Posted by: kerryalina | 5 March 2012

Challenge Class 19: Reasons vs Excuses

I nearly talked myself out of class today.  My head ached, I hadn’t slept well, I’d spent most of the day fasting for medical tests in the afternoon and my routine was all shot to hell.  I came home from the hospital at 4pm, ate the world’s BIGGEST sandwich and the most delicious post-fast chocolate bar I’ve ever tasted in preparation for the 6pm class… and immediately fell asleep on the couch.

I did, at least, remember to set an alarm, but when it assaulted my ears at 5:30 I shot it a filthy look, reset it for the later class and passed out again.

7pm rolled around and I took stock of my sorry state, blearily eating a fun-size Mars Bar I’d found in the bottom of my handbag.  Class in 45 minutes and I was still tired, with my sinuses blocked and head muzzy in that “I slept too long in the middle of the day” kind of way.  My sandwich was still a stone in the pit of my stomach and, oh dear, I’d just added more chocolate to the mix without even thinking about it.  My shoulders and neck ached from an awkward sleeping position.  My energy levels were dipping towards empty.  I hadn’t drunk nearly enough water throughout the day and it was too late to start now.  The clock was ticking down to class and I just could not motivate myself to get off the couch.

What finally got me out the door was this thought: Not one of these things is a reason to skip class.  A reason that class might be harder than usual, yes.  A reason that it might not be my favourite class ever, yes.  But a reason to skip?  At the very most, they might perhaps be excuses to skip – and poor ones at that.

When I started this challenge, I really didn’t know if I would be able to finish it.  I was worried that my body wouldn’t hold up, that I’d lose motivation, that some indefinable thing called “life” would get in the way.  The way I see it now is that barring major accidents or illnesses, there is not one reason why I wouldn’t be able to complete this thing.  I’m at a perfect point in my life to do a challenge – healthy(-ish), no kids, no partner and fabulous friends who happily (if bemusedly) agree to organise our catch-ups around yoga classes.  I’m not focussed on dating, because I’m truly happy with myself just as I am right now.  After a truly horrific year in 2011, 2012 seems to have become the year to concentrate on myself and improving my own contentment… so post-work drinks with random guys isn’t tempting me away from class.  Occasionally I’ll have to work late, but never so late that I’d miss the 7:45pm class and if I did – well, there’s always doubles.  And if I feel absolutely dreadful – on death’s door – still, all I have to do is show up to class and lie on my mat.  So really, what is there keeping me from the hot room except excuses?

Hopefully I’ll retain the ability to see them for what they are – excuses have a habit of becoming disturbingly solid pseudo-reasons, walling me in until I can no longer clearly see the way forward.  But at this point in time, at this moment, I know that I have the ability to finish this challenge.  And that’s a truly powerful realisation.

Oh… and class today was great :)



  1. Love this. I’m going to keep it in the back of my head and dust it off whenever I need more motivation to get to class… which is often. :)

    • Hey, thanks! :) One of the things I love about yoga is that this technique really works. If you’re a runner and you have a cold, it might not be the best idea to go for a sprint in the rain. If you lift weights and pull a muscle, it’s probably helpful to take a few days off. But unless you’re violently ill or physically prevented from attending, there’s really no legitimate reason to skip a yoga class as long as you stay mindful of your body’s limitations… or so I’m constantly trying to convince myself ;)

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