Today Margaret and I watched three and a half movies. The first was Sweeney Todd, only the first half-hour, since the disc was too damaged to play entirely. We thought that the movie would be quite perfect for the day, since it was rainy and uncomfortable outside and having been gone since Saturday morning at a wedding outside of the city, the thought of the pull out couch, Chinese food and a sweatshirt couldn’t have been more appealing.

The second movie we put in was Michael Clayton, and even though I was napping during the 10 minute scene in which one of the main characters was murdered, I found it to be a solid movie. The third movie on the agenda was 21 grams, of which I had no idea what it was about, nor did I expect a jigsaw puzzle of a story which finally connected three strangers after a series of sad, raw and twisted events. After two thrillers and an Spiderman intermission we settled on a comedy, Run Fatboy Run.

The main character was an “un-fit”middle-aged man, Dennis, who couldn’t quite seem to be able to get it together. To win the respect and favor of the woman who he left on his wedding day (pregnant), he declares that he will run a marathon which is only three weeks away. Although I am not running a marathon or trying to win favor or respect, I have been running for thirty minutes once or twice a week, and I am finally back at yoga, sweating for 90 minutes and calling it detox.

It’s amazing that something like Bikram yoga, which is about as uncomfortable as the weather today, could make someone feel good but it really does. The first class I took this month was absolutely brutal. I felt weak, pathetic and frumpy. But after a few classes, I began to win back some of the progress I had made in the earlier winter months of this year. When describing it to some people, I feel as though I do have to defend the investment of my resources in Bikram, like someone who got into one of those pyramid schemes. And although it’s 90 minutes long, and when I do go I’m never home before 9:30pm, I like just really like it. I also enjoy the instructors, mostly because of their “talks” at the end of class when we are all lying, flat and dehydrated, while we listen about determination and discipline like kindergarten kids winding down for nap time after a firefighter or policeman’s lesson on safety.

The other day he was explaining the notion of coming to terms with yourself and “giving back” something that wasn’t helping you. His example was his mother’s habitual “you must finish you plate” mentality as that contributed to his unhealthy food habits. My friend and co-worker recently came back from a spa seminar in Utah, where she participated in an awareness hike and buried something that she wanted to leave behind in the Utah mountains. Lately I’ve been hearing a lot the “rid yourself” scenarios. Next time I’m lying flat on the yoga mat, hopefully Tuesday, I’ll anticipate another healing mental exercise which might dangle self-satisfaction just ahead of my reach and shine a spotlight on it. It’s not that I’m not a believer in the mind’s wondrous and unforseen powers, I just believe that hard work might get you there too. Wherever there is.

At times, I feel like the un-fit-middle-aged Dennis, who wants so desperately to triumph in such little time. After all I’ve grown up in a time when immediate results are expected, as in Michael Phelps one-minute commercial on learning the Chinese language through Rosetta Stone. After two weeks of yoga and more than a month of twice-weekly 6:30 runs all of my pants are still too tight (even my safety pair that always fit), I still love french fries, salt and bacon (not together), and still need to take a breather after walking up and down five flights of stairs in 10 minutes and possibly eating a banana afterwards to avoid leg cramps. As always, I have a few more miles to run.