Originally featured on www.hilarytopper.com:

Every time I gear up for a half marathon, and I have geared up three times now, something “bad” happens. It’s nothing major, thank goodness, but it always seems to set me back.

This time, I’m getting ready to run the Disney Half Marathon with my friend, Marti DiPaola. But a few weeks ago, I went bike riding in Central Park with my family and since my seat was a little too low and the hills were a little too high, I did something to my meniscus.

Three years ago, my meniscus snapped due to a skiing accident. It took such a long time to heal but once it was healed, I felt great. I had no pain until I went bicycle riding.

I immediately went to the doctor and he told me not to run for a few weeks. He was hopeful that I didn’t need surgery if I didn’t feel symptomatic. So I haven’t exercised, not even one bit. But it’s starting to make me feel crazy.

Recently, I went to my physical therapist who said I could do low impact exercise but no running. “Not yet.”

With my husband, I joined a yoga class at Nassau Community College. We started a few weeks ago. So I felt at least I was doing something.

This week we walked in and took our spots on the floor. Andrea, our instructor, insisted that we take off our shoes and socks. She likes to start the class by asking everyone how they felt after the last class.

“I felt nausea,” one of the older women in the back of the class said.

“Hmmm … I wonder why?” Andrea asked. “Do you have low blood pressure?” The woman shook her head. “High blood pressure?” The woman shook her head again. “You know I really don’t know why you would feel that way.”
I butted in, “Did you eat breakfast before the class?”

“No,” the woman in the back of the room said. (I knew that was the reason because if I exercise or do anything on an empty stomach, I don’t feel well either.)

But Andrea didn’t think that was it. “I think you need to stop leaning over and be careful which postures you do.”

We started the program on the floor and then stood up. Andrea had soothing music playing in the background. Personally, I could barely hear it. But, one of the older women in the front asked Andrea to turn it down. “It is way too loud and I can’t hear a word you are saying!” she told her.

After a series of postures from child’s play to the warrior pose, Andrea told us to sit against the wall. “Now I want you to raise your legs high above your head with your back on the floor.”

We all followed her instructions. Two older men who were next to me were able to get there but once they had their legs in the air, they couldn’t take them down. I started to giggle. (I felt a little bad about it, but it really was funny.)

When Andrea made eye contact with me, I flagged her over to help the men get back to the original position.

After the class was over, Andrea asked my husband and me why we weren’t in the more advanced class. “I know you are runners, so you could definitely do the postures,” she said.

“I’m not a runner any more,” my husband announced to her. “I hurt my back on the last half marathon and that’s it for now.”

“This one is fine with me,” I said. I didn’t tell her that I secretly liked that all the people in the class were great characters, maybe not for a runner’s diary but definitely for a yoga’s diary!

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