Tag Archive: downward dog

Day 2 – Blaze of Glory

I wake up in the morning,

and I raise my weary head,

got an old coat for a pillow,

and the earth was last night’s bed

Those are the opening lyrics to Bon Jovi’s Blaze of Glory.  I mostly remember it from the Young Guns movie, an attempt to combine the Brat Pack with a Western.

Nice try Hollywood


Years ago, as I was building song files for my mp3 list, I started adding songs from the singing/musical instrument playing video games popular at the time.  I thought it would broaden my musical tastes, and help me learn the songs for when they popped up in rotation when I played said games.  At one point in time, that included an influx of Bon Jovi songs.

Somewhere along the line, my computer decided that Blaze of Glory was the most awesome goddamn song ON THE PLANET.  So whenever I opened up my setlist on random rotation, it would start off with Blaze of Glory.  So if I wanted to open up my setlist and look for rockin songs, for slow songs, for power ballads, short punk dittys, older songs, newer songs, WHATEVER, at least 75% of the time the computer starts me off with Blaze of Glory.  For at least 3 years now, I have listened to Blaze of Glory at least 5 times a week.  At least I listen to it as long as it takes for my player to load the rest of the setlist and stabilize so I can click “next”.  I usually have to listen to the opening riff and those first few lines up above.

By now I have probably listened to Blaze of Glory darn close to a thousand times.  Does that sound like a nightmare to you?  It is.  I could just delete the file, but the collector in me screams out, “but it’s in Rock Band!  You need to keep the set complete.”  Every once in a while I add a raft of new songs, hoping my computer will find one it likes better, and with well over 2,000 songs in the list, Bon Jovi shows no signs of slowing down.

It’s like when Bill Murray kept waking up to the same song on the radio in Groundhog Day.  He went through all sorts of emotions, as did I:  for the longest time I would just yell and scream at this song, for a while I would shut my speakers off until I could change songs, after a while I became really depressed, like the World was trying to tell me something.  By now, I am at peace with it.  Blaze of Glory might be one of the Songs in the Key of My Life that the Universe has picked for me.  No sense trying to fight it any more.

I got you, babe

And yes, I realize the computer probably likes the file name, in some sort of alphabetical Dewey Decimal System sense, but I have changed the file name a handful of times, and it makes no difference.  It doesn’t start with this song 100% of the time, and on those days it doesn’t I almost might feel a little sad.  I mutter the lyrics to myself every now and then.

Hey Jeremy, what’s the song you’ve listened to the most in your life? 

Me, oh… Blaze of Glory. 

What??  Is that your favorite song?

No.  But it is my anthem.

…you got a problem, buddy.

So.  Today.  I felt exhausted when I woke up, but I knew I had some yoga ahead of me.  And those lyrics sprang to mind.  My anthem comes to my rescue yet again, reminding me to just go for it, even if I am likely to fail.  Is that deep?  Or is it just… the power of BON JOVI.

New Jersey’s finest

I wanted to take in one of those nice morning classes, there was one with some Yin in there, which sounded great for my aching joints.  But I couldn’t, I had… some stuff to deal with.  I will draw your attention back to the themes from Day 1, and just say that… I had some issues to sort out first.  Once those were out of the way, I headed out, and made it to the studio for the last class on holiday Sunday, the Noon “Detox Flow” class.

Detox Flow at this studio is taught by Tiffani.  It is a Seane Corn-inspired sequence, again in a hot room, for about an hour.  The goal is to string together a sequence of moves that will help your body cleanse itself of the toxins in our environment.  So, in honour once again of my blog from yesterday… there would be bits of Seane Corn in my movements today!

Well?  Nothing?

Fine!  Humour is subjective.

I have taken a few classes with Tiffani, and don’t know her that well, but Tiffani carries the dubious distinction of always seeming to be the teacher teaching the class I wander into when I am feeling at my lowest.  Over the past year I have taken a class with her when my shoulder was BECOMING sprained, so I didn’t know what was wrong, I just knew it felt bad in my body somehow, and it made my practice awkward.  I did another class with her when I was dealing with some stuff in my personal life, and again today I was dealing with some events in my personal life that I won’t get into.  Suffice it to say I knew I had a lot of negative gunk in my pipes, just like yesterday, but probably worse.  So yeah, more “shadow” in my practice today.

I didn’t really want to go to yoga.  On days like this, I just want to draw the blinds and listen to music.


But I was doing a 30 day challenge, and I was too stubborn to give up on it.  I would rather go out… in a blaze of glory, haha.

I wonder what Tiffani must think of me, she must be like, “what the hell is this guy’s problem?  he always seems so angry in class, but keeps coming back.”  haha, such is my life.  It isn’t you Tiffani!  Your classes are great.

