60 Days On the Mat – Day 13: Then You Stand, Yes.


I love this song.  I drove from Austin to Arlington today which is roughly a three hour drive and passes through three radio zones.  I started on an Austin station and heard Stand.  As I moved into the Waco market, within three songs I heard Stand.  And finally I rode into the Dallas/Ft. Worth market, and again, Stand.

I decided to pay attention to Stand.  Someone was obviously trying to tell me something. What are the odds of that?  It’s not a new song.

I found a vinyasa flow class before leaving Austin.

I think I know how drug addicts feel now.  I’m glad my drug is yoga.  My body is physically changing; I’ve never been this strong.  My clothes don’t fit.  I have real abs.  It’s as if it all just appeared.  I’ve been working at it for months, but it seems as though I woke up a few days ago and someone had taken my old body.

Today I was completely focused on the physical.  There were no flashbacks, no memories, no dreams — nothing.  Nada.  It was all technique.  My mind was empty.  There was a laser focus on strength.  I was rolling through chaturangas into upward facing dog without pause; I was one with the mat.  If there had been another class afterwards, I probably would have gone again just to avoid.  I say there was nothing in that brain of mine, but there was — dread.

I was dreading the drive to Arlington.  Not because I didn’t want to see anyone, but I felt homeless.  I was going home to no home.  There was no place to go and have my head scratched in the back bedroom.  Where was I going to hang my hat for the night?  My uncle’s house in McKinney was too far because I had to be back in Arlington early.  I was lost in a town I lived in for 18 years.

After yoga, I set the Hertz Never Lost for my grandparents house in Arlington — I didn’t need the guide; it was more symbolic, I guess.  They don’t live there anymore.  My GranGran died in 2005 and Memom died in 2009.  But it was the only address I knew, so I headed there.

I drove up.  They had removed the tree.  The door was red.  My family has fixed it up to sell it.  I couldn’t get in — so I just sat in my car and cried.  I wanted to go in and hear the door creak; see GranGran in his chair and kiss him hello as I walked back to Memom’s bed.  I wanted my head scratched with the thickest nails in the world.  Could someone give me that one more time?


I called my husband and he was laughing it me.  He said, “You guys act like that place is Southfork.” 

I said, “It’s better than Southfork.”  And for me it was.  Both my grandparents homes in Arlington and Arkansas were complete constants in my life. They never changed.  They are still some of the only telephone numbers I know by heart.  Of course, they no longer call anyone I know.

My husband has never had to lose a constant.  We still go there every week for dinner. He’ll know what I mean one day.

I pulled myself together and drove to the Hyatt Place.  My home away from home.

The first thing I did when I walked in the room was play Stand again and dance.  I know it sounds insane. This whole journey is almost like an out of body experience — even though I’ve never been so in my body.

Chaz always makes us dance for several minutes in the middle of class.  When I first did it I hated it.  I would do anything to not dance, but here I was dancing alone in a hotel room. I have no idea.  I’ve stopped trying to explain myself.  I’m over 40 now, it’s the only excuse I can come up with for my bizarre behavior.

I decided to check-in on Facebook and see if anyone was around.  Within minutes an ovarian cancer survivor, Ang, who I have known virtually for years, responds.

I’m so excited!  We’re been trying to connect for YEARS and tonight we did it.  She picked me up and we went to a bar nearby and the evening was such an unexpected surprise.

About 15 minutes into our Shiner Bock (I only had one tonight) — she proceeds to tell me how much I have meant to her during her cancer fight with tears in her eyes.  She tells me that I don’t even know what I do for people with kindness and support.

I am in tears.  I make cancer videos — I had never had anyone say this to me.  I was so touched.  You honestly never know how you are impacting the people around you.  She gives me a glass Christmas ornament filled with sand, with Hope written on the outside and a feather painted on it.

The feather has a story.

We originally connected through this fantastic women, Lauren, who fought breast cancer valiantly.  I talked to her several times on the phone, but never met her face to face.  I loved Lauren because she was a bullshit free zone.  She called it exactly how she saw it.  She and Ang were really close; Lauren told her before she died she was going to haunt her with feathers. She does.

Tonight I felt like Lauren was there with us.

Ang and I talked for several hours; like we had known each other forever.  She told me how Lauren always said, “Everyone has their cancer.  It may or may not be cancer, but everyone has that life-altering event.  Something that changes them.  It’s their cancer.” 

It was in this moment, I knew why Stand was the song of the day.


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