pollyanna-ing the shit out of something

Oct 8, 2016 -- Posted by : admin

Life is ten percent what happens to us and ninety percent how we react to it. ~Dennis P. Kimbro


“Have any of you ever read the book or seen the movie Pollyanna?” I asked a group of students at this community class I was teaching earlier this year. One lady raised her hand, but most responded with blank stares and a gentle shake of the head. I actually preferred it this way because it allowed me to give a backstory and my interpretation of the lesson behind this classic. That lesson went a little something like this:

Pollyanna was a book written in the early 1900s by Eleanor Porter. It tells the story of this orphan who went to live with her spinster aunt – a woman who doesn’t want to raise a child, but does so begrudgingly out of obligation to her late sister. Despite this impossible situation, Pollyanna stays positive by playing “The Glad Game,” a game inspired by her late father’s perspective to always look at the good side of things. This principle is such a great one to employ in life and on your yoga mat. Think about this: when you’re in a forward fold and you start focusing on how your fingers won’t reach the floor, shift your perspective about those tight hamstrings. Change your focus to being glad you HAVE hamstrings to be tight. Or when we’re two-thirds into class and you think I’ve had you in utkatasana for entirely too long because your quads are on fire, be glad that you have quads that can burn like that as they get stronger. Or maybe you get home from class tonight and your dog couldn’t wait anymore and he pooped in your house. Well, at least you have a house to get pooped in. This, my friends, is what I call Pollyanna-ing the shit out of a hard situation.

That’s it. Easy to understand. Difficult to do, sometimes. This is what I was doing when I first wrote about my stress fracture, and it’s what I still do a good chunk of the time; BUT, I have my moments where I am emphatically NOT glad I have a tibia that could be fractured. Fuck my tibia and all the other bones that could keep me from running. Those moments, though…. those are the ones that make me stronger, bring me back to all of who I am (not just the runner or yogi), and remind me that I, too, have to depend on others to move forward sometimes. Those moments remind me that I’m just a human. I had one of those moments a couple of days ago. I’ll tell that story when I’m fully past it.

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