“Not completing something doesn’t negate the work before it…..Energy was not wasted but created.” A quote by me, Paria Hassouri, that first appeared in the post Fear or Flight, but was repeated by Jake as the opening mantra for his class on September 9th, 2015.
Jake came back from Peru in the last week of August after an almost 2 month absence. Once he came back, I couldn’t wait to go to one of his “yoga-therapy” classes. The first time I could go was on Saturday August 29th. I had already had a group run with the L. A. Leggers that morning, and I don’t usually have the energy for a 75 minute power yoga Jake class after a run; but I knew that after his time in Peru, this was going to be an amazing class. It did not disappoint. Not only did my body get a full post-run ringing out, but it again felt like his words were directly meant for me.
As we lay in savasana at the end, he told the story of growing up and thinking of surrendering as a bad thing. He equated surrender with not being good enough or giving up. Yoga helped him see that to surrender is not bad…..rather it is to release something that is no longer serving you. And then he said, “What is the story about yourself that you are holding on to? Release it. You can write a new story. You’ve always been able to.”
I had just written the posts Hills and High School followed by Crossing Bridges in the weeks before this class. I knew that now that I had put those posts out there, I could surrender to them….release them….let go of them. I could write a new story. Actually, I have already been writing a new story for several years. Running is what helped me write this new story. Running through all the little things that I have held on to over the years has enabled me to turn the pages, start new chapters, start an entirely new book. It has served as my me-time that allows me to think about what I’m doing with my daily life, rather than just going through the motions. It has given me the confidence to try new physical activities, show up to social situations that would normally make me uncomfortable by myself, un-cork my emotions and tell people what they mean to me without holding back. At a time when I had just released some old feelings in my last two posts, Jake was validating exactly what I had done.
Just before we lay down for savasana, I had also been reflecting on how I had changed physically as well. I used to never do a run or spin class followed by 75 minutes of power yoga. One on it’s own was enough to exhaust me. Yet on that day, although I had done my run first, and despite an intense class that engaged every muscle in my body, I didn’t feel like I was on death’s doorstep. The class intensity level wasn’t any less than a couple years ago, yet I was mentally and physically so much stronger.
After that write a new story class that seemed like it was choreographed for me, I went to my car and sent Jake a private message with links to the Crossing Bridges post. Don’t hold back. Let people know what they mean to you. He read it and sent me a thank you message about how much he was moved, so then I sent him the link for Fear or Flight. I didn’t get a chance to go back to a Jake class after that until September 9th.
“Where have you been?” he asked when he saw me. “You were the theme for my last 2 classes.” He said the quote “not completing something does not negate the work before it….energy was not wasted but created” really spoke to him for a multitude of reasons, and he started class with it and kept coming back to it. And a week after that, he put our picture and referred to my blog post on his instagram, saying that “motivation is everywhere…we just have to be open to it.” Of course, I had to take some screen shots of that!
For most people, being a stalker does not work out. For me, it has; as on September 9th, I had a full-circle moment when I heard one of the people who inspires me repeat my words that had inspired him and base an entire class on them….
This past weekend I went to Carlsbad (just outside San Diego) for a work event. My first question upon checking in was how many miles is it to run down to the beach. The first things I had packed, my running clothes. And despite staying up until about 1 am on both Friday and Saturday night to enjoy wine and conversation with my colleagues, I still got up before 6 am on Saturday and Sunday to get my run in before heading to meetings. On Sunday morning, I ran down to the beach, and rather than running right back, I took the time to sit mid-run and just reflect. The girl who would normally pack her heels first had packed her running shoes first. I’ve been running and writing my new story. It is not exciting. It is not earth-shattering. It is not newsworthy. It would not make a remotely entertaining episode of any real housewives franchise. But it is mine.
*A little update: My post on the Slay Sarcoma 5K was published on Women’s Running Magazine: A Little Known Cause Of Cancer Is The Center OF Attention At A Local Race. If you didn’t read the referred to posts the first time around, they were a couple of my favorites: Crossing Bridges ; Fear or Flight And by now, I’m pretty sure you all know the amazing Jake Ferree.