I did it! What a day. I woke up around 7:30 and drank my lemon tea as I got ready for my first bicycle adventure to Manhattan Beach to try out a yoga studio. The sun is shining down and although the air is cool, the sun is keeping it from being too cold. I push up my pantlegs and set off down the strand, a path that goes for 22 miles along the Pacific Ocean. People are already occupying the volleyball courts (this is where the Olympic and AVP players live and train), biking, running, you name it. I find the yoga studio which is about 2.5 miles north of me and one block east of the strand and lock up my bike. The studio is small, and is pretty much full already so I place my mat front and center, the only option. This studio looks out onto the ocean, the only one in LA county to do so they tell me. Class starts shortly after I arrive and is pretty intense. The poses are not super advanced, just the pace is non-stop, This used to be what I loved, but now I find myself moving at a slower more conscientious pace. But, this is what I got so I keep reminding myself to just follow the instructors voice, to breathe and to stay out of my head.
I am quite surprised that I am able to keep up. I may not appear as graceful as I have in the past, but I am impressed with my effort and abilities since I have not done much of a practice in the last month. Near the end of class the teacher comes over to adjust me during humble warrior and I immediately say, “No, I can’t do it like that because of my hips.” She responds, " well you have to try or your body will never change". I start to pipe up again and then cut myself off, move my leg and say, “How did you tell me to do it?” I had gotten so accustomed to how I usually do that pose because of how my body has reacted historically, that I am just immediately going into my modified version of it. I keep hearing the words I CAN’T echoing through my brain, did I just say that? I refocus my attention to my breath and my practice and do not allow myself to make myself wrong for my words or actions. I put a smile on my face and I am grateful for that adjustment. She didn’t just adjust my pose, she adjusted my mindset.
From yoga, I hop back on my bike and head to the local farmer's market to get my goods for the week. I tuck my purchases away in my bike bag saddles and back home I go. When I reach my door, I am welcomed by a huge package at my door. My bedframe. I forgot about that. One last thing to build. One heavy, akward thing to build. I maneuver the thing in through my door and rip that package apart. This week, I had already built a table and chair set, a desk, and a little step stool. I had borrowed a screwdriver from Tina, but had just returned it to her today. Like I said, I forgot I still had one last thing coming. Looks like this thing is not going to be built right now. I still lay out all of the pieces into a way that they will be easy to construct.
I grab something to eat and get sucked into a stream of emails. Blah. I crave fresh air, so I head out for a jog down the beach. As I jog I think about asking my building manager if I can borrow a screwdriver. Why not? They can only say yes or no. So, when I get back to my building I head to the office to ask. No problem they say, we will have the maintanence guy bring one right up.
I don’t know why, but this makes me feel like the most special person in the world! They are going to let little old me borrow a precious tool? They didn't even ask for a deposit or anything? Before I know it the miraculous tool arrives. I set off on my way, following another set of not very descriptive directions assembling pieces of wood to match a picture. Each time that I was building something this week I had a moment (or three) that I would decide the company had messed up and put the holes in the wrong spot or something. They were obviously wrong and I was of course right. I even found myself using one piece of my desk as a hammer, trying to get other pieces to fit together correctly. After giving up on that, I realized what the lock/unlock function of a certain bolt was really supposed to be doing. I laughed my ass off. So, today I was ready to get mad and laugh at my interpretation of the pieces, instructions and construction.
After maybe an hour of construction, I want a break and I am determined to get in the waves today and time is running out until sunset. So, I call the office and ask if it would be okay for me to keep the screwdriver overnight and return it in the morning. My project is taking much longer than I expected. I am really not sure why I estimated 20 minutes to build a bed out of wooden planks and screws with only the help of a screwdriver. They say no problem, so I run down the stairs to check the tide and the waves. It was coming back in and I really didn’t care if it looked small out, I was craving the water bad. I had even dreamt about it the night before. I am going in. I run back upstairs and try to scurry into my wetsuit as quick as I can. Booties or no booties? It is February, that’s winter right? Cold, right? But, lately on my beach walks I had let the water splash onto my feet and it didn’t feel too bad. So, I opt for no booties, grab the board and maneuver my way back down the stairs.
I go straight for the water and start to paddle out. About 60 seconds into my paddling a smile shoots over my face. I did it! I am in the water. Hi, my name is Tricia and I surf, I thought. I giggle with myself and duck through a crashing wave. I love the water. I don't really care if I catch any waves today, I just want to be in it, to be baptized in it. That is how I think of it, each time I get in, I am getting baptized. I can feel really small in the ocean, getting turned into acrobatic moves that I never imagined my body could do with the water in control or I can feel really big in the ocean, riding a wave all the way to the shore. I think of the water as a teacher and I am always ready for what it holds for me.