About a week and a half ago, I decided to attend a new yoga class at the studio I’ve been attending. This class was different for two reasons: it has been called the most difficult yoga class the studio offers, and Stacey was unable to make it so I would be attempting the new challenge alone.
I didn’t really feel nervous as I sat on my mat and waited for class to begin. I knew it would be different, but I was starting to feel at home at the yoga studio. I made small talk with the girl next to me. It was her first time in this class as well. It’s amazing how you’re not really alone when someone else is facing the same battles as you are.
A few minutes before class was to begin, I was about to put my phone in the locker room when I got a message from someone extremely close to me. Among other things, it said: “I need help. Please help me.”
This text simultaneously broke my heart and flooded me with relief. This was what I needed to hear from this person, but knowing what he must be going through was so painful to imagine.
“I will be there in an hour,” I told him, and although I put my phone away for the duration of class, he was on my mind the entire time.
Suddenly, my personal battle at the yoga studio felt more than conquerable. As I struggled to get my breath right and my poses correct, I knew I had it easy. And I wasn’t alone even without Stacey : I’m taking yoga using Mia’s old yoga mat. She started attending several years ago, and she did it until she was 90. She was such an inspiration on many fronts, and I can’t tell you how many times when I’ve been struggling in class that I’ve thought, “If Mia could try it at 90, I can try it at 33.” In fact, it was that night that I stained the mat with my pink hair dye. I was kind of bummed that I’d “ruined it” at first when I realized it wasn’t going to come out. But the more I think about it, the more I think about Mia and me facing this challenge together – she started it, and I’ll continue it. Much like generations do.
After class, I rushed straight to my family member’s side. I didn’t have a change of clothes. I didn’t stop by home to shower. None of that seemed important. Hours later, as I sat in the waiting room of the emergency room at the hospital, I was chilled to the bone. My clothes were still wet from sweat from the class. It was freezing outside. I regretted having worn shorts to yoga. I regretted not bringing a change of clothes. But I didn’t regret sacrificing a shower or my comfort in order to be there for someone who needed me.
It seems as if a lot of people in my life are facing some pretty tough personal battles these days. I have a friend who is struggling to say goodbye to a beloved pet this week. The person I mentioned above is facing the battle of his life right now, a fight that has literally plucked him away from everyone he loves and knows. My mom had surgery on her toes yesterday and is dealing with pain from that.
Put in perspective, it can make life’s other struggles feel not so bad. I found out yesterday that my Disney trip in April is going to cost more than anticipated. This on the same day as my computer decides to alert me it needs a new battery and as I’m struggling with how to forgive a friend who really hurt me a few weeks ago.
But as I showed up at the yoga studio, this time with both Stacey and Meghan, it served as a great reminder. That no matter what the trip costs, it’s going to make memories for a lifetime, not just for me, but for the next generation (little Mia.) That a computer battery is just a hassle when it comes down to it, and it’s not worth the effort to stress about it. And that you have to care for someone to let them hurt you, and that at least I have people in my life who I care deeply for. If that means I wind up with hurt feelings sometimes, then it’s worth it.
And as I faced personal struggles once again in class, this time flanked by Stacey and Meghan, and with the company of Mia’s yoga mat, I knew that I was pretty damn lucky, after all.