I started Bikram classes in June last year; almost nine months ago. I began practicing just once a week and over the next six months, slowly increased that to twice, three times, then four times a week. I really, really enjoyed it. I mean, sometimes I wanted to cry in class (sometimes I DID cry in class), but I always walked out feeling better than when I went in. So when I decided to try a 60 Day Challenge, it just seemed like the logical next step. I wasn’t sure if I could finish it though – if “life” would get in the way, or if my body could handle it. So I decided to call it a Maybe-60-Day-Challenge-I’ll-See-How-I-Feel. I didn’t want to feel disappointed if I “only” managed to complete five classes a week, or even 40 classes in 60 days… let’s face it, that’s still a major accomplishment.
Today I finished my second week. Today I went from “I really, really enjoy Bikram” to “I love Bikram.” Today, I decided I’m damn well going to finish this challenge. And today, I didn’t even practice.
Weekend classes start at 4pm (there are morning classes, but I refuse to admit they exist) and doors open at 3:30. Today I rocked up at 3:45… and there’s a line outside the door. Which is locked. And the studio lights are off. Shit.
Everyone’s just standing there awkwardly, avoiding eye contact, shuffling their feet. I shuffle along with them for five minutes… but then I decide to google the Prahran studio (which is owned by the same people) and give them a call to see if they know what’s going on. They had no idea, but said they’d try and find us another teacher and then call us back. After 15 minutes I called again… they weren’t successful, but said if I took everyone’s names, they’d comp us all a class.
Here’s the thing: I’m never one to step forward and be counted – I’m a sheep inside out, fingertips to toes, bones to skin. But just this once, I was the only one who wasn’t just passively waiting to see what would happen. And as I passed around my notepad & pen and everyone wrote down their names, every single one of them turned to me and said thank you. Thank you so much for trying. And it felt really, really good.
The vibe was just amazing. Everyone was so obviously disappointed – it’s a gorgeous Sunday afternoon and they arranged their schedules around a class that didn’t happen – but not one of them was cranky. Everyone was smiling as they jotted down their details and handed back the pen. And they were all so lovely and grateful for my efforts to help even though, in the end, it made absolutely no difference to their situation. One of the things I truly love about Bikram is this sense of community and of acceptance.
So, I didn’t practice today. And because I made yesterday my “day off” for this week, that means I’m behind on my challenge. And my first (and second and third) thought was not “Hooray! Airtight excuse for a day off!” or even “I can’t believe the stupid teacher didn’t show up”… it was “Oh well, I made the effort. That’s all I can do. Now… when can I make up that class?”
This, right here, is when I stopped being intellectually interested in doing a 60 day challenge… and became emotionally invested in completing it.