As a mother of three wonderful kids: a preteen son and two teen girls, it has been a pleasure to watch them compete in sports. The many evenings and weekends spent driving the girls to the pool to train and the hours spent travelling to tournaments (the lad goes reluctantly to his twice weekly karate class and has, I think, an allergy to tournaments) have reminded me of my youth and how I loved participating in sports. However, the glory days, like Bruce Springsteen says, “they’ll pass you by”. It’s also possible that my glory days are remembered as a little more glorious than they really were. Still, now that I’m in my forties, I miss the thrill of training and competition.
I suppose there are those ladies who run their families like well oiled machines and manage to compete in each fundraising run that comes along. My family machine has me running to and from the car hoping that I’m not too late for pick up. Or those women who spend their winters swooshing down a ski slope. These are probably the same ladies that get to the bottom of the hill with a beautiful pink blush to their cheeks and have their hair tumble perfectly out from under their toques. My last skiing adventure was less than wonderful. I spent the one and only run I took with my two youngest arguing with them that I couldn’t call ski patrol to take my son down on a stretcher because he “hated it” and arguing with my daughter that we were going to ski the rest of the day because I had spent a pile of money to bring us to this family bonding adventure. Guess who won that battle? I reached the bottom of the hill covered in sweat. My face was blotchy, my nose was running and my hair looked like I had styled it with a leaf blower. The wine in the lodge was lovely by the way.
No, to recapture a little of the old competitive spirit, I’m going to have to approach things from an entirely different perspective. I’ve decided that I want to compete in yoga. Not the Sting version yoga as I’m not that buff. Not the power yoga that you see all those running and skiing moms go to. I can’t bear to do a back bend and besides, I can never find the cool shoes and jacket that go with my faded yoga gear. It’s hard to find your competitive edge when you’re feeling insecure about your shleppy look among the Lululemon set. No, I need to compete within my niche.
I’ve decided that I want to go for Om-lympic gold in yin yoga. I realize that competitive yoga is an oxymoron but that’s okay. It’s easier to win when the others participating don’t even realize it’s a competition. In yin yoga, you hold certain poses for minutes rather than seconds. During those minutes, you are clearing your mind and focusing on your breathing. I have been known to surreptitiously look around me while holding a pose and have noted that I could probably be the best in class at reclined twist or corpse pose. I may have some competition in the forward bend event but in the overall medal category, I have a fighting chance. Also, my yoga wear is downright fashionable in this setting. So now, in my forties, competition and the thrill of victory is all about the right setting. Those poor calm, well adjusted people in my yin yoga class won’t know what hit them.