Today killed me. I left the room. I didn't even really choose to, when it finally happened. There was no choir of angry voices in my head demanding that I leave. I don't really remember making the decision. I got up and walked to the open door to take a breath, because I couldn't breathe and my heart rate just kept going up, and up, and up. When I got to the door, Antonia, one of the staff members, was outside, took a look at me, and said I should come outside, sit down, and drink some Pedialyte. I was shaking so bad, and so, so, so ashamed and disappointed. Craig said first week that we should imagine being able to look back on our training and be able to say we never left the room unless it was an emergency, that we never took the easy way out. I don't know if this was an emergency. I didn't know what else to do.
When I was in the lobby, I started to cry, but no tears came out - my body just did the crying motion in my shoulders and chest, the shaking and the wracking. I was, and still am, so disappointed in myself. The disappointment was quickly replaced by anger at seeing one of the fellow teacher trainers, whom I have mentioned before, the guy who doesn't seem to think he has to do any actual work, sitting in the lobby with his legs crossed, having a conversation with somebody, "cooling off", perfectly calm. I drank my pedialyte, shot unnecessary eye lasers into him, failing to cause his death, realized I was just projecting my own shame, and got back into the room. I couldn't really do the rest of the postures very well. I tried Camel, had to take it super easy, and did finish all of Rabbit and the end postures, but with only the bare shreds of energy. Bikram finished class (he was teaching) by saying "You guys did pretty good, physically, but mentally you are shit." He then got down of the podium and left class without a final savasana, which has not happened before.
I worked really hard this weekend studying anatomy. I really, really wanted a perfect score - for no really good reason other than to feel like I was doing all I could do. I got two questions wrong on the test, and it just completely took the wind out of my sails. More disappointment. The question I got wrong was not in the study guide, is not in our anatomy book, and was mentioned in passing in the lecture. AND, according to the internet, is WRONG. The question was, "What is another name for Adrenaline", and the answer they're looking for is "Norepinephrine". This is incorrect, even if that's what Dr. T said in our lecture: Wikipedia Adrenaline . I'm really pissed about that. And I got another question wrong, because I let my logic (faulty) override what we were told in the lecture. The thing about all of this is that I really, truly know that it doesn't matter whether or not I got 98 out of 100 correct or 100 out of 100, yet I still have this disappointment about the whole dismal day.
In the end, it was Clodagh who helped me get over this. I could barely hear her on the phone, as I was using my precious break minutes to wolf down a burrito in the fast food place, but she reminded me that I didn't come here to win an anatomy award or to have some superficial boy scout badge of "never left the room". I came here to find out who I am, to find out what I can do, and to learn to teach so I can help other people start in the direction of finding themselves. (Hey! I can answer that question now!!! And mean it!!!) What matters is that I know the anatomy, which I do, and that I can use it to help myself and help people, which I can. What matters is that I'm honest and disciplined with my practice, not that I'm perfect at it, and that I did the best I could, correctly - which I did. These are the things that will make me a better teacher and a better student - not little boy scout badges. Thank you, Clodagh - I love you.
The day ended with a 4 hour Bikram lecture on yoga philosophy. Again, somewhat meandering and abstract, but good. He does manage to say some things that I find deplorable, though - today's gem was that "Man likes another Man, they do coochie coochie, they go against the nature and the god, they get AIDS and they DIE." Bikram seemed to lose a few supporters on that one. During a break, a boisterous Australian girl burst out with (quite loudly), "Somebody should ask Bikram, 'HAVE YOU EVER SUCKED COCK? NO? MAYBE YOU SHOULD, YOU MIGHT LIKE IT...'". Quite an evening indeed.
One of my teachers, Stef, is here - she made me a bag of super secret super power seeds to eat, and gave me some support, despite my rough day. It's wonderful to feel like people got yo back. Thanks everybody. (Two more days until HALFWAY MARK!!!)