As much as I love traveling, I love to exercise.
As a kid, I started out with team sports: basketball, soccer and softball. I was terrible at all of them. I only later learned the common denominator of my sloppy passes, missed goals and dropped fly balls: I lacked (and still lack) any coordination.
So I made a change.
Beginning in high school, I decided to stick to sports that literally involved nothing more than putting one foot (or arm) in front of the other. Hence, I became a distance runner and a swimmer. College combined those two sports and added some cycling to get me started in triathlons. Finally! A sport that loved me back.
But like many great loves, eventually we both agreed that we could use some space. After two years of triathlons and training for/completing my first Ironman (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run) during my senior year at UNC, I was burned out. While running/biking/swimming long distances had become a cake walk, they had also begun to feel more like a job than a passion. As a result, I cut my 20-mile runs down to 3-4 mile runs, began free diving instead of swimming laps and I cut out cycling altogether.
A year later, here I am.
I’m attempting a new sport (if you will) without any background or previous interest in it: HOT YOGA.
I must admit, I used to be one of those narrow-minded people that believed yoga was for people who couldn’t do ‘real’ sports. Breathe in, breathe out, look at yourself in the mirror, lie down, breathe in, breathe out… Boring.
But after my first class, I soon discovered that hot yoga (also referred to as bikram yoga) is definitely not easy or boring. 26-postures done in 105-degree heat for 90 minutes. It’s an enjoyable, detoxifying, heart-pumping, appetite-suppressing b*tch. And so far, I love it.
After taking a handful of classes, I decided to commit myself to the 30-DAY CHALLENGE: thirty hot yoga classes completed in thirty days. If I miss a day for any reason, I can make it up (within that 30-day period) by doing two classes on any given day. A seemingly easy feat considering the training I did in college, but who is still in the same shape they were in college anyway? Additionally, I’m now teaching full-time, sharing a motorbike with Morgan and I live a 25-minute drive from the yoga studio.
But as I sit here writing this in my sweaty post-yoga t-shirt and shorts, I can proudly say that I’ve completed 19 classes in 19 days. 11 more classes to go!
And what do I get when I complete the challenge? My picture on the yoga studio’s ‘wall of fame’ and a free Kata Hot Yoga tank top. As much as I aspire to be one of the sweaty, exhausted faces on the wall next to the women’s restroom… let’s be honest:
I’m doing it for the free shirt.
[Here’s a video to get a glimpse into a hot yoga class. But seriously, try one for yourself! Guaranteed gallon of sweat or your money back.]