Stretching More Than Our Toes…

It’s morning.  Early.  I feel it coming.  Don’t want to go there.   30 seconds after my alarm kick starts my meditation CD, I’m interrupted by the tell-tale “Maaaaa-maaaa” bellowing from the hallway.

The quiet moment is lost, the CD just jammed in the player and after tending to the just erupted mini-world war, somehow I’m now twenty minutes behind schedule.

So after hastily slurping up organic oatmeal with chia seeds, finding the missing homework folder and rushing the kids off to school, I make a bee-line to my favorite weekly exercise class.  Like most moms who run themselves ragged, my intentions are stronger than my attendance record.  But after a morning like this, getting there feels like a moral imperative and this class – very much worth the effort.  Nia Fusion, is a martial arts, dance (with a touch of who-cares-what-you-look-like) movement class run by my friend Eve Fogler.

As we start working out my happiness factor increases as I see three of my girlfriends already movin’ and groovin’.  Within seconds I forget about the morning stress, and relax into this non-judgmental, supportive and just fun class.  In fact, it’s why I go – because it barely feels like exercise (okay, except for the lunges).  We all need to move.  It’s good for us, promotes well-being, and will make us live long enough to hear our grandchildren say the following joyous phrase – Oprah who?

It’s 45 minutes later and before I know it we’re on our last stretch… lie on your back, hug your knees to your chest and rock back and forth.  Ahhh. Keeping my knees together, I let my legs fall to the right and stretch out to the left – all good.  Now, I stretch my top leg and try to reach the same sided arm to my toes – not so much.  My toes and hand have no intention of meeting and from the grunts around me, I can tell I’m not alone.

From behind me I hear: “I can’t reach my toes” while a voice kicks in, “neither can I, but I can reach hers.”  And there it is – the metaphor for my life and the antidote for what ails me.  On mornings like these, when the hairdryer burns out, the kids are whining, the toast is burnt, the backpack is ripped and you’re running late . . . when you can’t imagine stretching any further to touch your own toes, you have a friend willing to reach them for you.

God bless our girlfriends.

More than the movement, the physical release and the health benefit, it’s the connection to friends and support that draws me to this class.  Like a sweet nectar shared only by Goddesses who have successfully passed through their initiation rites, we are for that one hour there to support, savor and surrender through good ol’ girlfriend gab and giggles.

It makes the rest of what we deal with at home at least, sort of, tolerable.

One Response to Stretching More Than Our Toes…
  1. Eve Fogler
    November 18, 2010 | 7:25 pm

    Thanks Shira! I am so glad you enjoy the Nia Fusion group fitness class as much as I enjoy teaching it :)It is total, unconditional fun…with a little sweat mixed in. Anyone who wants to join in the fun, you can check it out here: http://www.meetup.com/Friends-For-Health/
    And you are so right about girlfriends; there is nothing like them; just when you really need them, they are there–even if it is to reach your toes for you!

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