Sometimes you just have to take a break so I did. I took Sunday and Monday off. I listened to my body and gave it the break it requested so I can go strong until the very end of this challenge. Rest is an integral part of #30DaysofFitness and I’m reveling in it. Until tomorrow…


Class with Courtney today was great! 3rd time’s the charm. Also got to see a few old friends at the studio. Wonderful day! Today’s greatest victory involved me waking up at the time I’ve been attempting to train myself to wake up and staying awake. I am stoked and encouraged. Other good news is no more yoga every day. Every other day starting Monday. Looking forward to having more time.



Today’s Bikram yoga class went by like a breeze! World Champion Courtney Mace taught and there is just something about her pace that makes me fly every time. It’s the same class and it’s just as hard except it isn’t.

Since my reset, doing Triangle has actually gotten easier or, shall I say, more manageable. In the past, it was torture. When I first started practicing Bikram it usually was the indicator that the Standing Series was almost done and all I had to do was hold on. During my 136 consecutive days of practice, it was just plain hard and I struggled to hold it. With this new run, it hasn’t been difficult to hold Triangle.

Let me be clear, Triangle–and all of Bikram yoga for that matter–remains and will always be challenging. It’s just that I have a chance at actually getting into the posture with the dialogue and holding on to it until the end. Courtney’s words and style today made it that much more easier.

I also am more aware and more willing to push myself these days. In the past, it was all about preventing injury. This time around, I feel strong. Here’s to getting stronger and healthier at the end of these 30 Days of Fitness!

The Dissection of Justice – Thoughts on Trayvon

ImageAs someone who recently buried a loved one, I have come to terms with a certain truth (at least to me): the dead are at peace, it is those who are left behind who are tormented until they address the unfinished business involving the dead.

I am calm, clear and resolved.  What might cause a jury of peers to determine that justice was irrelevant?  Maybe it was the listless, lackadaisical, asinine, presumptuous, lazy, uninspired prosecution’s failure to deliver a convincing case even for manslaughter.  All they had to prove was that the individual committed an act that caused the death of another individual.  No intent.  No layers of history.  Just “Did this person kill someone?”.

Which brings us to a mitigating factor for manslaughter: provocation, where it can be proven that the party who was killed somehow engaged in behavior that caused the other to harm them.  Did this person do something that caused the other to engage with lethal force?

Apparently, while many of us were in tune with absurdity of not considering that someone who was rightfully walking home from the store, at night, in a place where he was a welcome guest, and was followed by an unknown, menacing man, might find himself baffled at first, then terrified when this man unlawfully engages him in combat without provocation, there seem to be many others who are not.  Envision this: you’re minding your business walking down the street and a creepy person who is obviously not the police approaches you, you may run or you may fight.  You may be appalled that this is even happening.  Who is this and why me?  And you fight.  And you die.  But it is because you fight that this individual can say he killed you out of fear of his life–the very life he endangered by inserting himself aggressively into yours.

All of this is open to interpretation.  It was the prosecution’s job to fine tune and shape this interpretation–to hammer it into the jury and out of each and every witness.  Yet, it seems, that even the prosecution didn’t have the heart for it from the very beginning.  Might it have been some feedback loop of believing the case wasn’t winnable and therefore not bothering to attempt to make it so?  Or maybe it was something more insidious like the prosecution connecting more with the aggressor than the victim?  That might account for countless opportunities to prove that all that could be done to win was done were so carelessly–almost handily–and summarily discarded: 1. Jury selection 2. Witness preparation 3. Cross examination 4. Failure to paint the accused as the menace he was at least to the person who died even if he was not considered that in his community and countless other slippages.

The prosecution may not have cared.  They may not have tried.  They may have been altogether to sympathetic to the accused’s plight considering that they are called to defend the same actions when they are attributed to the police.  They may not have had it in them.  The ball was never dropped.  It was allow to roll away and deflate in a corner.

But yes, back to unfinished business.  The dead are free or at least no longer concerned about what is here.  Those who are a left behind are charged with tying the loose ends of the dead or face torment when they are unable.

