Today did not go AT ALL the way I thought it would.

I walked into the gym expecting an hour of sit-ups, pull-ups, squats and other torture at the hands of my handsome and wise trainer, but instead found myself in deep dialogue. Today we worked out together. Today’s workout was to understand and articulate. Today’s workout was to hoist aloft fear and disappointment and failure and look at it. Today we both attempted to  deadlift our body’s weight in vulnerability and empathy.

He challenged, I answered. I challenged, he answered. On and on, over and over, set after set, first high reps and low weight, then high weights and low reps. He daring me to to pick up heavier and heavier things: pain, suffering, happiness, disappointment, despair. Me daring him to watch and deal.

At the end, we were both crouched on the black gym floor, eye to eye, and I held his head in my hands, and offered everything. And took everything.

We had spent an hour and a half grappling the only thing worth grappling: life and its endless conundrums. There was no winner. Winning was never the point. Artistry was. And friendship., And deep abiding respect.

As I left, the cruel, cold February sun flooded the space..

He sat happily spooning gobs of pumpkin pie into his mouth. I floated out humming Boddhisatva by Steely Dan.

The Power of Stickers

I was once a teacher so I know the power of stickers.  Put a sticker on a kid’s paper and that’s all it takes to make that kid’s day.  Promise a sticker to a kid for good effort and that kid will work like the devil.

Go figure.

I was telling Tim the other day about my streaks and how I am motivated by streaks; by keeping something going for as long as I can: this blog 5 times a week, my hour meditation every day, my paper journal-writing every day.

I now have a workout calendar and I’ve started a new streak (though it won’t be a streak “officially” until I’m 10 days in.)  The deal is that I am going to do something worky-outy every day: hike, bike, lift, run the stairs, etc.

Today Tim and I did Yoganand’s Pranakriya Yoga Workout, which is kick-asana.  He brought me stickers to put on my calendar for everyday I work out.  Little smileys with sweatbands.

I don’t really need external motiviation to keep going, but damn, these stickers are awesome.