Wednesday, March 23, 2011

i've been getting restless in the afternoons.

maybe it's staring at the computer all day. maybe it's improper hydration or lack of riveting work. maybe i need some b vitamin supplements for a little extra energy.

anyhow, that's beside the point of my story. it's just to preface you that i wasn't in the most energetic of moods this i usually prefer to be. i knew, deep down, that a rusty class would turn that all around for me even though i was questioning even attending at all.

sitting on my mat before class a woman lays hers next to mine.

"hi!" she says. and disappears.

moments later she's back. "hi, again. i'm sherry."

(it's usually rare to have such friendliness in y-o-g-a of all places).

i've noticed sherry before. maybe it's her incredibly slender physique, but i've definitely spotted her.

"hi, i'm gina"

we have small-talk for a few seconds until there is a short silence.

she then adds, "i rode on a scooter with a 'gina' during the 1989 earthquake. she was the only person i knew that had a way out of downtown with all the chaos that was going on. we hopped on that scooter and got the heck out of there. everything was crumbling and we just needed to get home to fillmore."

i thought this was the most endearing memory of someone with the name gina. can't you just picture two young women in their twenties on a vespa zipping home up the steep hills of san francisco?

great mental picture.

"...gosh, i wonder how she's doing, i don't keep in touch with her now."

sherry was my new best friend at that point. i told her i was five years old in 1989 and we joked how she was "old" and got married at twenty three. "age is relative though" she adds. she told me how she had to act older than she really was at my age because she was "signing deals with big clients and had to talk the talk."

now she's in her forties and chooses to "do things she's scared of" that she didn't do "back then," like get her yoga teacher training.

she showed me her decorated sigg water bottle after i showed her "peace love gina" on mine. hers had a squaw valley sticker on it "because i love to ski!" and a namaste sticker "that my husband gave me for christmas!" her next decoration of choice to fill the blank white space that was left was "an elephant sticker because i just love elephants!"

as the moments to the start of class approached i mentioned that i love to chant. "oh me too" sherry said. "i can just feel the joy in my heart when i do it."

i couldn't agree more.

and just like that, a complete stranger brightened my day. i vow to be more like her. to say "hi, i'm gina" to someone who least expects it.

*picture via one of the most talented fashion photographers i know.


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