I teach a few classes a week at the YMCA, and the past couple weeks I’ve popped into a yoga class at a branch near my house where I don’t teach any classes, but their child watch hours and group ex schedule are good on my day off. After shuffling into Sunday afternoon yoga a few minutes late, I wind up right up front just feet away from the instructor since the class is so full. Afterward, she asks my name, and I mention that I teach at a different branch. She lights up and says, “OH, so THAT’S where I know you from! You taught at Siclovia a couple months back, right?”
Sigh. Indeed, I had, and that day was some horrific cross between a shit show and a three-ring circus for me, the working single mom with 2 littles along, attempting to do it all and failing miserably. Siclovia, in case you aren’t familiar, is a biannual event hosted by the San Antonio YMCA wherein city blocks are closed off to allow people to bike, skate, walk, run, etc. without fear of cars coming through. Stations are setup along the route with food trucks, sponsor booths, and short sessions led by the Y’s group ex instructors. I had signed up to do 2 sessions, with this particular yoga instructor teaching tai chi in between.
First of all, it was HOT out. I found myself carrying both of my kids’ bikes because they weren’t comfortable or proficient in riding on their own and we were running late (as always.) I was also carrying my purse, a lunch bag, and a diaper bag, while hustling along little legs that would rather wander and explore than hurry. I had asked my boyfriend at the time to join me and help out, and he had overslept and didn’t make it out at all; an undeniable manifestation of a pattern I had been trying to ignore of him not being there for me whenever I needed a partner the very most. The kids were whiny, hot, and unhappy. I hadn’t adequately prepared for the environment in which I would be teaching because mat Pilates is primarily taught on the floor, which was impossible here for various reasons. My kids alternated between running out of sight and crying for me while I attempted to pull 30-minutes of standing exercises out of my @$$. In between my sessions I tried to help them to ride their bikes, which turned into a double tantrum literally in the middle of the street.
Amidst the debris of my crumbling sanity, her tai chi session had seemed so centered and well thought out. She had a soothing way about her and engaged the crowd with joy and ease.
I admitted there in the yoga studio that yes, it had been me at Siclovia, and my cheeks burned recalling how disorganized and unprepared I had felt, what an epic failure of motherhood I had experienced trying to juggle work with a supposedly fun outing for my kids that had been nothing but frustration for all of us from start to finish.
She told me that she had admired me so much that day, and that she had had to improvise since much of the work I started with was similar to what she had planned to teach.
I was astounded that anyone who witnessed probably 75% of my ordeal that day had come away with a sense of admiration. I certainly didn’t feel worthy of admiration, rather I felt ashamed. I had envied how well put together she seemed against how frazzled I had felt. Turns out she felt similarly about my juggling act that day.
Which I guess just goes to show, that even on your worst days, there’s someone watching you in quiet amazement of your strength. She probably has no idea how badly I needed to hear that today.