Day 223 to Day 228 – City to Surf to Wine to Blood

Day 223 – too excited to sleep

I am still buzzing of the natural high I got from climbing and I can’t seem to sit still. I want to run around and yet I know City 2 Surf is on tomorrow so I need to rest. I roll out the yoga mat and get to downward dog, which is where I stop. I can’t move. It feels too good. Finally I have stillness! Most people probably wouldn’t think that downward dog is much of a rest but I love this pose and with rhythmic breathing I can stay here for ages. So I do. About twenty minutes later I finally move into a forward bend. This is the kind of practice that I need right now just to calm myself down. I can feel the whirlwind of excitement slowing down. I move slowly, with intention and do no more than about 6 poses in total. I feel completely different when I stand up. I barely slept last night so I finally realise how tired I am and decide to have a lie down. It doesn’t last. I feel the energy rise up again and I decide to get ready and go out. I just want to see people. After being isolated all week, I want to be surrounded by a crowd, to have to say hello and goodbye to everyone I know. When we leave the house the road outside is wet from the rain and in two steps I take a tumble and graze my knee. I will later graze the other knee on my way home. I hold the bloody tissue in the taxi, shaking my head at the irony. Seriously, Liz, you can go mountaineering for a week and come away with nothing more than a couple of bruises but the moment you try to put on high heels you fall over and start bleeding?! I know my vata energy should be calmed in some other way but this feels like more than just the erratic winds of vata blowing me about. I feel the fire of pitta burning away inside of me, charging me about. I feel like I have been ignited and I can’t possibly just stay inside in case my energy burns the house down. It is an amazing feeling to be so bright and light. I am in bed by midnight and finally can sleep. When I wake up I will run 14km.

 

Day 224 – City 2 Surf

I wake up early and can’t get back to sleep. I am way too excited for this race! I get out my running gear. It seems cold so I am grateful that I managed to wash my thermal Skins in time. At the start line, groups of people chat to each other. I stand alone, listening to music. I am uncertain about this. I know how tired I should be. I am still running on the fire energy that I have gathered from mountaineering. I can’t believe how little sleep I have been getting. I close my eyes and turn inwards, taking a moment to see that fire. This fire can carry me up a 2km slope carting a sled of human faeces. I have no idea what heartbreak hill is supposed to be like but it can’t be as bad as that slope. The crowd starts to jog and I begin dodging all the walkers and prams that were in front of me. Before long I find my own space in the wide open road of William St. Emerging from the tunnel, the sun is sparkling out over Rose Bay. I love Sydney. I take a moment to be grateful for this chance to see so many people places as we run towards Bondi beach. I know that the hill happens at the halfway point, but when it is over I am unsure. Was that it? I don’t want to sound arrogant but wow, it really was nothing! It was a long uphill run, yes, but I never really found it hard. I guess it’s all relative. After the slopes and hills I have been climbing this week, that paved road was nothing. The last km is the hardest. To be so close and yet so far, it is like my body finally allows itself to admit how tired it really is. It is at the last few hundred metres, coming around the bend toward the finish line that I feel the last surge of energy. I sprint toward the finish 93 minutes after I left the start. I had wanted to finish in under 90 minutes but considering all the factors at play here, I am pleased with my result. I did it and I did it easily. I never felt like I was pushing myself harder than I could handle and I came out the other end alive. Time to go home and lie down again. One of these days I will figure out what rest means.

 

Day 224 – grass blessings

I am walking back to Bondi to pick up my car. The coastal walk is eerily empty of people. A cool wind whips at my face and I look out to the horizon. The ocean is a dark grey colour, but I even love when it looks dark and stormy like this. There is something romantic about it, like she is heartbroken, crying over a lost love. I walk up some stairs towards my car, holding my hand out to run my fingers through the tall grass. The smooth blades slide across my skin and I stop to say thank you to them at the top of the stairs. I feel like rolling around in the wet sand, like smelling damp earth, like just making love to mother nature. I stop at my car, not even sure if I want to get into it. I know I have things to do today, so I need to get in and drive but I have just had the most beautiful walk, feeling entirely part of this universe. I get in and despite the cold, wind down my window and enjoy the air on my face. I guess that is the beauty of wind. It gets in everywhere and even when encased away from nature, a window can always be opened to let in the sunshine and the breath of god.

