Monday, 26 April 2004
So I was reading a post from someone on LiveJournal that made me think of the relationships women have. I've been accused of not being feminine enough or something, because I don't compete sexually with other women. And then there are the people who love me because I'm not threatening - I'm almost asexual to them.
I suppose all of that presupposes that all human interactions are about sex, and I'm not willing to do that. But I also am not willing to compete all the time, or even most of the time. I believe that:
It's entirely possible to be competitive without making it all about sexual prowess or desirablility.
It's entirely possible not to compete with people who do either make it all about sexual prowess or view relationships as inherently competitive, and still remain friends.
And it's entirely possible to not compete with your friends.
I don't understand why these are such difficult concepts. I am a very competitive person in the right circumstances, but I am even more a cheerleader. I love to see other people succeed. I like to help them get there, especially when they don't see how. I love to share, I love to help, and I love to celebrate other peoples' successes. Life would be cold and bleak if I couldn't do that.
I suppose the fact that I am not a complete dunce, I'm not completely ugly, and I have some good general all-around athletic skills helps. I wonder, if I completely sucked at something, if it would be hard to watch other people do that thing with ease and grace. Well, no, because I've been there. There are things I'm not good at (shocking, I know) and I like to admire the way other people do these things that I can't.
I had a roommate who was perfect in everything except her self-confidence, which was more a matter of lack of parental support than anything wrong with her. She's gorgeous, she's smart, she's got the best physique of anyone I know personally (including some professional athletes), and she's one of the most competitive people I know. But somehow, in the early days of our friendship, we came to an unspoken understanding that I am not out to beat her in anything and she can be better than me in everything and I will cheer her on. She is now a member of my family, and spends more time visiting my parents than I do. I wish I could go too, but I am really glad she gets to. She's finally happy, and I helped in that somehow.
Maybe it's because I'm fairly secure in who I am. I don't want for a lot. I get depressed, I wish things were different, and I suffer sometimes. But in general, life is good. It's sweet. And I want to share that with everyone. Even the assholes, and sometimes especially the assholes because they must have miserable lives if their biggest success is cutting me off on the freeway, right?
This isn't what I was planning to write when I started this last week, but it's what I've got now. On to other parts of things I have been meaning to write about. For now, I am not talking the politics even though the next caucus is this Saturda. I'm in a good mood and I don't want to spoil it.
So I went and did bikram yoga yesterday. My chiropracter suggested it, especially after he heard my hip pop in triangle pose right after he'd adjusted it. I have not wanted to, because I do not do well in heat. I suffer, I get all nauseated and dizzy. But I went, and I'll be going back at least two more times (three-class pass for first-timers). Bikram is the heated room yoga; it was 96 degrees F when I went in and it was 100 by the middle of the class.
I've done some hatha yoga in classes years ago, and I do (I think) vinyasa with the tapes now and a little bit of hatha. I like the flowing stuff better than the pose holding. Bikram is different. It's a standard series of 26 poses, with breathing exercises at the beginning and the end and corpse pose in the middle (it's always been at the end of the ones I took before, and it was repeated at the end). The first half of the class was standing poses, done differently from the ones I've done before. It was pose, hold, pause, repeat. We did every pose (or set of poses) twice, with a standing pause in the middle. I got overheated in there somewhere, and sat down. One of the other people had to lie down for a while. (They encourage that if you need it, rather than pushing through it, as well as drinking water during the class.)
It was hard, and I started sweating horribly. I haven't worked out in front of a mirror in years, so that was somewhat unpleasant. But it also helped with the alignment, and I think it was good. I just forget what I look like when I'm working out, usually, so facing a mirror jolted me back a couple of times. I did okay, and I was grateful for the other yoga work I've done recently because my balance has improved a lot and without that, I would have been very wobbly. And that was the other part of mirror that bugged me. I try to keep moving things out of visual field when I'm working on balance, and with the mirror I got to see everyone's bobbles. But I survived.
The second half of the class was floor poses, lots of stretching without the strength-building of the standing poses. That felt good, especially since the air was cooler near the floor. I screwed up my left arm with one of the poses, but since I did the move wrong I can't blame the class. That's probably also from the videos - I'm so used to them that I don't look to see how to do something and a couple of times in the class the teacher had to correct me. Good thing I was the only newbie that day.
I emerged completely drenched and tired. Had more water, went home, and showered long and good. That felt awesome. I got sleepy soon after, and went to bed early with my book. Didn't sleep so well, and I had some bizarre work-related dreams that told me I'm feeling secure/insecure at work and that I need to watch some people. I'm still tired today, and as one of the other women told me I would be I'm sore today, mostly in my legs (plus that dang shoulder). It was good, I think. I still don't like heat, and it will likely be really hard to make myself go when it's 90 outside (if I keep it up). And as for the claim that the sweating releases toxins, I would guess that's why my face is splotchy and I have a bunch of baby pimples today. I'll keep an eye on that and report back to you next week.
It's late, I'm tired, and my bed is screaming out for me. Sorry it's been so long since I updated. I have lots of stuff I want and/or need to write, but I haven't been spending a lot of time at the computer.
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