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Friday, December 6, 2013


It is funny how some things stick with you for a long time.  Maybe it was something someone said that you can't forget even if you tried.  Or the way someone or something made you feel.  We have all had these moments.  

Well, about 8-9  years ago I took some yoga classes at a place in Cambridge that will remain nameless (its not one of the big or popular studios.)

I was working at MGH at the time and a friend from work  invited me to check the place out.  She loved it and had even started a part time job there.  I signed up for classes, paid several hundred dollars, even began helping to set up the studio before class.  It was very different than any other yoga class I have attended.  It involved  a lot of talking and discussing feelings, as well as learning poses.  I enjoyed going there for a while although I never got as into it as my friend had. 

The yoga master was an interesting woman.  She had apparently done all sorts of studying with yogis.  She was really kind of a life coach.  She offered massage sessions which were meant to release the negative energy and make you a new person.  I had one of those sessions once which cost about $100.
Looking back I wonder what I was thinking going to this place.

Anyway, the instructor knew about my vision.  I had told her about it.  If I am in a class with only a few people and there is lots of personal attention, I feel the need to tell the person in charge.  If I go to a class with lots of other people who just follow the instructor's moves and direction, I do not necessarily bring up the subject.

This woman was all about being present in the moment and avoiding chaos in your life, being true to yourself and others, etc.  Great concepts but an odd way of delivering her message.  She wanted things a certain way and demanded a certain level of respect.  Almost to the point of instilling fear in people.

One day during class she asked me a question and while I was answering it she said I needed to focus my eyes on her.  That I was not focused.  I reminded her that my eyes wander especially when they are tired after a day at work.  I honestly forget what she said next but I am pretty sure she just reiterated that I was not looking at her and focusing.  I left after that class and never went back.
I was pissed. 
This woman who acted like she understood people and could help you through any life crisis had just insulted me and disrespected me.  At least that's how it felt.

Before starting to write this post, I searched online for her studio.  All I could find was a white pages listing.  No websites, articles or yelp reviews.  While I do not wish anything bad on this woman, part of me hopes her studio has closed.

Fast forward to present time.  Recently I completed the 10 week Focus T25 workout program.   It is by Shaun T who also created Insanity.  In September I gave myself the kick I needed to get into shape.  I saw pictures of old friends who looked amazing and I realized there was no good reason why I can't do the same thing.   I looked at pictures of myself and was not happy with how I looked.  So I ordered T25.  I started the day after it  arrived and did not miss one day for the 10 weeks!  (Monday through Friday) The program has an Alpha phase which is the first five weeks and then the Beta phase.  There is a Gamma but I have not ordered that yet. 

I am now repeating the Beta phase.  The 25-minute workouts are intense but they are only 25 minutes! I have managed to drop about 10 pounds and tone up more than I have in years.  I am proud of myself for sticking with this and pushing myself to FOCUS!  I do the workouts in my living room using our 60-inch TV.  The kids are usually playing around me and sometimes they join in. That is always fun. :)  Obviously it is great to be able to do this at home rather than worry about getting to the gym.  And I can look as close to the huge TV as I need to without feeling self-conscious.  (Which, sadly is how I feel sometimes.)

I actually enjoy the workouts and I especially enjoy seeing the results!  It takes a lot of dedication to make yourself do it but the Facebook groups I belong to definitely help keep me  accountable.

I may not always seem visually focused but my mental focus is least as far as fitness goes!...for a whole 25 minutes a day! 


Mary Jane's Playcare said...

OMG, Heather, I so remember your experience with that class. You going early to class. Me asking you why you had to set up!! Haha. Then that very negative experience. You, my Heather, have ALWAYS been focused, especially if it is something you want to do.
One of the "problems" with some visual impairments is that the person who has the impairment does not look like they are visually impaired. Remember we met the man at the Fair the other day? Well, we knew he had impairment but we did not realize he was truly blind. Never seems to end.
But, you, do so well at life ( even though you question that) even those around you forget how difficult your life can be. Sometimes that's a good thing, sometimes not so good.
I guess I am trying to say that you are not defined by your eyes. There is so much more to you. But, because of this, people who really don't know you can say seriously hurtful things. As must be the case with some of the people reading this blog. Please just remember this is not because you lack something, it is because they lack sensitivity. Like with that "instructor" , in hind sight wouldn't have been great if you said to her:" I am focused, you seemed to lose your focus ....remember I told you I would do this?"
Hindsight is so awesome.! I watched you transform yourself in 10 weeks. Talk about FOCUS!! Two little munckins running around in and out of your workout, and you kept going on. When the 10 weeks were up, I had to ask myself: why did I just watch you do this and not do anything myself. I am so impressed.
You are truly a wonder, Heather. And I love this blog. I bet there are many others who have had that negative experience and appreciate reading that someone else has been there, too. I also like how you show how you get around all your obstacles and forger foward.
Love ya mints, Honey.

priscilla arroyo said...

Every experience we have good or bad affects us and sometimes haunts us, but not ever
define us. I love reading your blog.

Trish said...

Focus is a funny thing. When jumping on horseback you are suppose to focus on the top rail of a fence then switch your focus a few strides out to something like a tree in the distance. That way you are looking up where you are going and maintaining proper balance on the horse. So basucally I try to focus on stuff I can't see. It took me forever to get this cause I kept focusing on what I could see. Namely the top rail as we were going over the fence When I finally taight myself how to focus on nothing my mare jumped better. She was willing to fly for me. .Sometimes it is so easy to fall into the trap of focusing on what we can see/focus on we forget there is a whole world we may not see clearly but is waiting to be experienced in other ways.