Monday, February 6, 2012

Ups and Downs of Yoga and Super Bowl

Warning: A little long. I hope its worth the read and would very much appreciate comments.

Yesterday was one for the books. Some highs and lows and a rare day where CMT really impacted something that was going on in a big way.

My old director invited some of us teachers to participate in a yoga class, sponsored by her. I have mixed feelings about yoga and group excersize in general. I know I am clumsy and things are harder for me but I can generally do most excersize classes just at my own pace. I went to one yoga class in a gym which I found hard for obvious reasons but I was proud I made it through and I figured I could do the same for this one, just get through it at my own pace.

I made a big mistake by not telling the yoga instructor beforehand that I am somewhat limited. My old director knows that there is something a little off with me but nothing specific and because I am generally a typical teacher, there was no need to single me out. Just as a BTW, my coworkers don't know that anything is wrong with me. I think some of them may have noticed my handicapped liscense but didnt think it was anything major.

Anyway, just to preface by what mood I was in, earlier in the day, my kids' OT came to work with them at home. She, like the PT, pointed out that Yak's foot was turning and he needs orthotics. These things are so depressing and overwhelming for me even though they don't need to be. But they are a proof that YOU have CMT and YOU gave it to your KIDS and they will have to do stuff like WEAR funny looking plastic things on their feet all because of YOU. At least when I am in blah mood, thats what it does. And she is telling me that theres a great orthotist / MD but its a $75 evaluation fee and he may not take insurance which would make the orthotics $500. And she thought maybe shain should also get evaluated. We don't have that kinda money. We are looking into switching insurances. I am overwhelmed and don't know where to start and unlike my own self I NEED to get the kids what they need and the younger, the better.

Ok so that was what went down a few hours earlier. So I'm already feelign blah about myself and my CMT that I presumably passed on to my poor, innocent kids. But I figured let me get through and do my yoga and prove that CMTers can do anything. It didn't exactly go down like that. The first ten or so minutes of stretching was challenging, but doable. I felt like I was majorly struggling to reach all positions and 'look normal' and for the most part I was getting it. I was even thinking how I would write this blog about woohoo, I did yoga! The atmoshpere was nice and dark and somewhat soothing and no one was able to guess how tense I was.

And then she had us all sit all the way on our knees. And It was too hard for me, and the instructor said if we can't sit all the way down, we shouldn't. So I held myself a little further up. The instructor, a thorough and somewhat firm Asian woman looked at me and said 'your ankles are hurting?' and I said 'no, my knees' and she responded in a nice but admonishing way 'You are too young to have your knees hurt, you need to exersize more'.

Ow. Like a punch in my stomach. But I nodded and figured I'd continue at my own pace. Except the next thing she had us all do was crouch on the floor. At our own pace. And I was imagining myself falling and flipping and getting more looks and comments. And it was too much. I quietly went to the bathroom and just started sobbing. For those who don't know me I cry very easily and can't stop once I start. Its AWFUL. Its happened at work more than once and inside i'm telling myself 'STOP!!!! ENOUGH!! GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER!!!!'. But outside the tears kept coming.

I thought I was fine and left the bathroom and my old director came to check on me and of COURSE i started sobbing again. The thought that someone is coming to care always sets me off. She apologized and was like 'its hard for me too' and other stuff. I told her its totally fine and after crying for a few more minutes and drinking some water I returned to yoga. I think my director mentioned that I have some difficulties and that made me cry again. Interestingly the rest of yoga was super-easy. It was all laying down and turning nad hugging your feet and all. And I cried almost the rest of the time. Silenty as I did my moves and stared at the chinese rugs hanging on the walls, tears just rolled down. Every time she came to check on me and I thought of her comment 'You are too young to have knees like this', tears came poured out. She was right. I was so tired of my stupid feet. And I was so tired of pretening that I was normal and fine and could do everything nad anything like anyone else. One of my coworkers (there were only 6 in total) noticed and said 'Are you OK?", and of course I nodded yes.

