My darling wife is the healthy one in our relationship. If she had her way, I would exercise constantly, eat only healthy food, and drink gallons of water every day.
She keeps me on an even keel. It’s good.
She also motivates me to try new things. I’ve gone places, tried new activities and discovered many new things because of her.
I complain a lot to my wife. She calls it whining. I whine about the kids being messy. I whine about my aches and pains or being tired. In her patient way, she tells me to knock it off.
She also, on her good days, tries to get me to shut up. She tries to give me alternatives.
One of her latest ideas is yoga. Yes, yoga.
Several years ago, a group of buddies and I started a workout program in our church basement. We popped in some manly workout DVDs and proceeded to get as fit as possible. I’m proud to say we went on for more than a year with that routine, five days a week.
For a while, we took some time off, then resumed our regimen and went on for another year or so until our heels, hips and knees started hollering at us.
Some of the group members were in better shape than others and were probably glad to unload the old guys with the plantar fasciitis and weak hips and knees.
Regardless of our issues, we all got to be pretty tough about our workouts. However, we all agreed that one of the workouts was one we would avoid: the stretching workout.
No foolin’. There was an entire workout session on the DVD devoted simply to stretching. We scoffed, we poo-pooed, we avoided.
Then on one day, probably when the first hints of heel, hip and knee pain started to surface, we gave the stretching session a shot.
And we were hooked. We never missed a week without it.
Fast forward to recently. I’d tried some yoga stuff and I didn’t like it. I’d forgotten how good the stretching stuff felt and also how important it is.
Michelle does yoga with some friends, and one of her friends is actually a yoga instructor. This friend is in great shape, and it’s all because of yoga.
I recently met this friend’s gentleman friend, also in good shape, who is also a disciple of yoga life.
So, along with my constant complaining of creaky joints and aching body parts, Michelle talked me into doing yoga with her in the evenings.
It’s quite a sight. Here’s this 6-foot-4, large man doing yoga beside this tiny little woman. I sweat at the drop of a hat. She almost always wears multiple layers of clothing.
So, off we go. There’s a lot of breathing and mindfulness, which normally I would make all kinds of fun of. But hey, this stuff actually feels good!
As we sit there breathing and being mindful, I start to notice how relaxed I am. In fact, if the yoga instructor on the television would tell me to lie down on the floor, I’m thinking I might grab a pillow and take a snooze. I’m that relaxed.
Not much time has passed before I take off my hooded sweatshirt and sweat starts to soak into my T-shirt. I’m wishing I had put on shorts instead of sweatpants.
I’m relieved to see my usually cold-natured wife breaking a sweat as well. As I see her removing her sweatshirt, leaving her with only a T-shirt, and then choosing to take one pair of her lounging pants off (remember she wears two layers, usually), I can’t resist poking fun.
“Why are you taking off your clothes? Just exactly what kind of yoga IS this?”
She does not respond. She is very mindful. Her mindfulness does not include her smart-aleck husband.
There are plenty of yoga moves I can’t do yet. I don’t like to bend the way the instructor wants me to bend. Or, she asks me to bend a certain way and my body just says “No way.” I complain and whine a little.
My wife continues to be mindful and ignores me completely.
I creak and groan through the session and, in the end, am glad I did it. I even look forward to the next session.
I started thinking about all those Charlie Brown “Peanuts” sayings from way back. You know, the “Love is” phrases?
Love is doing yoga together. And putting up with all your husband’s creaking and groaning.
Thank you, sweetheart.