I re-joined the gym. The last time I was at the gym, I had breasts which were just days away from becoming a thing of the past. Running on the treadmill those days prior to January 29, 2013, I had NO idea what the next 2 years would hold. At that time, I was in really good shape — ideal weight, running a few times a week and practicing yoga at least 4 times a week. I was strong, toned, fit. Yoga was a HUGE part of my life. The studio was my second home and my fellow yoginis were second family (also known as a kula). Then the surgeries started, along with healing complications and a frozen shoulder, leaving me mostly sedentary and unable to do anything physical, including yoga, for the better part of a year & a half.
It’s often said that you will be surprised by the people who disappear when you get cancer. It shocked me that it was my dear yoga kula that disappeared. When I had my mastectomy, they sent flowers and cards, and that was really nice. Following the mastectomy, I had 4 more surgeries and lots of complications, pain, anguish…you know. During that time, two (I repeat, TWO) members of my yoga family kept in regular contact with me (by regular, I mean a text about once a month from one; the other does my hair, so I saw her frequently). They would ask my husband how I was doing, so perhaps they thought that was the same as reaching out to me. My “teacher” told me that the kula would be there when I was ready to come back.
I went back to yoga about 8 months or so ago, but it’s just not the same. I jokingly tell other students not to get cancer, lest they be excommunicated from the kula. I am angry at yoga. By that I don’t mean I’m angry DURING yoga (although sometimes I am); I mean that I am angry AT yoga. Who gets mad at yoga? A couple weeks ago, I cut the cord and ended my studentship at this studio. I felt a sense of relief. Righteous relief.
As I walked out of that yoga studio for that last time, I didn’t have much of a plan in place…I still take a ballet class once a week, and there a couple of other yoga studios in town I will check out. In the meantime, I realized I just need to get my body moving! The other day I bought my new running shoes (really cute with hot pink laces) and re-joined my old gym. And later that day, my little one and I went to the gym. I deposited her in the kids’ center and then got on the elliptical machine. Five minutes in, I thought I was going to die, but after that, it was glorious! I’m not gonna lie…a lot of the time I was there I was thinking, “the last time I was here, I had breasts.”
When I started writing this post, I had no intention of discussing all the yoga stuff. What I really wanted to say is that I re-joined the gym, and I got really cute running shoes. And also, when my 8-year old saw me in my really cute running shoes, she said, “Mommy, you’re really working those shoes”.