by Steph Creaturo
When I teach, I use the analogy of “being in someone’s foxhole”. Meaning, I get in there with you. For a set of instructions, with a pose – you’re with me and I’m with you and we have a moment. It could be a moment of understanding, of learning, of connection – but we’re in that moment together.
Today, I was reminded of the importance of having good people in your foxhole. I ran (and finished!) the Brooklyn half-marathon. A huge goal of mine as I recommit to my running practice, and also my first half-marathon. During the course, as I ran with my legs and my thoughts, I had moments where I felt very alone. I had moments of doubt and wondering if I would be a DNF (Did Not Finish) in the race results.
But then. There were people in my foxhole. There was the lululemon Brooklyn cheer station at mile 5. Smiling, familiar faces and personalized cheers. There were my friends at mile 6, with water, bananas, smiles, and signs for me. Just me! It changed everything. They reminded me, “Oh right. I can do this.”
But then, almost more importantly, there were the people along the way that I had no clue who they were. They rang cowbells. They had funny signs. (“Run like you stole sumthin’” was one of my favorites). They gave us water and said “great job” in the pass off. They said things like, “keep your head up, look ahead” which is important to keep your alignment and fight off fatigue. There were the few on Ocean Parkway who knew there would not be a lot of cheerers along that part of the course. So they took on the mantle of the whole crowd for all of us, with plenty of high fives and “you can do it!”s.
It’s really easy to remember how good it feels to have your people on your side when things are good, like the high of a half-marathon. It felt good to have people in my foxhole. It felt good to let people into my foxhole. It also got me thinking that foxholes aren’t that big, especially as we get older, and the daily demands of work and family and general life emerge and compete for our limited energies.
And then, there are people in your foxhole that need to get out. You may need to sage that foxhole and clear it out. I often say, “sage that bitch”. As our foxholes get smaller, as our lives get fuller, we often end up with cluttered foxholes – full of people we really don’t need anymore. Things that don’t serve us.
We need to spring clean our foxholes as we do our homes and desks – removing the things and people who no longer serve us, and making space for those that do. We can be more open to those who are really in our foxholes because they’re on Team You. We can open to the moment in front of us, like when we need that high-five from a stranger at Avenue I.
In Sanskrit, there’s a concept called spanda – where your energies are aligned and flow with the intentions of your soul, and those energies harmonize with all beings. It’s a cool concept and certainly one that I connected to on Ocean Parkway on Saturday. But, I was also reminded that spanda can get blocked, dull, cluttered. This is when I’d say I’d say, “sage your foxhole”. Clean it out, and make sure the people in your foxhole would bring you bananas and signs at 7:30am on a Saturday morning. And if the answer is no, then sage that bitch.