One of my bestfriends was coincidentally meeting me in Seoul. We coincidentally met on the job while working in the building coincidentally next door to SkyLab in NYC, where I coincidentally first smacked into that AGY a-stand.
We were having so much fun that it only occurred to me on Friday to book a class for that weekend. What are the chances of a class being available on such short notice?
Let me tell ya, using Google translate to understand a Korean website one sentence at a time was harder than graduating from McGill University with an Electrical Engineering degree. But I never lost faith.
My AirBnB host made several calls for me and eventually got a hold of someone who was driving. They said they would check the booking system once she arrived at her destination. When I got home that night, my host told me they called back and I'm registered. Yay! See, miracles happen all the time. Talk about a trust exercise before the class ever began!
I showed up at the Chung Dam studio, which was in the swanky part of town. Finding the studio is always a challenge and dang, the class was almost twice as expensive as one in Vancouver. But when you’re the world’s biggest AGY fan, you’re the world’s biggest AGY fan.
Walking into a brand new place not knowing the language, the people, nor the studio policies always shocks my system. I couldn’t tell my nose from my navel, which reminded me of my very first AGY class in NYC.
As an overachiever, I push myself hard. I wanted to be as good as the slim, powerful, acrobatic women in the class doing flips and tricks. By the end of the class, I was so nauseous, my teacher had to sit me in the corner. And in the corner I sat... for 45 whole minutes... before I could remember where I lived and walk home without feeling like I was going to throw up.
But because I bought a 3-class pack, I was determined to use them all up. By the 3rd class, I finally honored my own pace like a proper yogi.
Three things I learned that day:
⁃ The magic happens outside my comfort zone
⁃ Don't compare my beginning to someone else's middle
⁃ Upper body strength is actually a thing! And a thing that one can acquire over time.
Back to Korea. I signed up for a Suspension Fitness class because I didn't want to attend Fundamentals 1. I wanted a challenge. Be careful what you wish for.
My teacher, Lucia, asked me if I understand Korean. I said no, with a forced smile that showed all my teeth, and hinted at me being the kind of eager beaver who'd always raise their hand in the classroom, with all the right answers and asking a million of questions.
She had a look of both "oh, boy, she's gonna be trouble" and "she's cute, this could be fun". Laughter ensued from the whole class, and I just kept smiling. To really thrive in this world, you gotta develop a sense of humor.
I learned two new moves that day. My teacher had to come untangle me for both moves lol! I could tell she wanted to laugh out loud, but bless her for only laughing to herself. Lucia is wicked strong! She pushed us hard. And wow were the women in the room strong!
I'm always irritated by shy Asian girls who cover their mouths when they laugh. I want to flick them on the head, rip their hand off from their mouth and have them laugh out loud from their gut like a hyena, until they cry of joy. That is what I want. So to witness these beautiful, strong and graceful women break that shy stereotype was such a powerful moment for me.
I was always 1/4 step behind in every move since I guestimated the verbal cues, but wanted to wait just long enough to mirror my follow students. Safety is important here, so you may not want to try this at home.
Each time my teacher counted down, all I could think about is, “God I hope she's at 3, 2, 1 and not at 7, 6, 5. I really, really should have learned my Korean numbers.
At the end, during savasana, Lucia came to still my hammock and spritzed me with delicious aromatherapy and off I went into "I want to lie here and never move again" land.
Besides, after that class, I couldn't move anyways.
See you in a few days Bali!