I secretly hoped it would be like riding a bike. Well, not exactly like riding a bike. I didn’t want my butt to hurt.
But I did hope everything would come rushing back – the poses, the breathing, the vocabulary, the flexibility.
After all, I had a steep learning curve when I first started. I fondly remember my initial attempt at “crow pose.”
For those unfamiliar, this is what it looks like when done correctly:
|© Barry Stone|
The first time I tried it, I balanced precariously with my knees on my elbows, hovered for two seconds, and tipped forward. My head hit the floor with a THUD. Everyone in class turned to stare.
Not very zenlike.
Determined to get it right, I went home and practiced in front of Pythagoras. In addition to a degree in exercise physiology, my husband possesses infinitely more athletic prowess than I do. I demonstrated the pose for him. This time, I held it for three seconds before my head hit the floor.
Pythagoras nodded wisely. “Maybe you should wear a helmet to class.”
I’m nothing if not determined, so I practiced and practiced, enduring several mild concussions and a one-week period where I thought my name was Eduardo.
The day I finally got it, I squealed with joy.
And promptly fell on my head.
So you’ll understand the terror I felt yesterday when, 15 minutes into class, the instructor ordered us to assume the pose.
It was a bit like the times I’ve taken breaks from writing fiction. On several occasions – operating under the misguided belief that I shouldn’t waste time writing something new until I heard back from a prospective agent or editor – I simply stopped writing.
Sure, my day-jobs have typically involved writing in one form or another. But there’s a big difference between crafting a press release and creating characters and plot arcs out of thin air.
After every hiatus, there’s a moment of white-knuckle fear. Will I remember how to do this? Will I have to re-learn everything? Will everyone stare when my head hits the floor with a THUD?
And then, there’s that moment of elation. The instant I realize I haven’t forgotten anything at all.
That’s one valuable lesson I learned along my bumpy road to publication. Even if you take a break, you don’t forget the things you’ve already figured out. The skills you gain, the lessons you learn – you get to keep those.
I’m not suggesting you should take long breaks from writing. On the contrary, I’ve kicked myself each time I’ve done it. But if you do stray from your muse for a little while, rest assured you won’t start over from “see spot run.”
Oh, and you’ll be happy to hear I successfully assumed “crow pose” in class yesterday. I did not, however, manage to get my ankles behind my head.
We’ll save that for next time.