Crossing Bridges

“Often the thing feared, once crossed, turns out to be an unexpected bridge from which we can see who we were and who we are becoming.”  From the Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo, but first heard by me through Jake.

Jake, my yoga instructor/secret therapist, has been gone for a while.  He is in Peru for 6 weeks for some type of extended yoga/meditation course.  Of course, it’s no longer a big secret that he is my secret therapist.  For one, all of you know about him.  And further, after I first wrote about him in the post Come Undone, I printed that post and handed it to him in an envelope after one of his classes.

The next time he saw me, he immediately thanked me for sharing it with him.  I said something like, “Oh great, I’m glad you appreciated it.  I was afraid that you would think I’m some sort of crazy stalker….and I’m not.  I just really appreciate your class.”  (Unless you count the fact that I follow his instagram and take screen shots of 1/2 …ok 3/4…ok 7/8 of his posts because what he writes with the posts are so inspirational….and save them in my phone and sometimes flip through them.  Also, at least half the time immediately after I leave his class, I go to my phone and type in something he said at the beginning of class that really clicked for me.  And if I wasn’t writing a blog inspired by Kristin Armstrong, I could easily write a blog based on “Jake-isms”….  Other than that, I don’t stalk him.  I don’t know where he lives…..  I know where in Austin Kristin runs…but that’s public knowledge….if you try to find out.)

Anyway, when Jake first announced that he was going to be gone for a while, I had a tiny panic attack.  What was I going to do?  Should I look into temporarily finding an actual therapist?  And I really need that weekly yoga class to make up for all the times that I don’t stretch before and after my run…which is pretty much every time.  (You don’t do that…please stretch…actually please don’t rely on this blog for real technical advice.  If you need that, fill the contact form, and I’ll refer you to blogs by people who know what they are talking about.)  Then I thought, maybe having him be gone for 6 weeks in the summer is a good thing after all.  Because his class is never actually at a convenient time in my schedule, but I make the time for it.  With summer break, maybe I can just skip the once a week yoga and give that time to my kids instead.

Two weeks without yoga, and my body feels it.  I try to do some downward dogs and side-angle poses on my own, but it’s just not the same.  A couple of minutes during commercial breaks for RHONYC (my only TV guilty pleasure…at least it’s not The Bachelor) is not the same as dedicating an hour to stretching and strengthening your body.  I realize that I need to put away the guilt associated with not spending all my non-work time with the kids, and take care of myself.  And in all honesty, I spent more hands on time with my kids this summer than I have in a long time.  I go back to yoga, trying a different instructor for each class, and it’s not the same.  There are no “Jake-isms,” and even the workout on my body is not quite as good but satisfactory enough to be worth going.

I turn to my phone, and swipe through my instagram screen shots of some of Jake’s quotes which he goes over in class and then posts.  I come across quite a few about fear that are very relevant.  One of them is from Toni Morrison, “There are more scary things inside than outside.”  Last week’s post was scary for me.  I don’t know why at the age of 42, it is still hard for me to put certain things out there.  It wasn’t hard for me to talk about binge eating, but it was hard for me to talk about high school.  Anytime I’m unsure about a post, I run it by my husband first.  He is the anti-social-media man and a very private person, yet he 100% supports everything I want to do.  (Happy sane wife, happy life.)  I read it to him and he basically said, “You were bullied in 5th grade and had a hard time in high school.  I bet more people walk around in high school uncomfortable than comfortable.  You should post it.”  Hearing him use the word “bullied” surprises me….shocks me….because I have not thought about it that way.

The next morning just before posting Hills and High School, I decide to go for another hill-repeats run.  I wanted to run with it one more time before making it public.  On this run, I actually noticed a correlation that I had not before.  My life used to be an open book, my emotions worn on my sleeves all the time.  At some point in my adulthood, I started bottling things up.  And while I held back, my friendships changed…I had a harder time making real friends….the ones you tell anything and everything to.  When I started running, my emotional bottle was uncorked….and over the last few years, my friendships have changed as well.  Deeper, truer connections…. spending less time with people who I have superficial relationships with, and more meaningful time with the people I really care about.  And there was my answer again…uncork it…put it out into the universe, and the result will be ok.

