Stories of an ultra runner and adventurer: an obsessive approach to the outdoors by Candice Burt

Monday, January 13, 2014

Resistance to Life

Thank you to the Israeli men who took my pic and thought I was crazy  ;-)
"You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state." ~Sharon Gannon

Hot yoga in Kailua has been such a gift to me this past week. I love practicing in the heat, but 105+ is a new level of intensity. At first I hated the feeling of sweat flowing from every pore for 75 minutes, it was claustrophobic. I felt self conscious & uncomfortable. I felt ugly.  And no girl likes to feel ugly.  After 2 classes, (I know only 2 right?!) I craved that feeling of the flow.  The flow of sweat. Shared suffering for enlightenment. But it wasn't suffering. It was presence being handed to me on a wet slippery platter.

The movement it created within my body was incredible. Not on a physical level. On a physical level I am unusually flexible, but not in a crazy way, I'm a runner after all.  The feeling after class of mental & physical release was incredible. Don't all good enlightenment practices include that pain of letting go of ego?  Sometimes it's physical, sometimes mental, but you can create the experience through  extreme physicality.  Once that ego is surpassed, the flow is an amazing release. Which is why I love ultra running, ultra swimming, and well, can we call it ultra yoga?!
Climbing toward Peak #3, Olomana
 Release is what I need. In a very honest and raw way, I put my heart and soul into my life these past 3 years. I built what I thought was my ideal love, my ideal life, my ideal everything. Sure, there was room for improvement.  I grew up with parents who stayed together for 30 some years---through thick and thin. Until the thin became too much for them.  But they still had 30 years together!  They worked on it for 30 years!!  As a young adult I thought this was how most people worked. I thought that lovers who were committed to each other would work through things through thick and thin.  But I was very, very wrong. I could make myself the "perfect" girlfriend. I could work on myself through counseling, through other personal practices, learn to love through all sorts of pain, but it was not enough.
In the end, it wasn't about me.  Sometimes we need an extreme environment to illicit personal change.  I am adaptable and when I love someone that's it: I love them regardless of their faults.  You could even say, I chose to love someone FOR their faults, since it is truly a sign of love to appreciate all that one has to offer.  I cannot half way do anything I care about.  I love being solo and having solo adventures, but at the end of the day or week, I want someone to share the day's or week's adventures with.  I will never put my work or anything superficial ahead of true love or family.  I value my work more than most probably do, as I am doing what I am passionate about, but I still value relationships & community first.
Peak #3, dangerous enough to make your dreams a reality!

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