Today marks the official end of my 30 day yoga challenge! But you know what? I didn’t just do 30 days in a row…I did 44!!!
But it’s not just about the number of days that I completed yoga. Had I not done yoga every consecutive day, I still would have come out of this challenge a winner. This challenge was a great experience for me for many reasons.
First of all, it distracted me from the fact that I can’t train for a marathon. Running was my stress release and endorphin fix. I needed some sort of substitute that wasn’t going to slow the healing process of my hips and yoga was one of the only options for working out.
My sports doctor told me my hip flexors, piriformis and IT band muscles were all really tight. The hip bursa were inflamed and I need to make sure to be very good about stretching and strengthening but not irritating the muscles further. Yoga strengthen and stretches exactly where I need to be and it can be done in controlled manner. I am that girl who always raises her hand in class and requests for hip openers every time. Dave teases me saying that the instructors probably know me as the “hip opener girl.” I don’t mind. It is what I need and I am not afraid to ask for it!
When I started my yoga practice, how weak my my arms and core (and pretty much my entire body) was quickly became apparent. In a way, it was probably good that I got injured. I had become a cocky runner who thought she was invincible. This injury was what Dave and I call “reality bullets”. If I want to become a better runner and athlete, I need to see just how important it is to take the time to cross train and strengthen my entire body. Yoga allowed me to gain a better awareness of my body. I am quite excited for my next big long distance race (whenever that may be) because I know I am going to train so much smarter than I had in the past.
I also learned about who I am and what I want to be as a person not just an athlete. I realized (once again) that I can love something that I used to not think I could ever even like. I used to think running was dreadful and I would never in my life run a marathon. I even quit track in high school because I thought it was so terrible. Then I ran a marathon, and another, and another. Heck-I even started a running blog I loved running so much!
Similarly, I used to think I would never get into yoga because it was too slow and not intense enough. I quickly realized that I was naive to the practice. Once I practiced more yoga and actually gave it a solid try, I loved it. I never want to be that person that completely writes off something because of my first impression because it turns out-I might really like it! And I am proud to say that I think I am officially a yogi now!
My yoga accessories shouldn’t fret. They won’t be shoved in a closet for storage now that my 30 day challenge is complete. Yoga has become part of who I am and will help me continue healing and return to running. Once I am running and training, I still will keep up with my practice and one of these days I will be doing that handstand!
What is your next challenge?
I signed up for a month of bootcamp every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6-7 AM. The biggest challenge will be getting up and getting there! I think Dave may be seeing me fall asleep early on the couch more often this month!
Have you grown both athletically and as a person through training for something?
I grow and learn something new about myself in every race that I do. My first marathon taught me that I am capable of accomplishing whatever I put my mind and heart into. A life lesson I am never going to forget.
What is something you used to think you hated but now love?
Can you believe I used to hate peanut butter when I was a kid? I think it was only in college that I started to like it!