Lighter Fare

Last week covered some pretty heavy subject matter. I think emotions are tied up with our eating patterns more than we might realize. I hope that my successes and failures can help others who are also struggling the way I have been. That said, let’s talk about yoga farts.

Yoga farts are a reality of life. You simply cannot bend yourself like a pretzel and not expect a little pfffttt to sneak out. If you’re lucky, it will be silent and not smell too bad. But you probably won’t be that lucky. I’ve avoided the dreaded yoga fart thus far but only with acute belly grumbling.

That’s dried sweat on my eyelids and cheeks. I did not know sweat could do that.

Let’s also talk a little about how gross running is. I’ve had a black toenail, nearly pooped myself, and had so, so many blisters. Snot related incidents are high. Coughing and spitting, chapping and chafing are also common. Bloody nipples? Yup!

Why would anyone do any of this?!

One of the things I like so much about running, yoga, and exercise generally is that it challenges me to become comfortable with the uncomfortable. It may sound silly but I’ve always felt a lot of pressure to be clean all the time. Being willing to get dirty was a big hurtle for me. I want everyone to embrace the dirt!

Being dirty and injured is part of the human experience. I’m not saying people should roll around in mud and run holes through their feet; I’m just saying that it is so easy to stay locked into our houses and businesses, away from nature and risk, easier than ever before in history. What are we missing living this way?

Shin splints. Treatment? Soaking both legs in a trash bucket filled with ice water.

And the risk is not just in the physical discomfort. It’s also in the many levels of psychological discomfort. For me, I’ve had to conquer my aversion to being dirty and hurt, but also to sharing these human experiences with others.

I ran solo for the first few years of my running experience but as part of a goal to become more social, I joined a running club (Greater Lowell Road Runners) and started getting involved in their events, from group runs to a holiday party. This was a big step for me as I prefer isolation.

Taking a yoga class was also a big step for me. I had so many fears. What if I couldn’t do any of the moves? What if I hurt myself? Would I be too embarrassed to ask for help? And the truth is that I haven’t “conquered” any of these difficulties. I am privately hard on myself if I don’t think I’m executing the full expression of a yoga pose. And I’ve had times where I was hurting my back but I didn’t say anything or change my posture because I felt pressure to follow through. These are normal responses to these situations. I’m trying to see them as an opportunity to challenge myself and how I respond.

And sometimes that is the best I can do!

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