So we started off with some “thread the needle” (hip stretching) and a fairly long opening savasana, ok so far so good.  Then the flow began.  We did lots of sun salutations, a lot of standing twists, a few Warriors.  Overall, it felt like a fairly shoulder-heavy class – all the time it felt like I was either pushing with my shoulder (like with chaturanga), or lifting my shoulder up and against the socket (lifting my arms up and behind my back for a wide leg forward bend), or stretching my shoulder out when pulling something (like in happy baby).

happy baby

This was the first time I had done yoga classes 3 days in a row since I had sprained my shoulder.  My shoulder had had some good workouts on Friday and Saturday.  But today, with what SEEMED like a shoulder-intensive sequence (although I might have been projecting my own feelings), I found it really really difficult.  Downward Dog is supposed to be a rest pose, but for me it just felt like the pose I do to NOT let my shoulder get any rest before we flow through the next set of moves.

down dog

I had to sit out a few down dogs, and let my shoulder recharge.  As I did a few recharges and the class kept going, then just like yesterday the frustration started to creep up.  Along with that frustration was a bag of mixed emotions over the things in my life I could not change.  As the flow kept going, I thought, “wasn’t this class supposed to be an hour?  FRIG, how long is it?  did they change it to 90 min and not tell anyone?”  Time slowed down to a crawl.  I used to be able to breeze through a 60 min sequence, but this one was giving me grief.

I started to turn into THAT guy.  You know the one, he should be resting but he isn’t so when he breathes in and out it sounds loud and angry?  Yeah, I started to become THAT guy.  Loud and angry breather guy.  I knew in my heart of hearts that when you lose your breath, you aren’t doing yoga any more.  But I didn’t want to stop and calm things down, I wanted to “force” my way through the class, like I wanted to “force” today to be over with so I could move on.  In retrospect, it was pretty shameful.  But again, that’s life, not always pretty.

Even for the final savasana, when you are supposed to surrender, and let your body cool down, I still couldn’t surrender, I was obsessed with going out in a blaze of glory.  Shiva wasn’t going to lay down before Kali in corpse pose, he was going to get slaughtered, defiantly.  When everyone else was slowing down their breath, I was covering my face with my palms and tensing up my arms, balling my hands into fists.  I felt emotional.  That’s how much gunk I had to shake off today, it was a bad day in progress.

I got it out of my system to some extent.  I tried to at the very least leave it all on the mat, leave it in the hot room.  After class, Tiffani gamely agreed to take some pixx, even right after class, at our least composed.

See how we have our arms around each other?  That was her idea!  Noone hugs me at my sweatiest, holy jeez!  Haha, yoga teachers of the world, consider the bar RAISED.  If she can be kind and understanding enough to accept me at my worst, then maybe things aren’t that bad.

(By the way, I am leaning away because I felt awkward draping my sweaty armpit across a woman’s shoulder.  My momma raised me different than that!  haha)

It hasn’t been my favorite day today.  Normally when I have days like this, I lock myself away, and I flood my body with sugar and caffeine and chemicals.  But this month was going to be different, I went out in the sunshine.  I exercised.  I hugged people.  I ate real food.  I drank a lot of water.  My day didn’t magically become awesome, but I did what I could with what I had.

Another challenge day over 🙂  See you tomorrow.

back to the mat

I put my game face on today.

got a good sleep the night before, went off to work, ate well, headed to the gym after work.

shoulders & triceps first

I grabbed the 25s, and supersetted front raises and side raises.  Then I supersetted front raises and reverse flys.

12 front, 12 side, rest 2 min

12 front, 12 side, rest 2 min

12 front, 12 reverse, rest 2 min

12 front, 12 reverse

Then I grabbed the 50s for some slow shrugs.  Shrug, hold for 4 seconds, then lower.

12, 60 sec rest, 12

Then triceps (60 sec rests)

close grip bench 135×10, x10

T-bar pushdowns 130×12, x12

DB kickbacks 30×12, x12

dips…. ugh, let’s talk.  1, 1, 3

I am not used to doing kickbacks so I kept the weight low.  They didn’t feel comfortable, so I am going to borrow a trainer friend next chance I can and get some pointers from him on form.

Dips – I used the dip station, and I normally do them seated.  I was VERY uncomfortable, lol, I kept swinging and I coulnd’t lower all the way, so I stopped.  I became worried about how they felt on my shoulder as well, dips are risky for me, so if I am not comfortable with the form, if I am unstable, I wouldn’t continue.  So my reps really suck.  Next time I will do assisted dips so that I can work the triceps without risking my shoulder.

Then I loosened up:  joint circling, then as the mat was full of people stretching, I tried one-arm fingertip pushups against the wall, lol!  Those were hard!  2 sets of 5, on the pads of my fingers, moving the hand closer to the center of my body for the stability.

Then 2 sets of 10 eagle claws.

Then I went to go hang from the chinup bar.  25 seconds widegrip, 18 sec closegrip, 15 sec hammer grip, 12 sec widegrip.  Widegrip was really the most comfortable, the other grips I was too close to the backpad, and I had to pull my legs back when they hung, which made my hamstrings want to cramp, lol.  But the times weren’t too bad for me.

But it’s not over!  Then I headed to Spin class, 1 hour.  At the end we did some HIIT Spin: 1 cycle of 7 repetitions, 2:1 ratio.

But it’s not over!  Then I went to a yoga class right after, not hot yoga like I normally do, some regular temp stuff.  It was my first time back on the mat in close to 3 weeks, since I hurt the shoulder.  It felt good, but downward dog was wearing me out, and my chaturanga was pretty sad.  But considering I had a shoulder workout before, I didn’t judge myself too harshly.  We had some great stretches for the hips, Pigeon feels good!  Reverse Warrior also felt really good, decent backbends on my Warriors.

So yeah, I pretty much ran wild all over that gym tonight, lol.  Let’s see if I wake up dead tomorrow…