Wednesday, 1 February 2012

DAY 30!!!!: What's Done, Is Done!! The Beetroot is Cooked!

Wednesday 1st February, 5.30pm class taught by Harbinder 

Well done, faithful readers, you have made it through 32 consecutive days of my stream of consciousness ramblings, and I have made it through 30 days of Bikram yoga, and here we are at the end of our mutual challenges, about to emerge dazed and blinking into the bright sunlight of back-to-real-life.  Thanks so much for sticking with me, your messages of encouragement and support and constant interest have helped me immensely!

I wasn't going to mention this again, but I couldn't stop thinking about it tonight in class, so just bear with me - it's relevance will emerge eventually!  Do you remember waaay back on day 2 me telling you about me learning to ride a bike at forty?  Well, just after that experience I got my own bike and used to cycle around Pitsford Water (about 7 miles) to become more proficient so that one day I would just appear to be doing it perfectly normally, like a normal person who has done this their whole life (turns out most people have, apparently.  Who knew?).  Anyway, it was all lovely and balancey, balancey UNTIL I came within half a mile of other people, or someone cycling the other way, and although I'd been going in a straight line (like a normal person) up to that point, I would get increasingly worried that I would just cycle into them and it was all so stressful that I would have to stop (like NOT a normal person AT ALL) and get off the bike until they had gone, and really, there just isn't time to explain what you are doing in that moment, and you don't even actually know them anyway, and there is no option other than to look really like quite a highly irregular person indeed, but at least everyone goes on unharmed, although sometimes they would be confused/alarmed/infuriated/disappointed.  Hard feelings to counter with an apologetic look in that brief exchange of a stranger cycling by as you stand next to your own stationary bike.  This painful memory (which frankly had not yet even begun to heal) was brought into sharp focus quite unexpectedly tonight when I was 'placed' in the front row closely flanked by Bikram teachers on all sides, as though they were expecting me to make a bid for freedom at any moment.  They were like a scary, bendy guard of dishonour, and although the whole balancing thing seemed to be improving for me, there's nothing like the pressure that you cannot physically fall over without toppling everyone else like a row of dominoes to make one slightly wobbly.  That and a photographer documenting the whole sorry affair.  And then, to add insult to injury, I was pointed out to the photographer, quite bizarrely, with the instruction "this lady here", as though I was being picked out in an identity parade.  "This is the Beetroot woman of whom we have spoken", Harbinder might as well have said!  What did any of this mean?  Well, thank goodness that the previous 29 days hadn't been like this or I'd never have made it this far!

It felt strange this morning not finishing with the students I'd mostly practised with at the earlier classes and it did feel oddly sad saying 'bye, see you soon' to them yesterday, as though we'd come to the end of our journey, but there were lots of familiar friendly faces there tonight too.  Throughout the challenge, it's been great having the support of the other students, and returning it too.  I love the sense of communal energy, and it really does help you get through it.  So I have to say a big thank you to all the other students at Bikram Leicester - it's been great getting to know you all better, and I will definitely see you all again very soon.  And a completely enormous thank you to all of the wonderful teachers who have made this challenge so completely fantastic, enlightening, hilarious, exhausting, brilliant and joyous.  You get one adjective each - please decide amongst yourselves. xxxxxx

Night x

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