Okay, so maybe that picture doesn't exactly fit the message, but I had to use it! Such a hilarious moment. The ballet leotard is the icing on the cake, isn't it?
About pushing past those self-imposed limits. Today I had such a great experience - I finally worked up the nerve to take a yoga class that I have shied away from for years. It's called yoga sculpt and basically it's a heated power yoga class with weights. When I write it out like that it doesn't sound all that scary, but the people who took that class always seemed really intense. Hardcore. Lean and muscular and a little scary. So I doubted myself and my abilities and assumed that it was beyond me. But today I let go of those fears and went for it. I won't lie. I was nervous and scared that I would embarrass myself*, but it was fine. Better than fine. It was fun. Challenging and a little crazy, but I had fun.
The other yoga milestone of sorts was that today marked my 10th day in a row of taking a heated power yoga class. I'm a third of a way through my 30-days-of-yoga pledge. I have wanted to do something like this for years. I tried to go for a week straight in 2005 when I first started yoga. Then I tried again in 2007. Neither time happened; I've never gone more than three or four days in a row until now. I had all sorts of excuses back then: I couldn't find the time (HAHAHAHAHA), I wanted to do it later, I needed to sleep, I had a little cold, I was too weak, I was too sore from the previous day, I hadn't hydrated properly, I ate too much/too little/too something, my exercise clothes were in the washing machine, I had beers to drink on patios, etc. Those excuses all hold true today, but parenting has caused a shift in me. Excuses are no longer as powerful in swaying me away from what I need or want to do. If I commit to doing something, then I have to do it right then - otherwise it simply won't happen. That "later" excuse is completely off the table for the most part. That has made fitting exercise in oddly easier even with less hours in the day. Also, exercise is a time that is truly ME time, so that makes it more desirable. But it's more than that. Since becoming a parent I have noticed that I can push past reasons that I can't do something - whether it's dishes or exercise or getting some boring to do item crossed off - and just do it. There is much less thinking and a lot more doing. I acknowledge the unpleasantness - the mental chatter of why I should try to avoid something - but it's only an acknowledgement. And I think that shift in thinking really did begin with childbirth.
This doesn't always work (see: trying to not eat 1/4 of my daily intake as sweets, among 300 other things), but when it does work it's such a breakthrough. Parenting demands that you give so much, but it also shows you how much you have to give. I wonder if I will return to being a less motivated person when the kids are raised and out of the house? I hope not!
*Speaking of embarrassing myself...I walked into the men's locker room this week at a yoga studio that was brand new to me. THANK YOU UNIVERSE that no one was in there. Because: locker room. LOCKER ROOM. Penis, people. I could have seen penis. *Shudder.*