Time Traveling in Texas

I drove across Texas today. I was on a small two lane freeway in the hill country noticing the beautiful Live Oaks and the creamy white Limestone buildings. Big huge American and Texas flags fly over businesses and homes. My windows were open to the warm sultry air and ….BAM….suddenly I was 19 years old again living in Austin Texas…and the slide show of memories began:

Stretching pizza dough at work, hanging out by the pool, being young and happy, driving down long country roads, hanging out on 6th street just for the free happy hour buffet, watching bats fly out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge, taking sign language classes at the Texas School for the Deaf, going to the Oasis to watch the sun set, working at the library at the University of Texas, going to Barton Springs when it got REALLY hot, that one time it snowed and we stood outside staring up in amazement, meeting a guy who really made me laugh.

So many really good memories. It’s funny though I know not all of it was good. There was bad relationship stuff in there and lots and lots of stupid choices. But those things seem to just fade in the light of all the good things that happened here. It’s kind of nice when you get to look back and you can give yourself grace.

I wasn’t here all that long but it was totally worth it. All of the memories made me smile and I was with that man who really made me laugh for a long time. We made two gorgeous babies who are now grown and making memories and stupid choices of their own…..and BAM…..I’m back in the present.

And the present is good too.

 

 

YMCA Houston, TX

I’m in the armpit of Texas!!! Most of you know it as Houston. I probably shouldn’t call Houston an armpit. I’m sure there are plenty of people who think it’s lovely here but I’m staying right downtown and it is gray and flat and boring. There isn’t a whole lot to do in downtown. I’ve spent all week walking all over looking for the fun, kitschy, cool side of downtown and there just isn’t one. I found a book store on the map and all they had were technical manuals! The Aquarium isn’t really and aquarium – it’s a restaurant and half of the parks are being blocked off for restoration! I’m not a happy camper. On top of that everyone looks the same here! There are Stepford Business Men all walking around in their uniform of pastel colored business shirts and dark slacks. It’s a White Collar town for sure full of oil workers, paper pushers and tall shiny imposing buildings.

The one bright spot in my week was my visit to the downtown Tellepson Family YMCA. It’s just a couple of blocks from my hotel and they offer a staggering amount of group classes and Yoga. I dropped in to the Saturday10:30 am yoga class taught by Abby Buchold. Abby was subbing this class for the regular teacher and she did a great job. Abby is a 200 RYT who was trained in the Baptiste fashion. She’s been teaching for about a year and teaches part time at several different locations. She works in the oil industry as her normal job (Big surprise in Houston!) Abby has a very pleasant, calm voice that was audible wherever she was in the room. My favorite moment of the class was near the end as we were seated on our mats for a forward fold. Abby gave us a very “Texas” direction to reach back and move our “Biscuits out of the Bakery” so that we could feel our sit bones in contact with the mat – causing a ripple of chuckles. Abby – I’m totally stealing that!!!! The class was pretty basic for the gym crowd – no sanskrit or chanting which is appropriate for a YMCA class. The Asana was simple yet effective – in fact today I find that my intercostals are sore and I’m not quite sure why. As far as difficulty this class earned three stars. (see ratings below)

My boyfriend has informed me that I have been pretty hard on downtown Houston so in an effort to mitigate my negativity I have come up with the following things that I like about Texas:

1. All things BBQ
2. Texas KNOWS how to build a freeway
3. Big blue sky and sunshine!
4. Common courtesy is yes ma’am!
5. All the locals have been very helpful and friendly.

Class Difficulty Ratings:

* A very gentle class such as meditation, breath work or restorative.
** A light work out such as Yin or Seated Yoga.
*** A full hour of Asana with some flow – light sweat
**** I’m working pretty deeply, need the breath and feeling my muscles working, definite sweat.
***** I’m working very hard, trying to breath, feeling very challenged, sweat flowing!