The End of the Line

I was having a bad day on Tuesday. First, I was still exhausted from Sunday’s competition. What is it about competition that is so draining? It must be the emotional/mental aspect of it because physcially it is not that taxing. Taking one 90 minute Bikram class and doing my routine one time over the course of a day is not physically demanding. On Monday, I was tired but hauled myself into a 9:00 am class as it was my only chance to do so. Then I went to work and taught an evening class putting me home around 8:00 pm. On Tuesday, I got up at 6:30am to drive back into Chapel Hill and teach a 9:00 class.

Oh how I just wanted to sleep. I must have slept on my neck wrong too because when I woke up on Monday there was a kink in it. On Tuesday morning it was just worse.

I was still not feeling positive about my performance on Sunday. A friend had video of it, but I was not in the mood to watch it Sunday evening. Then, Tuesday afternoon, I logged on to our FB group for my studio’s competitors and saw news I did not need.

Our studio owner had been given the ranking of each participant and had posted them. She didn’t have the scores. The ranking was enough for me. There were 20 females who competed. Anyone want to take a guess where I ranked? Anyone?


My heart sank. Now, I know the whole point of competition is (at least for me) all about self-improvement. But I was having a bad day. I was drained on every level. I didn’t need to know that I probably didn’t rank that much higher than last year (note: I never asked where I placed last year. I didn’t want that running around in my head).

I went to class that afternoon and about had a mini-break down during savassanah. As I lay there I thought:

What business do I actually have being up there on that stage doing these postures? I’m no better off this year than I was last year. Seriosuly – 18th place???? Out of 20???? That is totally horrible. I didn’t think I did that bad. God, I did worse than I even knew. I have almost zero ability to realize what my actual performance looks like. Why do I even think getting on that stage is a good idea? Coming in at the end like that is soooo embarrassing. I should think about quitting.

Real thoughts people. Real thoughts.

So that evening I sucked it up and asked to look at the video my friend took. I didn’t get a copy of it for myself. It’s not the best quality for sharing. I’ll share the official one – which I assume will be of high quality – when I get it.

As I watched that video I realized something – 18th place is not what it seems. And do you know why?

18th place is based on total number of points scored. I didn’t do SH2K which means I lost 10 points outright. I did my lifting lotus twice which, in retrospect, was not the best decision. It’s only worth 6 points. I did it once, was not happy with it, and attempted it again. When you do a second attempt at a posture you can only get half the points. So I was down almost 16 points to start with.

But do you know what I saw when I looked at everything from standing bow through the end? I saw so much improvement over last year! I saw that my floor bow, while still in somewhat of a man-bow state, was getting better. I saw that I got down in standing bow. Of course I saw things to work on, but I also understood that being in 18th place was nothing to throw a fit about. It was not a reason to pack it in. I was so much calmer this year than last. I moved between postures so much better and slower.

I got it. Ok. I’m ranking down near the end of the line, but it’s really not a bad place to be.



12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tallmartha
    Nov 21, 2013 @ 07:34:40

    Everyone has those negative moments, it sounds like you did a great job of getting yourself out of that line of thinking! Besides, you can’t compare ranks from year to year. You can compare yourself from year to year! Can’t wait to see your routine!


  2. MIke Mitchell
    Nov 21, 2013 @ 11:59:55

    Congrats on making it through the competition. I love your honesty. I can only imagine how disappointed and discouraged I might feel in your circumstances and I can easily understand how those thoughts go through your head. The key point is you DID it and you’re very brave for signing up, doing all that practicing and showing up and doing it. Yeah too bad about SH2K. You’ll nail it next year. I think you ended up with the right conclusion. You have nothing to be ashamed of and a hell of a lot to be proud of. Keep up the great work.


    • leighahall
      Nov 21, 2013 @ 12:11:31

      Thanks Mike. It did feel very discouraging to see I had landed in 18th place. But, yeah, I did it. Now I need to let it go and move forward to next year! 🙂


  3. Lorin
    Nov 21, 2013 @ 13:34:35

    Numbers, rank, placement, yadda yadda – meaningless. I know that is easy for someone to say who has not been through the physical and emotional marathon of training and competing! But, for me, like I said briefly to you one day at the studio seeing your practice develop and blossom (excuse that horrible yoga cliche word) is the amazing achievement. Since I was away for a huge stretch of when you were seriously training I saw a completely different practice when I returned! Which is so motivating and inspiring to people – especially for me when I feel like I’m starting my practice all over from 0, seven years on! Not only that but your dedication and love of the yoga and competition via this blog and “spreading the word” about the yoga is surely what the true goal of all the completions is. So total success! You should be damn proud.


    • Lorin
      Nov 21, 2013 @ 13:36:01

      Competitions not completions, obvs!


    • leighahall
      Nov 21, 2013 @ 13:39:27

      Thank you Lorin! I appreicate you taking the time to write that, and you’re right, I know. I just let it get to me for a moment, and I wanted you all to know it got to me. I can write about how numbers and so on are not important, and I do believe that here, but I also wanted everyone to know that there are times I have self-doubt. So hopefully, if anyone decides to compete, they will know these things are all part of the process! 🙂


  4. Kate
    Nov 21, 2013 @ 13:48:37

    Your place among the people who had the guts and dedication to get up on stage is relative – the fact is you are among the few and brave people who took the time, energy, and risk to *go for it* and for that alone you should be super-proud of yourself… even if you scored the very lowest possible. Don’t be too hard on yourself! 🙂


  5. Trackback: And Then There Was Video | My Bikram Yoga Life
  6. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Sep 30, 2014 @ 03:43:39

    The End of the Line #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


  7. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Feb 09, 2015 @ 16:12:38

    The End of the Line #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


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