The past few weeks I have attended a yoga class at my gym. It is a sight to behold as I set up my yoga mat in the middle of a room of Gumby people. I am totally convinced most of the people in the class have had their bones and tendons surgically removed to allow them to fold in half like a stick of gum. As I struggle to reach my toes, the rest of the class has their head on the ground. I must be the most inflexible person on the planet.
I started attending yoga class for a number of reasons, not the least of which was to make sure the $37/month I am paying to my gym does not go to waste. Since Ironman, I have not been to the pool a lot, and I don’t want to throw away my membership dues. With Yoga Class, at least I am putting my money to use. I am also hoping the health benefits and the flexibility that I will gain from the class will pay dividends later into the race season. Regardless of the future benefits, the class is a painful reminder of how terribly inflexible I am.
This past week in class I was in yet another difficult bodily position when I caught a whiff of BO from the guy next to me. It was not terrible enough to make me fall over, but it was definitely noticeable. “Who the heck are these people?” I asked myself. “You come to a class packed with people and you can’t manage your personal hygiene?”
As the class went on and I continued to smell this guy, I grew increasingly irritated. There was nowhere to move to, and I had to really concentrate on my breath to finish the class. I imagined this guy went a few days between bathing, and that he was an inconsiderate man. He was probably a guy that snaked seats from elderly people on the trolley.
Once the class was finally over I made a break for the door to get some fresh air. Breathing deeply, I could actually still smell the man. I turned around and he was still in the room. Dang this was bad. The smell was permanently engrained in my nostrils.
I went to the locker room and changed my clothes. There it was again. That smell. Wait. The guy was nowhere to be seen. With my heart sinking into my stomach I took a deep breath and smelled my shirt. The shirt I quickly grabbed off the floor on the way to the gym. The shirt I thought was clean.
Sure enough, the bad-smelling guy was me.
I can’t tell you how much this situation has made me think about my judgments of others. This is exactly what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” except there was not even a speck in my brother’s eye.
One benefit to all of this is as I attend class next week, I may have a little extra space around me. I will most definitely make sure my shirt is clean before leaving the house next time. Most of all, God taught me a valuable lesson in terms of judging others. We each need to focus on our own walk with God. We don’t want to actually be the ones stinking up the place.