I haven’t shared a story in a while. Yeah, one of those stories. I don’t force these kinds of stories, but it’s like I’m on this streak of embarrassing situations unfolding no matter what I do. Anyways I have a good one to share from this weekend. Or not so good, blah — whatever — here goes nothing.
This story comes courtesy of a buddy of mine from hockey. He’s from Calgary and is a Flames fan. (Let’s not judge him just yet though.) For the sake of this story, he’ll be known as Flames guy. Before we get started you should know that “getting” sports or anything athletic has always come easy for me. I’m in good shape and am physically active.
Flames guy has been trying to get me to try hot yoga with him for months. I finally agreed to trying it figuring yoga would help me and my 60-year old back. He’s a pretty fit guy and said it helped loosen him up, so I said Why not, what’s the worst thing that could happen?
Famous. Last. Words.
On Saturday I joined Flames guy at hot yoga. We both brought our girlfriends too. (Brilliant, Kev.) Before this momentous occasion I enjoyed a power breakfast consisting of coffee and whatever cereal I could find in the cupboard. Oh, and on weekends I swap cream with Baileys in my coffee. (Good one, Kev.)
The four of us got to yoga and entered the yoga room, studio-place-thing… and it felt like an inferno. I now know how Indiana Jones felt in the Temple of Doom. Flames guy warned me not to wear a shirt since the 90 minute class will have me dripping in sweat. That didn’t register for a second or two. Then it did, prompting me to quiver a “Uhhh, did you say 90 minutes??”
Within minutes of starting yoga I was sweating more than I ever have in my entire life. More than my NHLPA interviews this past summer. More than any hockey game I’ve played in. One particular exercise had us holding our arms out straight. I could see sweat dripping off my fingers and arms like I was having a shower. My stomach was feeling pretty rough after 30 minutes. Suddenly that power breakfast which was delicious an hour and a half ago (lesson number one kids: don’t eat less than three hours before hot yoga) didn’t feel like such a good idea. I continued with the exercises trying to tough it out. There weren’t any clocks in the inferno/Temple of Doom so I kept telling myself we were nearly done. (Silly mind tricks, Burgundy!)
You can probably guess where this is going. In addition to the inevitable vomit I felt coming, I started feeling incredibly dizzy and lightheaded. I left the Studio of Doom to do what I’d been trying not to do since the session started. I puked in the bathroom. A lot. As I was emptying my breakfast and soul into a bathroom sink, one of the instructors started knocking on the door and yelled that I’m “too young to quit… get back in there.” What the hell? Did that mean Hawks coach (coach Reilly) from the first Mighty Ducks movie have a sex change and start teaching hot yoga in Mimico, Toronto?
I gathered as much strength as I could and returned to the Temple of Doom. Not quite as triumphantly as Paul Kariya’s return in the Stanley Cup finals after a devastating Scott Steven’s hit, but still kind of epic. Well, for me at least. Although puking damaged my pride, I didn’t feel as dizzy. Considering how smashed my ego already was, I figured this was a fair tradeoff.
(Umm… this story gets kind of gross now. That’s your warning).
Round two of hot yoga started and I was doing okay for a bit. That changed quickly towards the end of the session when we started doing heavy breathing exercises. (Sidenote: who the hell does heavy breathing exercises anyways?!) The breathing proved to be too much. As the session ended, I felt vomit come up my throat and into my mouth. People were leaving the Temple of Doom and I was at least a few minutes away from getting to the bathroom again. I swallowed the vomit. A temporary fix at best. Then one of the instructors came to speak with me to see if I was okay. It was a nice gesture but I needed to get out of the Inferno as quickly as possible. I felt puke come up my throat again. She asked if I was going to throw up. That was the nail in the coffin – now she had me thinking (even more) about throwing up. I tried to swallow the encore vomit but I couldn’t. I threw up all over myself, the shirt Flames guy warned me not to wear and my towel. My towel!
Flames guy was dying from laughing. I was dying from yoga.
Only one shower was left by the time we got back to the dressing room. Flames guy was kind enough to let me have it. I entered the shower fully clothed since my yoga outfit needed a lot of cleaning. After washing myself off, Flames guy and I were talking. I don’t completely remember this part, but I believe he said something to the effect of “I’ll let you tell the story to the [hockey team].” I laughed and said “Thanks. I’ll wait until most of the guys show up.”
On my way out of Hell the instructors checked again to see if, you know, I was still alive. They told me it’s common for people to feel like they might faint or pass out in the first session… or perhaps throw up… I’m pretty sure they were just saying that though. They went on to tell me that most men are guilty of trying to do too much in their first hot yoga class, assuming that was the case with me. I had to cut them off. That simply wasn’t the case. I told them “I wasn’t trying to do too much. In fact, I was trying to find ways to do even less. This just kicked my ass.” In all seriousness, this hot yoga stuff broke me down. It was pretty humbling.
My conclusion: Hockey players aren’t meant to do hot yoga. Now I have to tell this story to my hockey buddies tomorrow night. Wish me luck.
Stay classy, hot yoga. You totally owned me.
P.S – This post was the 500th blog in Stayclassy history. Wow.