A sweet little gift from my locker neighbor at the Y.
Today my body went to yoga but my mind went elsewhere. After my body realized my mind wasn't doing yoga, my body didn't want to do yoga either. It became this frustrating battle of trying to engage physically and mentally until I realized, "I do not want to do this. This doesn't feel right for my body right now, and that's okay." So halfway through the class, I rolled up my mat and left.
To be honest, I felt embarrassed, weak and lazy. I hurried out of the room as fast as I could and tried to tell myself that I did the right thing, that it's okay to listen to myself and say "This isn't working for me today." As I was lost in thoughts of my shameful yoga "practice" I rounded a corner in the womens locker room and bumped right into my locker neighbor! She is a sweet sixty-something Vietnamese woman who speaks broken English but makes me laugh and smile every time I see her.
We always run into each other. There could be no one else in the entire locker room, and we will inevitably be there, standing 4 inches apart, opening our lockers.
And that's how we met.
It just kept happening every day and now I look forward to seeing her. On the rare occasion that I don't see her, I write her a little note and stick it to her locker, even though I'm not entirely sure if she can read it. Neither of us really speak the other's language (at least she speaks some English, I have no idea how to speak hers!) We're an unlikely pair of buddies, but it works.
Today, when I bumped into her, both of our faces lit up and we started laughing and saying the little phrases of English that she understands. She told me to follow her back to our lockers and pulled out a little package of cucumber makeup remover facial cloths and handed it to me. "I love you," she said. "You good lady." We hugged and my little Vietnamese buddy went off to "punch, punch" in her Hip-Hop class.
I felt touched on two levels. First, that this woman would bring me a gift and tell me she loves me, even though neither of us even knows the others name. Second, I'm grateful that I listened to my body today and bowed out of my yoga practice. If I hadn't, I'd be suffering through an unproductive time of rote exercise, and I would've missed the special time with my locker buddy.