• author
    • Jo Hatcher

    • January 21, 2013 in Columnists

    When things get hard — a lesson in not quitting

    I have never been someone to purposely do things the hard way.  In fact, most of the time I try to avoid anything that might be over the top hard.   I like things easy.  It doesn’t mean I don’t make things hard for myself, but by nature, I’m pretty easygoing.

    Lately I’ve been exploring where taking the easy approach might be a cover for something else.

    Like whining or quitting when things become hard.

    Last night I was in my hot yoga class.  The temperature was about 95 degrees with mat to mat people.   It was so hot and I was tired.  I wanted to get up and leave, I just wanted it to be over, I hated it.  My legs hurt and I felt weak and when I heard the instructor say, “now come into Warrior Two”  I wanted to scream.  “I’m sick of Warrior One and Two.  Don’t even go there for Warrior stupid Three.”

    For those of you who are non-yoga types, these are strong poses that you hold for various amounts of time, some longer than others.  You build strength as you do the asanas,(poses) and the warrior ones are hard. Sometimes it takes years to master.

    And it depends on how your body is that day, whether you’re tired, or if you had enough water intake, or in general what your stress level is.

    And I went because:

    1. I know it’s good for me

    2. I needed to let go of the stress of the week

    3. The yoga instructors there are so good.

    4. I knew I’d feel great after the class.

    I realized mid-week that my eye was twitching.  And what I know about my body is that when I’m stressed, my left eye has a mind of its own and it twitches.  It’s annoying.  And puzzling.

    I was thinking, what the heck, you’re not stressed about anything.  RIGHT?  WRONG.

    My sister had open heart surgery 10 days ago

    Open heart freaking surgery.  I purposely did not research this topic on the internet because I didn’t want to get more scared than I already was.

    She did well, even though she could barely walk and the doctor sent her home, less than a week afterwards.  Twenty-four hours later she was back in the ER.  Because she couldn’t breathe and she had edema.

    As we all held our breaths, she was admitted back into the hospital and stabilized.  That was mid week.  Hmmm.  MY SISTER IN THE HOSPITAL.  Big clue.  Duh.

    To get up and be able to walk after open heart surgery must be excruciatingly hard.  After they cut your sternum open, saw into your chest and then replace a valve in your heart, can you even fathom sitting up in bed, much less walking?

    My sister probably had enough drugs in her system to put down a horse and you want her to walk?  Really?  Now she has swelling all over, her heart has been bashed up and you want her to walk.  Sure.

    And she did walk.

    She bravely and painstakingly step by step started walking in the hospital.  A few steps, then to the nurses’ station.  And then just yesterday, she got up to walk and she passed out!  Luckily, she fell on the bed and not on the floor.   And her heart rate dropped to 34.  OMG.  So scary.

    And so, during my yoga, I thought about my sister.  During that hot, miserable class.

    I thought about brave people who are doing much harder things than a silly hot yoga class.  There is a person I know and love who is fighting for her life through a few steps.

    There’s nothing like having a reality check like that.  In my yoga, as I thought about the sister that I love so much, I began to inhale more deeply and exhale more slowly.

    If my sister could get up and walk to the nurses’ station and do two laps around it, then me, with a perfectly good heart and strong body, I could bloody well do Warrior 2 without whining.

    What I know is that we can do more than we think we can.  My sister can, I can, you can.  When we get our thoughts in order, we can do whatever we want.  And whining never helps.  And quitters never win.  That’s what I heard.



      • Nancy Stone

      • January 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm
      • Reply

      So true Jo. I often feel the same way in difficult situations. But if I just stop and look around me I can see how very fortunate I am to have good health and a loving, strong family. I hope Cecilia continues to improve each day.

      • Thank you Nancy. Yes, our health is everything and I feel blessed & lucky. So appreciate your support.

      • Maya North

      • January 21, 2013 at 2:38 pm
      • Reply

      Whining sometimes *does* help–it's called venting–but you do have to admit you're whining 😉 I send prayers for your sister and all who love her, because when someone you love is in crisis, everybody needs healing…

      • Maya, you are so right about everyone needing healing. My sister is much better, at home now and feeling stronger everyday. I am touched by your words.

      • ursula

      • January 22, 2013 at 6:23 am
      • Reply

      Thank you, Jo, for sharing these thought and feelings. You are amazing and your thoughts are so so helpful, sending lots of Love and healing thoughts to both, you and your sister.

    • Ursula, thank you for your kind words. My sister is much better, at home now from the hospital and regaining her strength everyday. It always touches me when people who don’t even know my sister send healing thoughts. Thank you so much.

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