Anyway, yoga ended, most of the coworkers zipped out and I was left with a couple of them . One of them (concerned coworker 2) was all trying ot make me feel better and I was almost laughing at some of her comments. She was like 'My SIL joined a gym and it really helped her strengthen hereslf' and I just thought 'You have NO CLUE!'. Afterward I spoke to the instructor, and of cousre began crying again. She was very apologetic and said 'please forgive me from my heart. I had stage 4 cancer and I know that the most imporatant thing is health'. After talking with her more, she said I should come back and she feels yoga can help anyone and now she knows and will only push me to what I can do. And truthfully, if i had the money and babysitting, I might even consider it. Because I really did pretty well considering and now that she knows, it will be way different. Then she finished the conversation by telling me about someone else that had a very big limp that she helped and said 'We all have something, we just have to work it through'. And comments like that are really the very best. Its like yeah, we're all struggling with one thing or another. For heavens sake she was DYING. Had to have chemo and stuff. And she pulled through. And even the OT from earlier was telling me she has issues with her feet. So I have CMT and she had cancer and the next person has a loveless marriage or is in a big fight with her family. And we just gotta work it all through. I'm not messed up or all that different despite my challenges.

I went downstairs to see my old director and concerned coworker 2 had waited for me and that was nice. I shmoozed some more, we joked and I felt a whole lot better. I got into my car, noticed it was already almost 5 and that I gotta GO! Just 1 1/2 hours till kickoff! These sobbing sessions usually end up being so healing for me. I can be real and open and get it out instead of having feelings inside bottled up. And now I was ready to join my brother and his wife in the city where they were (in the end) going to watch the big game with a bunch of friends. And as I'm cruising down the highway, getting more than a big pumped I was thinking about how lucky I am and how good my life really is. The sun was setting on the most gorgeous skyline in the world where I was lucky enough to live and and have the ability to drive in. The Empire State Building was all blue in honor of our hometown Giants being in the biggest and most exciting game of the year and I was on my way to be with family and friends who really cared about me no matter what. I called my bro and SIL who were also on the way from NJ and they were laughing at my story, my SIL asking 'what were you thinking going to yoga?' LOL. And here comes Kelly Clarkson on the radio singing 'What doesn't kill you makes you STRONGER!'. Amazing. I was on a massive high despite my bitter tears I was shedding less than an hour earlier. I managed to find an aweesome spot and meet my family downstairs and we made it inside JUST as they were starting the game.

3 hours, lots of hot dogs, burgers, chips and salsa and a massively exciting game of ups and downs (just like my day) the beer was flying as the Pats missed the Hail Mary and we were superbowl champions.

Life is Good.


  1. I love this post for so many reasons - probably because I-GET-IT. The whole "its my fault the kid (s)? have CMT", having an outsider point out a failure of our body and assume its weak out of laziness, feeling guilty because I'm blessed in so many ways and let CMT break me into tears. (Although a good cry feels SOOOOOO good!) The only part I can't relate to is having the treat of the NYC skyline....have I mentioned how jealous I am of where you live???? *grin* Chin up CMT buddy....all of us CMTer have your back...cyberly at least!

  2. INCREDIBLE!!!!! What I like the most is the extreme of emotions from very low to very high, because that is SO YOUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!
    BTW, I have tons to comment on e/t you have recently posted here, but I want to talk in person about it. K, Can't wait to see you next, glad Superbowl was fun and they won!

  3. Nic thanks so much, I love that other people get it!! I am so glad I have this blog so I can get feedback like this.

    Leah, I was totally thinking how you'd appreciate all this :). THIS IS LIVING :). Sorry to have ditched you for the SB, but I think you probably would have felt weird in the end....i'll tell you in person and well definitely have to do it for a different big game!

  4. I'm with Nic, I totally get it. I know how that little comment would push you over the edge, and also how good it feels to come back from that place realigned and ready for the next thing. It's true we all have stuff. It just easier to see in some people than others. I have had a Yoga instructor try to push my heels to the floor, completely not understanding why they wouldn't stay there in a salutation pose. I find that little chat before class helps a lot. I love yoga, but the pain in my arches makes it extra- challenging these days. I've also heard the 'way too young' a time or two. Never fun.

    I am so grateful for our little community where we can come together. This life isn't easy, but it's still great :)