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"Stretch beyond your flexibility. Push. Push. Push." It's hot yoga time. 105 degrees and what feels like 100 percent humidity (I exaggerate on this latter point, but only by a little).

My inside voice screams: "NO. DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO." The non-conformist in me always puts up a fight.

But my body follows the instruction and miraculously, pulls itself several inches further in a direction I didn't think was possible (thank you Leslie and Jayson).

Week after week, this internal argument happens. Week after week, my body surprises me, flexing, reaching, balancing, gaining strength. A very physical confirmation of my inner Rocky. Do you remember Rocky IV? By far my favorite Rocky movie--the Siberian workout in the snow and ice ingrained a need to do almost everything the hard way. The road less traveled was indeed going to be more satisfying, especially if it's paved with waist deep snow, boulders, and a mean Russian bully (or perhaps, he was just misunderstood and used for the powers of evil).

This time two years ago, everything in my being craved the road less travelled. I didn't know where it was going to take me, but I knew I needed to be on it. I gave notice to all that I was good at and all that was familiar. The only time I've looked back was to smile and say thank you for helping me get to where I am now. And where am I? Well, at the moment tucked under a blanket with a mound of laundry that needs to be folded and a very fat, wheezing cat at my side. I can hear my kids giggling outside the door. I spent the morning reading Jesmyn Ward's "Men We Reaped," drinking coffee, corresponding with a dear friend about cronuts, and watching the snow fall outside. In two years time, I have dropped 45 pounds, have learned to sleep through the night, and no longer find myself holding my breath. I have gained a son and a presence in my daughter's life. I no longer drink. My body simply began to reject it. I work hard at doing less. And I ride bikes. Lot's of bikes.

Change manifests itself in unexpected ways. I am not at my destination. And, don't get me wrong--my current path is checkered with Ivan Drago's. But I've learned that when I shed myself of all preconceived notions, take a deep breath, and push beyond my flexibility, I am tougher than all Russian bullies combined.

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