Competing with Yourself

vomit, gif, yoga, sick, upchuckThere’s no feeling like it.

There’s nothing you can do about it.

You must give in to it.

“Welcome to Tuesday night’s practice,” the instructor said as she started the class. Then, while I stood with eyes closed, hands pressed together, she urged us to make an intention for the practice.

“And forward fold,” the instructor urged.

If I forward fold one more time it’s going to be over white porcelain, or whatever material they use to make toilets.

I tried to ignore the rumblings, but with each contortion I felt the contents of my stomach creeping higher and higher, like one of those hand-drawn thermometers used to track funding for fireworks. This campaign was going to meet its goal. I started thinking about what was in my stomach. Was the Wagyu burger putting up a fight? Could it be the French Onion soup? Or was it the small plate of leftover smoked chicken with whole wheat farfalle pasta? I bet it was that damned grilled zucchini I ate before leaving the office. I never liked it anyway. The squash variant was trying to make a break for it.

“And Chaturanga….Upward-facing dog.”

Now my right wrist started to hurt. The sweat started pouring forth like some polluted aquifer. My arms glistened while my mind wandered. Am I about to puke?

“And Utkatasana, chair pose,” the distant female voice gently guided.

Oh god, no.

I was two burps away from striking intestinal oil. I started scanning the room in search of a receptacle that could contain my projectile vomit. Then I counted. Three prostrate females. That’s how many I’d have to hurdle to get to the brushed silver cylinder that would be my emergency retch holder.

After a few half-stomached Sun Salutation B’s, I decided to call it quits. Child’s pose was too taxing. Only one pose left: Savasana (Corpse pose).

One of the tenets of yoga is to only do as much as you can. Tonight, all I could do was a few salutations. That’s all my body had in it. As I reposed on my saturated yoga mat, I became disgruntled with myself. I had been eager to return to a more regular yoga practice. Instead of celebrating what I was capable of doing tonight, I focused on my vanishing flexibility, the imminent up chuck, the pain in my wrist and other irritations that I have yet to let go. The greatest backslide was my lost mental focus.

Today reaffirmed my body’s rejection of nice things. I was treated to a very nice lunch by a vendor. Then wound down the night at a free community yoga practice.

Lunch ended with the waitress offering me a steaming hot towel to wipe my hands after my burger.

Yoga ended with me sopping up my meat sweat, and maybe a few tears, with a hand towel wondering why I came.

The good news is that I managed to keep the zucchini and everything else down, just not my expectations of myself.


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