I’m excited about this lesson. OK, so it’s Tuesday afternoon which means half the class are rigid with cold from the hours mucking out horses while the other half are high from a practical morning in the feral construction workshop, but I know these learners. I know how to engage them.
Standing in my usual place of welcome at the door, I greet each weary arrival with the sunny smile I’ve dragged from the depths of my shoes. I greet by name each disgruntled face in-between singing along to the ‘happy’ playlist I’m pumping out from the whiteboard behind me – swaying my hips and bobbing my knees; knowing full well that I am an absolute abomination to the cool crew who grunt past me, eyeing me with incredulous smirks. They giggle, at me, with me, whatever. I’ve raised a smile. Mission accomplished.
My electric energy remains high, stretching and twisting to avoid the metaphorical missiles of coarse sentences uttered in thick Midland accents. Others in the class deftly dance to avoid very physical missiles aimed with precision at foreheads framed by ears seemingly unable to hear the 15th explanation of a language device but finely attuned to the whistle of a biro lid seeking it’s target.
Now don’t get me wrong, there’s always fun to be found amongst this crazy tribe. Most definitely not the only teacher in the room, I feel better armed on a weekly basis with the knowledge I’ll need all too soon for the two male beauties I’m raising at home. Genuinely, what I now don’t know about tiktok, vibrators and the magical properties of the hemp plant isn’t worth knowing! I love being available for their dramas, divorces and delusions; for me, the holistic pastoral role was always one of the main draws of a career in teaching.
The young people I teach are amazing. I honestly can’t say I’d have half the tenacity they do, had I been handed the same adversities these 16-19 year olds struggle with. But this year as I turn 40, the daily search for inspiration, patience and courage to stand on the front line, has begun to wane. Teaching, listening, planning, prepping, inspiring, hitting targets, supporting colleagues – all this I do now with success. However, come 4.30pm, as the last backpacks and jogging bottoms throw themselves in a fit of hysteria back out through my door; I sink down in exhaustion. Spent. Done. Finished. Very little left to answer to e-mails, admin or parents and even less left for the two fresh faced boys who actually belong to me.
Lightning-bolt moment: it’s time to find my Zen. Apart from being with the men in my life, my main happy place is upside down, gazing at the navel on a 68×24 inch pretty bit of foam. Opening my own yoga studio has always been a cherished aspiration but I never, ever considered it a realistic ambition. Yet, here I am, £1500 lighter and a third of the way through a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training course. I’ve contacted potential venues and I think I’ve even come up with a name for my new venture!
The omnipresent bubble of excitement nestling in my belly makes me feel 20 years young again. Everything seems possible. Everywhere I look is opportunity and my brain fizzes with enthusiasm and creativity so frequently that I can barely keep up! These are only the first steps on what I hope will be an epic journey and I cannot wait to see what happens next…