough) so I hopped out of class quickly.
I showered (and I washed my hair, you proud mom?) and got dressed, bending down to grab my Aveda phomolient before I blow dried my hair. Now, if you haven't been able to tell by now, I never do anything half-assed, so when I say that I whipped my head as I stood up, I mean it -- and it whacked on a corner from the locker door.
I screamed out "MOTHER F******" louder than anyone has every screamed that in the history of the Earth and started shaking as I could physically feel my head growing -- safe to say no one was in Shavasana (Napping Pose) anymore. I came out to the front, trying to hold in my tears which made my face get all distorted, completely freaked out that my head looked like it had a tumor on it and I was convinced I was going to die. Jessie looked at me terrified -- not because of the injury, but because of my reaction -- like "who are you and what on Earth have you done to my insane spitfire student" and grabbed some ice.
She pulled me aside and held it there, while I had a huge, messy, probably snot bubble filled melt down for the entire Corepower yoga studio to witness. No shame in my game, life is messy, and I needed to have a hot mess moment. Namaste.
Eventually, the icepack melted and I had to carry on with my life and routine. I couldn't sit there and pout forever, but my head wasn't better. In fact, I've had a consistent headache all week. It's not like I ever brush my hair anyways, but if I wanted to, I couldn't. My head is still really sore.
I can blow dry my hair, put tons of product in it, put on a pretty face and pretend it doesn't bother me but the fact of the matter is that I still have a headache everyday. Heads are sensitive things. That got me thinking onto other recent conversations I've had. Do you know what are more sensitive than heads? Hearts.
We can say all of the right things, plaster on the "right" positive attitudes, carry on with our normal jobs, but so often our hearts have been pinged by the locker door corners of life: heartache, death, sickness, loss.
I don't know how long it will take for my head to feel completely back to normal, but I do know this: If I hadn't been vulnerable and had my hot mess moment in the Corepower studio, I wouldn't have been able to give Jessie the opportunity to come to my side and help me calm my ass down, ice my wound, and give me perspective -- and my injury could have been way more serious. As much of a train wreck as I was in that moment, I needed someone else to be there or it would have gotten a lot worse. How much more necessary is that for our hearts? When we act like we're fine we don't give others the opportunity to come and hang with us while we hurt, we're preventing our heart wounds from being mended, oftentimes inflicting more hurt and pain on ourselves and others: we don't have anyone icing them, we don't have anyone calming us down, we don't have any outside perspective.
As painful as that experience was, I'm grateful for it. It was a good lesson for me to remember that sometimes life is just painful, and messy, and there's really no use in trying to fight it. Just let happen, let others in, and you'll be back in class shredding the obliques in no time.