JK Guest Post: Why I’m doing a 30-day challenge

Jen, aka JK, is often my partner in crime in book-related and fitness-related things . I’m really excited she’s decided to tackle this 30-day challenge with me and even more excited she wants to share this journey with all of you! Jen will be sharing updates about the challenge throughout the 30 days, so follow along! — Erin


Jen and me, making some awesome videos about books. Yup, we're that cool. -- Erin



Why am I doing a 30 day challenge?

Because Erin convinced me when I was a little bit tipsy.

But in the sober light of day, it still seems like a good idea for a few reasons. To start, I’m a little bored with my workout routine (which is generally yoga at Kula 4x a week, Ultimate Frisbee once a week, and one Body Pump class at Goodlife). I also think my brain has been infected my many impressive marathoning/road racing friends, and that sense of accomplishment that comes from a physical challenge appeals.

But I think the main reason is that I’ve been craving a deeper, more dedicated practice. I’ve been thinking a lot about a retreat (Jill’s reports from Costa Rica made this fixation much, much worse), an opportunity to get away, refocus, purge the madness of the first quarter of 2012 from my body. I am very drawn to this Gardening + Yoga retreat that seems basically made for me (but it’s only one practice a day, and not inexpensive), and I even considered trying to do the staycation version of a yoga retreat (lots of yoga, healthy food, no internet), but I question how effective (/possible) that may be.

Thinking about this 30 days, it occurred to me that what I might need most of all is not an escape from life, but more practice at bringing yoga into my regular life conscientiously, at cultivating more sensitivity. I’m almost as competitive as those Balser sisters and I’m really good at a power through. That’s why 30 days doesn’t actually scare me. But what I’m not good at is backing off, at being in the moment, at ceasing my multitasking and just breathing.

When I was only doing yoga once a week, when it was a treat, I was getting pretty good at being in the moment. And I remember what it felt like having left a class not just having worked hard, but having had those transcendent moments, when it’s just breath and movement and not to-do lists or dinner plans. But now that I do it more often, now that I have a weekly “quota” to meet and yoga fights for space with all my other commitments, for some reason it’s harder. And I expect doing yoga 30 times in a month means it might get even harder. So my goal will be to be a seven-times-a-week yogi who thinks like a once-a-week yogi. Someone sensitive and grateful. And that’s more challenging than getting through 30 yoga classes any day.