And with this post that I was so hesitant to put out, scared to just say yes I was bullied in 5th grade and that effected me for the following 7 years….once I put out what seemed so scary on the inside, there really was nothing scary on the outside.  The feedback, whether public or private, has only reinforced that I should continue to be uncorked.  So with that, on this journey of running and writing that I am on, I will leave you with one more Jake quote on journeys (original writer unknown)….Until next time…:  “Maybe the journey isn’t really so much about becoming anything.  Maybe it’s more about unbecoming everything that really isn’t you so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.”

**The following are mostly screen shots from Jake’s Instagram.  Since he’s not here, I didn’t ask him if I can use them, but he has a public account so I’ll assume he will be ok with it.  If you are on Instagram, you may want to follow him under username trainerjake.  His Instagram posts are definitely much more interesting than mine.  And if you are in LA area, his class and website schedule is found on


Jake’s last rooftop yoga class before he left. He is in the gray tank above the letter Y, and I am behind him in a green tank between 2 shirtless men (coincidence..I swear). A couple other Jake fans made the “We love you Jake” sign.


Jake’s “Journey” Post on IG


Jake in Peru…while meditating …gotta love it!


Jake and “Crossing Bridge” quote on IG


Lastly not Jake but me; running at Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point, California


About Paria

Runner, mother, pediatrician, blogger

14 comments on “Crossing Bridges

  1. I once had a yoga teacher “therapist” and I remember how hard it was when she moved to Portland. I think it’s awesome that you have Jake and next time I’m in LA, I’m going to find him and take a class! Hopefully with you in it… 🙂

  2. I have my “sports psychologist” and trainer, Becky. I’m amazed at the wisdom she imparts during our sessions. She’s way younger than me, and in many ways, so much wiser. I’d be really sad if our training came to an end. I know it will someday….

    • Jake will be back next week…and hopefully you can continue to train and gain wisdom from Becky for a long time….if not once a week, then at least once a month.

  3. I used to have a Jake yoga instructor. Before the boys, I went to yoga at least 3 times a week and felt the same connection you do to my instructor. He also left, but for good and to a studio 45 min away. I stopped practicing and had my babies (and started running again!) but his words are with me, 7 years later. Love this!

  4. Since you’re sharing quotes heard at yoga, I thought I’d share a quote from my yoga class this week:

    Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”

    ― Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum LP

    What I got out of hearing this quote was “break down or break out to break through”. Get rid of old patterns and habits that don’t serve you anymore. Break down limiting concepts of self to get to your authentic self. In the winding road of progress, find your purpose or direction for some sweet living.

    Keep breaking through!

    • I love this quote…particularly the “you have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth.” I am now ok with everything I feel….I let myself feel all the emotions rather than hiding from them…and if I need to run with them to do it, then that’s what I do…

  5. Love reading this beautiful post, quotes, and comments! I am really sad to read you were bullied in middle school but glad you are running and writing, processing and feeling and sharing with us your experiences and wisdom that we can all relate too. Thank you Jake … for loving, for teaching..,it is great to have a special teacher. Mine are ones whom I have never met…. Thich Nhat Hahn and Tara Brach, as well as Eugene Cash whose meditation talks I would attend weekly when I lived in San Francisco. There books and teachings keep me going, are on my bedside table.

    I agree and love that last quote about the process of unlearning and unravelling to become what we are naturally and truly. Like the fragrance of the rose that is deeper when the petals are removed one by one, and like the love and heartfulness bubbling deep within us. Reminds me of what I was trying to achieve with my ‘mind as sky’ meditation this morning on my way to work to keep my mind open and expansive like the sky and not confined by body, head, rules, judgements…free, expansive and unperturbed by the flowing currents that come and go, and unconfined even by identity of you or me….

  6. Another beautiful post, Paria! What I love and can read between the lines here is that, while you love having Jake present, you’re doing just fine while he is away. He has passed on his wisdom and you have been a great student. Keep up the great work!

    • Thank you ….yes…. I think that running has taught me that I am strong and have resilience, and that should my “therapist” be gone or some other change happen, I can find ways to handle it.

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