Audience of Strangers

Everything hurts.  In descending order of degree, my knees, glutes, hamstrings, biceps, lower back, traps and calves are all aching – and I couldn’t feel more satisfied.  I got so lost in trying to nail the new spin section that by night’s end the ball of my right foot felt like it was missing several layers of skin.  The callus on that sucker is going to be fierce once I make it through the pain of forming it.

The squash court isn’t nearly as forgiving on the feet as the yoga room floor, but that’s the only place to practice on Wednesday nights at the gym, when yoga class runs to 8:30 and the yogis hang out until 8:45.  If I waited that long to train, I wouldn’t be home, showered and making myself dinner until almost midnight.  The choice is a no-brainer.  Tonight, it came with a ton of attention.

IMG_20140514_205624The yoga room is dimly lit and off-the-beaten-path.  The squash courts are more centrally located.  The result:  A boxer gave me a thumbs up and a big smile after stopping to watch me on the way to the bags;  the guys playing on court one watched me through two rotations before resuming their game; and everyone using a day locker across the hallway from the courts took time to get an eyeful as well.IMG_20140514_205622 If I keep practicing White Eyebrow on the courts, I’m going to feel like I’ve performed it in a dozen tournaments before I even finish learning it!  Now that I think about it, the very public nature of the training is probably why I feel so satisfied.IMG_20140514_202635I took fewer water breaks tonight and did very little sectional practice.  I did all of what I know of the form in every practice rotation, and I did it the best I could – because I was being watched.  I’m not sure if I’ve ever been conscious before of how an audience of strangers keeps me focused on doing my best, when there are no points to be scored or medals to be won.

IMG_20140514_202749

I am now.

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About T. D. Davis

Baker and former journalist. View all posts by T. D. Davis

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