 

Day 225 – last yoga class

It is not without some emotion that I teach my final yoga class at Yogatime. It is a busy class and as I find the rhythm of my voice moving along with the pace of the students, I start to wonder if I am making the right decision. When the class leaves and someone tells me it is a shame that I will no longer be teaching there, I almost want to cry. What am I doing? To be honest, I am not sure but this isn’t the first time this year that I have wondered about this journey. All I can do is trust that the path I am walking is exactly where I am supposed to be. If I walk away from teaching asana, it does not necessarily mean that I will no longer be a yogi so I place my faith in the path and allow the allowing.

 

Day 226 – first day at Pieroth

There are worse ways to spend a first day of work than tasting premium wine. Learning how to read a German wine label takes a lot longer but once I have grown accustomed to the un-pronouncables, the rest is up to my palate. I close my eyes to breathe the soft varietal bouquet. Passionfruit, pomegranate, violets, citrus, fresh cut grass, earthy wood, spring jasmine at dusk… My brain struggles to keep up with my nose. How is there no meditation in enjoying the flavour of wine? Hand picked grapes, selected with care, the juice extracted through first press from the natural weight of the grapes. Anything made with such elegant delicacy, such love and passion, deserves to be honoured and drunk with the same meditative care.

I prefer the dry wines. The first one we try, a German white, Nussdorfer Herrenberg, steals my heart, though it feels some serious competition from the French Collier D’or. I never drink Rose, but I also never say no to a drop so when I try the Chevalier de Bayard Rose and fall head over heels in love, I can barely believe it. Drinking commercial, cheap wines, it would only take an hour before I would end up with a headache, or a minor hangover, but these premium wines with minimal additives (sulphites only), are mellow and kind. No headache or sleepiness ever appears. I feel satisfied and content as I leave my first day at work and offer gratitude to the universe for this part of the path.

 

Day 227 – help a friend out

Sometimes friends ask for help and without question we want to just blurt out all the advice we can offer. Sometimes that advice is taken on board and other times it is rejected. Sometimes it is appreciated and sometimes it aggravates. Ultimately, every experience is unique and what works for one person may not necessarily be truth for another person. Every person has to decide for them selves and no one situation can accurately reflect all the variables of someone else’s situation. Unfortunately tonight when I offer my friend some advice, I can see it has agitated him and that is the last thing I want. In the end, all I can offer is a hug. I hope it is enough, but be aware, dear friend, that the ego will make mountains out of molehills and drama out of drear. As your friend, I want to shoulder your pain and fix the problem. I want to share the embrace and light up the dark. But in reality, I don’t have all the answers. I won’t always say the right thing. Sometimes all you need is a hug and for me to say nothing but to only listen. If nothing else, I can tell you that I understand, I can validate your feelings, not tell you not to feel them.

 

Day 228 – running and bleeding

New shoes. We all love new shoes. I just wish I could buy old shoes. Wearing in new shoes can be painful and the blisters on the back of my heels are not healing. I go for a run but within the first kilometre, I have to stop and bend over because my nose is dripping with blood and I have no tissues. I stand and watch the red droplets fall to the ground. This has happened twice lately, but just mid-conversation. When the blood finally clots, I continue running and uphill my shoes rub the blisters so badly that I just turn around for home. When I get home the back of my socks are soaked in bright red blood. I can’t even run without hemorraging from my face to my feet! I don’t understand. I guess this is my body telling me to stop, to just rest and take it easy. I can feel the latent impressions coming back. The distorted body image appears in the mirror and I hear a critical and mean voice from my past make a nasty comment. I stop and look at my reflection deep in the eyes. “Liz, you just climbed a mountain last week. You ran 14km after going out all night and you still ran even after you bled from your face, only to find that you were bleeding from your feet as well! If you can’t forgive yourself and allow yourself to rest right now then you will never allow yourself the chance to recover your strength.” I take a long, hot shower and finally the negativity is washed away. I find my reflection again. “You don’t do guilt, Liz!” That is the last time I try to carry myself away on a guilt trip for not exercising as hard/strong/long as I wanted to. I wouldn’t treat a lover like that, so why do I do it to myself? Love. Pure love. Not tough love.

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