Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 107 - 15 hours, 51 minutes

I feel truly blessed to have a friend like Yasmin.

(That may be a cliche thing to say, but a warning to potential readers: this blog post will be filled with high sentimentalism. Don't know how to avoid it; it's just how I feel!)

So: I feel blessed to have a friend like Yasmin. And I feel honoured to have been asked to write this post in her stead, since she's busy breaking a Guinness world record today. I'm sure many of you, like me, have been moved, inspired, and motivated by this page over the last three months. She's really pushed herself to the limits physically, emotionally, and psychologically - and like Len Blum said to her a few weeks ago, the blog has been a major part of the journey. It has forced her to reflect on lessons learned. A lot of those reflections resonated with me - reflections about the pains of personal growth and of uncovering things you may not want to see in the process, reflections about dealing with criticism, reflections about moving past exhaustion while continuing to be good to yourself. And so, I feel fortunate to have a friend who doesn't shy away from digging deep. I'm going to miss hearing her written voice here.

I guess my blog post serves as a testimonial to her initiative. Tonight at 9 pm, 12 hours into the challenge, Yasmin sat in lotus and gingerly did a speakerphone interview with the Gazette. When asked why she's trying to break this world record, she said that for a long time her work has been to encourage others to push themselves beyond their imagined capabilities and to then witness their progress. She said that doing her 108 x 108 and culminating in this 32 hour challenge was her way of practicing what she preaches. She said she wanted to inspire others to follow her lead: to not settle for what they think they could do, but to set goals beyond their limits, and then exceed those limits. In a period of transition this summer between graduate school and 'real life,' I've been contemplating my personal limits a lot. Hearing her say that really shook me, and reminded me that (sentimentalism alert!) I would be doing everyone a huge disservice if I didn't just suck up my fears and try to make my own impact on the world. Thank you Yasmin.

For those of you who want a straightup factual update about how she's doing: we're at the half way mark. It's the middle of the night. There is a very supportive energy in the room, and aside from a few tense moments surrounding witness/timekeeper/teacher shift switches and confusion about breaktimes, the environment is pretty stress free. Yasmin is getting mellow now, but her energy is good, and we're all confident that she's gonna make it to hour 32, and do it with a smile. Craig is making sure she's well fed and Frances and Marie-Anne are making sure she's on time.

A closing thought: A few of us practiced with Yasmin in the last 4 hour segment, and as did our sun salutations I counted them down out loud for us. It was bittersweet. There is something grounding and comforting about moving through the salutations and counting them, something unifying about counting them down together. It reminded me of when I first came back home to Montreal and did 54 surya namaskar with Yas on day 30-something. I'll miss the counting but we've all come a long way. It's been a good journey.

(It took me a while to write, so there's an hour's difference between the time in the photo, and the time of this post)

Oh, right, I forgot. Hi! This is Marie-Marguerite, by the way.

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