This morning I went for a run on the beach. After my run, I did what I now always do after I exercise: I stretched. Sometimes I do normal stretching and other times I do a mini yoga routine.
(Let me put on my trainer hat for a minute and just say that flexibility and maintaining – or developing – your range of movement is critical for staying active throughout your life. I actually consider it a fountain of youth; after all, it’s a bit hard to do anything – normal living, not just exercise – when you are as stiff as a board. If you don’t believe me, just wait until your joints start sounding like they have sand in them. That motivated me!)
Given my proximity to the beach and the soothing sound of the surf, yoga was a no brainer.
(Plus, while I am not a total freak when it comes to creepy crawlies, standing yoga seemed a bit safer than stretches on the ground sans towel or mat.)
I was almost finished with my routine when a gentleman approached and asked if he could join me and follow my program.
(Small world. Turns out Oleg is from Moscow and is very familiar with Rosinka, where we used to live. I also found out that my pool chair neighbor is from Peoria, Illinois, not far from my hometown.)
To summarize, I did run through my program again, ending my impromptu teaching session with a rundown of the resort’s yoga offerings.
Why am I telling you this?
Because today is New Year’s Eve day and, despite being just another day on the calendar in many respects, it is not just another day. It is the day before the start of a fresh new year. A day that invites us all to reflect over the past year and take from it what jewels we have gleaned and make peace / close the door on the not-so-shiny bits. It is the day that impels us to look with renewed vigor at life’s possibilities and to make new plans or revive old ones.
And, so, in the reflective spirit of the day, it comes to me that not too many New Years’ ago, the thing on the beach would never have happened because (a) I wouldn’t know how to do yoga and (b) I wouldn’t be out running on the beach in the first place.
(And if my husband is right and the muscular, good-looking Oleg was not looking for a yoga session but, rather, “hitting on me,” then I will just add that THAT would not have happened either a few New Years’ ago.)
(And, for the record, I do not agree with my husband’s assessment and neither should you. Trust me: my sweaty Save the Rhino t-shirt, torn running pants, and Nike cap don’t exactly give off the “come hither” vibe.)
In any case, the bottom line is that life is full of possibilities and promise. No matter how late in the game we may be playing, it’s never too late to look forward, to move forward.
Wherever and whatever “forward” means to each one of us.
So, Happy New Year’s and a toast to the forwards in your life!