December 11, 2018
All of a certain age know this feeling: I’m still young and relatively nimble of mind and body. So what’s with all the generations piling up behind me?? They tap their toes impatiently at the inexplicable delay: The good news is I’m invisible!
I lead a very small yoga group at the gym. And yes, we’re of a certain age. The advantage of our age is that the young employees do not question our twice a week hour-long commandeering of the big workout room, where I climb upon a chair and reach high above my head across an ominously towering rack of weights to put a yoga DVD into a video rig set on a tiny shelf in the rafters, so to speak. You have to want it.
I was not always the leader. Until last year a friend even older than the rest of us was the keeper of the DVDs and the decider of what we would practice. I used to whine when he would say, “Today, we’re going to do Yoga Burn.” This particular DVD is just what it sounds like: Fifty minutes of not-fun. Before he died he left me this heinous DVD, along with a host of other easier ones.
So yesterday I had to laugh at myself. (We should pray daily for that experience.) My group had all checked in by text, with regrets. I pondered which DVD would suit a solo session. And lo, Yoga Burn insinuated itself to the top of the pile. I have to believe it was the work of our former leader, looking down with a wicked grin from Heaven. I heaved a sigh, climbed the chair, inserted the Burn, and bowed my neck to the experience. I practiced in solitary splendor, anchoring a huge dark space, freely embracing what I used to avoid. Each time I was tempted to cut corners, especially as the hour wore on, I remembered the precision of him who used to lead us. And I made it my own. A couple of muscle-men working on the main floor just outside the glass door peeked in a couple of times, wondering I suppose at the diligence of a former young lady in silver earrings. May they be fortified by my example.
Here’s a young lady who when released from her crib this morning headed straight to her books. This is promising. A period of reflection, then watch out world! Interesting developmental note: as she later approached a place she shouldn’t, I mildly used a certain word, for the first time, just to see what would happen. Can you guess the word? Two letters: “No.” She turned to me, surprised, and burst into the most delighted smile. I guess because it was a new word? Oh, what I have I wrought? Of course she would have thought of it herself, in another five months.