Designed to Compete

So I woke up yesterday morning early.

I haven’t been running and working out as I regularly do for maybe 2 months…I can feel it.

To me running is like a drug…but I must not be very expert at it and, as I do with most things, I keep doing it excessively and causing injuries…which then stop me from working out and then re-begin from scratch…it’s a cycle I haven’t been able to break yet.

My Fav Running Shoes

Anyways…I’ve been feeling extremely tight in the past 2 months and can’t stretch as deep as I could before. This bothers me. I don’t want to not be flexible. Nor do I want to think I’m getting old and that’s really what’s happening to my body. No!

So I had the bright idea that, since I was up anyways, I would go to a Hot Yoga class at the place I used to go to almost 2 years ago. Some heat, stretching and heavy sweating would do me good. I pushed myself out of bed the whole time in doubt about going.

I made it there. The instructor I loved before was no longer teaching the beginners class. Luckily I was too tired to be an idiot and go to the expert class just to be comfortable with someone I knew. It would have killed me for sure.

The beginners class is practiced in a cooler room…still hot to me since I love freezers more than beaches. Here’s where I began to feel what then pushed me to write this post.

I walk in…it’s a mixture of people. First thing I do; I size everyone up. 1 girl is pretty but she’s chubby so, I win. There’s a girl way in the back, she’s tall, sexy long legs, cool leggings too, skinny…damn it. Her face is so-so but still, body is better than mine. I grew weary all ready.

The instructor comes in. She’s okay…too much talking in a hazy lulling voice…I dislike this.

She asks who’s new. Most of the class raises their hands. I get a smug happy feeling at not raising my hand…bitch.

We begin and I have to make a very strong and conscious effort that, it is not a competition. I am here to stretch only as much as I can, that I should treat my body nicely, that this should help me no injure me further…just so I was tracking you know? I think I 85% agreed with myself. I did have to repeat this mantra a couple times through the class so I wouldn’t kill myself and end up in a lifeless puddle of sweat.

The first 25 minutes I’m annoyed because the class is now taught differently, I swear it’s not as hot as last time and I feel like I just paid to do basically nothing but listen to a yogi instructor on some sort of calming peyote. I begin to think of possibly leaving, maybe I should have bit the bullet and gone to the expert class and actually have done some work worth paying for and…waking up out of bed for.

Then after about 30 minutes we begin lifting legs up in the air, arms, random contortions…I can’t do them all without my muscles literally shaking. I look like I am having a seizure…I think…what the fuck is this?! I can’t even pull my leg up anymore and when I do I look like someone is tazing me.

Anyways, I was sweating a lot. This made me happy. I think I needed some sort of warmth in my muscles and some detoxing.

Through the whole time though I tried not to, but wasn’t even 55% successful, look at other girls and see how much they could do. If they couldn’t I would feel a little better, if they could I would tell myself to stop comparing, if I could do it smoothly then I would bask in my glory and pretend I did not care about comparing and was simply an expert yogi at peace.

By the end of the class, while the instructor tried to tell us to clear our minds and cool down in various non-painful stretches, I was already contemplating why I was such an insecure, competing bitch *laugh* okay maybe less harsh. 

I decided I couldn’t possibly decipher why and that I would chalk it up to:

1. Being a woman,

2. Being a bitch,

3. Everyone competes,

4. At least I know it’s wrong,

5. I will write about it and admit to my ridiculousness

So here I am. I am sore, feel silly and wish I had a better body. At the same time I know I look pretty good so it’s a mixed feeling.

In the defense of women, men apparently do the same things in their less descriptive and imaginative ways. They size each other up all the time. Who’s got the bigger muscles, who’s more trim, who’s more of a d-bag etc etc.

So…is it really what the very logical and less poetic groups on earth call the primeval genetic coding in all human beings? The fact that we are “programmed to compete”, the “survival of the fittest” and so on?

I can’t imagine being consumed by something like this. I get along just fine without needing the person next to me fail utterly.

All I know is that, if I can’t even relax and get through one hot yoga class without constantly keeping score and sizing up the competition…I have a lot more things to learn for myself.

And besides, even when you “win” this constant checking doesn’t stop. You have to “defend your title” all the time it seems.

So; are we genetically programmed to “compete” or is it all in our head?

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