These are the loose ends that keep are currently keeping me away:

  1. May Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin mitigate the loss of their child and the disregard of the prosecution and, ultimately, the justice system with a wrongful death suit that will deprive the man who blotted out their son’s light of the money he has amassed through his infamy.  May he find no peace in any corner and may restitution haunt his soul requiring a balance he will endeavor to but can never repay.  May the parents of one lost so suddenly and unceremoniously extract every single ounce of what each and every one of those days that led up to 17 years might have been worth.  May they avail themselves of passionate, compassionate, brilliant, indomitable counsel that will be the gladiators for justice that they were not afforded in the criminal case.  May they comfort themselves with an accounting of who their son could have been and see it reflected by the one that took that life as his spends his life paying for that life.
  2. May you stop–even in the midst of your sadness–wistfully and smugly comforting yourself with statements that you knew this was going to happen because things are so unjust when it comes to matters of the brown in the US.  Being resigned to hopelessness breeds hopelessness.  It also makes you believe you are doing something when you are doing nothing but sighing into the wind when you could actually change the direction of the wind.
  3. May the anger, sorrow, hurt disappointment for those affected by the end of this chapter be a lesson that grows into transformation.  We are not helpless.  Our fear of helplessness, after it stops choking us, leads to complacency brought on by the resignation that things will never change.  Your boldest weapon is hope.  Your boldest charge is to think and act in ways that will change the shape of existence.  May you be up for it.
  4. May we have the compassion to understand that others do not see what we see and have victory in this ending.  Vengeance is not yours nor does it bring back the dead.  It is a frenzy that knows no end or satisfaction.  May you be gracious knowing hate causes only you to suffer.  May you find solace in the way you reshaped the world for innocents.  May you stand your ground.

Sore What?

Day 43 with Stephanie was truly fulfilling.  It was no less difficult than any other day but I could really feel the effects of the posture clinic last Saturday.  My triangle posture is improving by degrees and I wasn’t sure I’d ever have the stamina to hold or even attempt to do that asana correctly.

I was sore from Saturday’s extra work but today my body let go of that ache.  I am opening up and my abs get sicker with each day.  I have a shadow pack.  I can be with that.  Being ripped isn’t the aim here but it seems to be the slow and steady side effect.  I’ll take whatever benefit I get.  See you in the hot room! Namaste.

Slow & Steady

Day 4 was uneventful but it did mark the first time where I wondered why I got myself into this challenge in the first place.

Stephanie taught and my practice was solid. Only thing is that since I’ve started my appetite is huge & I sometimes over eat. I happened to eat way too much a few hours before class and it was with me through every posture involving my stomach.

I found where the magic missing cellulite went. It’s in my inner thigh. Let’s make that disappear too.

I got some specific, very helpful corrections from the teacher today. While I know I’m crazy, I’ll be back tomorrow for some more!

Sometimes You’re the Bug

In life, sometimes you’re the bug and sometimes you’re the windshield. In the 9 days of my 30-day fitness challenge I’ve been bug and windshield interchangeably.

I’ve powered through workouts often but there are some days when I can barely raise my arms to do half moon during my Bikram session. It’s been difficult maintaining integrity during a yoga session where I could just nap and no one would be the wiser. I hang on a weak thread of accountability knowing that I will come here and report to you. I can’t stomach lying so I do the yoga when I really, really don’t want to. Thanks for being my partner in this challenge.

My brother has accompanied me on my hour-long walks and pushup journey. He does not like crunches and can barely make it through the first 2 postures in the Bikram series. I’m looking forward to his first proper Bikram yoga class when we get back to New York.

He’s been supportive and stayed in the room as I finish my sessions every once in a while. His being there pushes me that extra mile to improve and endure.

His presence leads me to difference between being the squashed bug or unshaken windshield: community. I can’t do this without support. Very little would exist in my world without my community of family, friends and unexpected cheerleaders. Again, thank you.