Monday, January 17, 2011

Committed and Diligent

I was sorting through more papers over the weekend, scanning and recycling and occasionally perusing the stuff as it passed through my hands.

I spontaneously decided to scan some old 'running logs' because at the time, they were the only 'journal' I was keeping. I didn't only write about running. I wrote about the sites I was working on (I was a professional field archaeologist), parties I attended, friends, current events and the things I noticed on my runs. I was a careful observer of the people I saw out and about in my neighbourhood, renovations, roadwork. All of the changes. The logs remind me a bit of what I do here, on this blog.

They've also reminded me that although I'm 15 years older and the cells in this body of mine have regenerated two-fold, my core personality is much the same. The space in my life that yoga now fills was once occupied by running. I often ran daily (with one rest day - usually Sundays). I had a steady routine, covered the same routes, mused over my progress (speed, mileage mostly) exactly the same way I do in my yoga practice. I set goals. I was committed and diligent.

Before that, it was music. I went to university on a music scholarship (Jazz) but for fun, I played the Sousaphone in the marching band. I didn't have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument from an early age like most people because I grew up on a boat; there was no space for instruments. Instead, I had to pick up musical skills quickly as a teen but I was adaptable and I practised daily in order to match my peers.

I was never a *great* tuba player, but I was a enthusiastic average one. And I was relentlessly reliable. I learned and memorised the music, committed the marching sequences to memory (I was always a good marcher, competent at anything that required me to move my body around in space) and I always knew where I was supposed to be in relation to those hash marks. I never missed a rehearsal and was always on-time. Even if I wasn't a Sousaphone Supertalent, I could always be counted on to play my part.

These are all qualities I like about myself and I'm glad I've retained them, expanded upon them and grown my yoga practice through them. When I arrived for my very first class at Hot Central, I'm sure the Mixed Nuts never thought I would be there steadily and reliably for 30 days (I think they might just figuring it out now).

It's not a '30 Day Challenge' for me. It's just the way I roll.

Why, yes! I did, in fact, do some Astanga over the weekend. Full report on that, along with some Bikrams practice reports AND an account of the colourful bruise on my knee coming tomorrow.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


The Misanthropic Yogini said...

I loved this post. It's so refreshing to read about what someone likes and even admires about themselves, instead going an about all the things we tend to hate ourselves for.

Evelyn said...

Archaeologist!!? Tuba player!!??? I have to say it... you are so cool.

I'm glad you found yoga.

word veri: wangshe! said...

Fascinating. I repeat, fascinating! Everything you shared is so interesting (that's not really the word I want). Flavorful! (lol) that's the word I want.

Loo said...

Sousaphone? Growing up on a boat? Wow. (We almost went to live on a boat in Florida. A Dutch sailing barge was purchased, linen stocked up on, there was even room for our spinet piano. But then Mom and Dad got a divorce so we stayed on land. I was relieved. Maybe you can tell us more about that? I'd be riveted!)

Anonymous said...

Flavouful is a good definition indeed! It is so great to focus in the things we like about themselves, and how our core qualities remain the same no matter what we do. Still, I think the most fascinating thing about this post is the revelation that you used to live in a boat! Sound so cool :)

LI Ashtangini said...

OMG, Kai, I can't believe you were in the marching band! What school did you go to? I went to Florida State, I was in the marching band all through high school but only part of one season in college. I was a music performance major and just didn't have time for marching band, it took up your whole life!

Kaivalya said...

Ha, ha! You guys are so funny! When I hit the 'publish' button on this post, I thought "No one's gonna want to read this! It's not about YOGA!" I'm enjoying your enthusiastic comments.

@Misanthropic Yogini
Yes, I think that's one of the reasons I thinking about this. I've been pretty down about myself because of my shoulder injury. I needed the reminder that persistence also has value.

I've changed careers a half-dozen times. In uni, I was one of those people who changed majors every five minutes. ;-)

@SereneFlavor, @MixandMatach, @Loo
The years on the boat were fascinating and shaped me in huge ways. Maybe I'll write about those experiences more, since there's an interest..

I had to quit band after sophomore year for the same reason - it ate up ALL my time (read: 'away trips') and I was there to get a degree, ultimately.Those were a fun two years, though!

susananda said...

Sorry I'm late here, but just to add another vote that the archeology, the boat and the sousaphone are ALL extremely interesting :)