When a workout “oops” makes you feel like a rock star

I was so very inspired by Cate’s Christmas morning 108 Sun Salutations, which I knew about the day before because she’s in Australia, so 16 full hours ahead. When she told me she’d done it, I committed to doing the same.

Being up in Haliburton, Ontario, where it was cold and snowing, I couldn’t very well do mine on a beach like Cate. But she gave me some tracking advice, namely, to keep track on a piece of paper. Great idea!

I announced my intention to my family, at which point my brother and sister-in-law (Dave and Ruby) offered to kick off the first set with me. I calculated that, according to the math, nine sets of 12 sun salutations would come to 108.

The first set felt quite exerting already. I appreciated the company, but knew I had a long workout alone ahead of me after Dave and Ruby finished the first round of 12 with me.

Despite having done the math and even announced that nine sets of 12 would do, I had the number 12 lodged in my brain. And so, somehow (and I can’t quite figure out how it happened that I didn’t figure it out until later in the day), I got the idea that I had to do TWELVE sets of 12.

At no point after I got that in my head did I stop to re-calculate or even think of what I already know … that 12×12=144, not 108. At the “halfway mark” of six, I circled my little tally. Only SIX MORE ROUNDS TO GO!

I was already feeling tired. And hungry. In fact, I had to go grab a muffin from the kitchen because I hadn’t eaten a thing yet and I was starting to get a head ache. “Funny,” I thought to myself when I looked at the clock and realized that if I was only halfway through, this whole undertaking was going to come close to two hours, “I don’t recall 108 Sun Salutations taking two hours last time.”

But hey, I knew I’d done it before, so I persevered on, marking my little paper with a tick at the end of each set of 12. I paused on occasion in between sets to relax in child’s pose for a few minutes. By that point, I had rolled up my yoga pants above the knees and was down to my sport bra on top because I was sweating so much.

Finally, I realized I was on my last set (of course, what I didn’t realize that I’d long since passed 108 and was on my way to 144). And since my form was starting to fall apart, I really focused on my form, taking my time on each sequence.

I placed my last tick on the paper, did some reclining twists, and settled into corpse.

Image description: white pad of paper that says at the top “The Business Inn and Suites” and has two tallies of six tick marks on it, each of the two circled. That’s Tracy’s accounting of her “108” sun salutations on Christmas morning.

Later in the day, when I was talking to my step-daughter and telling her about my 108 Sun Salutations, I heard myself saying I did 12 sets of 12. Right then and there it struck me — hey! That’s 144 not 108.

Yes, I felt ridiculous for getting the math so wrong. But guess what? I also felt like a rock star because if you think 108 sun salutations is a test of your endurance, try 144! In the end, I’m actually pretty impressed with myself for doing it.

Have you ever made a workout mistake that turned out to be a truer test of your chops than what you set out for in the first place?

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