Yoga To Be Kidding Me

My wife and I are in the middle of a wonderful, ten day vacation at the Hard Rock hotel in Cancun. It’s been a wonderful experience so far, and the fact we’re here until the 14th makes me giddy with excitement.

We’ve also made no secret about eating cleaner and dropping weight, a lifestyle change we decided to do together at the beginning of the year. As part of that change, we’ve both realized that we need to couple clean eating with physical fitness. Although it pains me to say that with the recent traveling/vacationing we’ve been doing, I’ve put on some (and my some I mean most) of the 30 pounds I had shed (thank you, beer), I am proud to say we’ve worked out a couple of time so far on this trip.

One of those workouts was this morning.

We got up and figured we do the same thing we did last Friday. Hit the gym at the hotel, my wife on the treadmill, me on the elliptical. The difference with today was that we woke up a little bit later than we wanted to, and when we arrived at the gym, there was an instructor there. (Believe it or not, we did our first workout at 6:30 AM).

The instructor greeted us and asked us if we had any questions. She also told us of the classes available should we be interested. In particular, the yoga class would start in 30 minutes. Lee looked at me with wide-eyed excitement – she’s been taking Pure Barre classes – and I, in the spirit of being an adventurous and supportive husband, shrugged my shoulders and said, “Why not?”

Now …. I’ve drank shots I can’t pronounce, some of them having been on fire. I’ve done some crazy-ass _____ in my day, but I can’t, for the life of me, think of spontaneous decision that ended up being so ….. well, physically painful (although there was that time in high school I dove off the pier in South Beach only to belly-flop in spectacular fashion).

Plain and simple, yoga kicked my ass.

I sweated three times as much doing yoga as I did 30 minutes on the elliptical. I now have soreness in muscles that I haven’t used since Clinton’s first term. Most importantly, I have a new-found respect for everyone that does yoga on a regular basis.

It was also a very educational experience for me, and I thought I’d share some of my findings with my fellow brothers in case they’re interested in giving yoga a shot.

  • As flexible as you think you may be, you’re not. Yoga will expose you for the concrete column that you are.
  • There is no comfortable clothing for men for yoga. Boxer briefs and basketball shorts make something that ridiculously hard even harder.
  • Although you may be the only male in the class, the notion you’re going to enjoy the ‘eye-candy’ effect of yoga is put to rest in the first 30 seconds. You’re going to spend the rest of the class trying as hard as you can to not throw up (or fart).
  •  The ‘child’ or resting pose is relaxing ….. if you don’t have a beer gut. Otherwise, it’s a great way to asphyxiate yourself since your stomach rolls up into your chest and doesn’t allow you to breathe.
  • Whereas, “How much can you bench?” was the measure of how strong you are, the real test is, “For how long can you hold a bow pose?”

Child Pose

Guys, if you’ve ever scoffed at yoga – as I have in the past – and thought it’s only a chick thing, I’m here to tell you it’s one of the most exhausting workouts you can do. It’s also one of the most serene because it forces you to focus on so much of what going on with your body: breathing, balance, mental fortitude. Grunts are replaced with exhales. Posing in front of a mirror replaced with meditating on your inner-self.

The soreness in my legs and hips and arms and wrists tell men that signing up for the class was a big mistake. I can’t wait to get out there tomorrow and do it again.


Today has been a reflective day for me. Thoughts, like a steam train in my head, rolling and rambling non stop. I’ve been thinking about my life, my relationships, my kids, and what happens next. The movie in my head has been a series of flash-cut scenes full of memories, ideas, and wishes yet to be fulfilled.

2014 is a milestone year for me. The past ten years have been whirlwind and amazing. I found myself taking mental inventory of the key moments, and I thought I’d capture them as best I could using a simple phrase.

2004: My world came crumbling down.

2005: I was a complete and total idiot.

2006: I was introduced to the most amazing friends ever.

2007: I jumped out of a plane.

2008: I took the most amazing trip ever.

2009: My world was made complete.

2010: I learned to change my mind.

2011: I got to climb poles for a living.

2012: Music guided me.

2013: I was reborn.

2014: …… so far, so good.

Memory Lane

048/365 Payback

Three summers ago, Lee and I traveled to Cancun for our wedding. It was a dream scenario. Just the two of us exchanging vows on the soft, white sand of the Mayan Riviera.

The year before I had proposed to Lee as we wrapped up a two-week vacation that took us to Costa Rica and Mexico. Now we were returning to Palace Resorts for an experience of a lifetime.

We always travel with a lot of ‘stuff’, and with our fair share of the overhead compartment taken, our travel camera bag was under the seat in front of me. Overly anxious to get our vacation underway, I walked off the plane without our camera bag. When I say “off the plane”, I mean barely out the plane door onto the ramp to get to the terminal. As I realized I left the bag, I sprinted back onto the plane only to find the bag gone. Just like that, our digital SLR and our point-and-click were gone.

The fiasco of eyeballing everyone at baggage claim and dealing with American Airlines aside, we managed to pick up a new point-and-click at a Wal-Mart in Cancun (it was just like being at home).

Flash forward to tonight, the evening when my annual bonus from work came in, and Lee calling me to tell my she was on her way to the photography specialty store to pick up our her new Canon 60D DSLR. Not to mention the super-awesome lens she wanted (Tamron 18-275mm) arrived two days earlier. Like our camera bag three summers ago, a chunk of my bonus was just gone.

Payback, as they say, is ……