It all started with a mouse.
Well, it technically started with an email from my old yoga studio - the one I’d been actively avoiding for at least three or four years. This particular email caught my eye because the studio was hosting a yoga challenge and I had gift credits from Mother’s Day burning a hole in my virtual pocket. The challenge was to do 30 yoga classes in 40 days - a simple enough challenge, and I have to be honest with you, one that I was happy to take on because frankly, It Was Time. It was time for me to get off my butt and yoga is all about that but also you’re supposed to lay down and just chill out if you need it, and that seemed flexible and easy enough to me.
Boy, was I wrong. The first few classes kicked my butt, my shoulders, my feet, and somehow, also my teeth. Everything hurt. I was terrible at it. In fact, I’m still terrible at it. But before I knew it I was 10 classes in, and then 15 classes in, and I just couldn’t quit at that point. I was hooked. Also, I’m sorry to report, I was starting to feel GOOD. Like, confident and proud and strong GOOD. Like, maybe I’m one of those yoga people?
Hahahaaa…let me tell you, the universe has a way of showing you who’s boss.
So I’m about 20 classes into the challenge, and that day class went very well. I was sweaty and limber and in a hurry, so I did what I usually do - I left without saying anything to anyone, and ran down the stairs to where everyone dumps their shoes. I had already slipped my foot into one of my shoes by the time people started crowding around me and then I got distracted when I heard the lady behind me stage whisper, “What. Was. THAT?”
I knew what it was before I saw it. Or maybe I’d seen it and hadn’t noticed? All I know is that I followed her eyes and I saw a little tail UNDER MY SHOE. And reader, I froze. I just stood there like an idiot and watched the mouse turn around, and look at me. THE MOUSE LOOKED AT ME, AND I JUST STOOD THERE.
(Have you ever looked in a mouse’s eyes? This one was actually kind of cute…with tiny little eyes all black and shiny and I can’t believe I just said that and I’m still freaked out by it.)
But I just stood there, until the lady behind me went up a step and then the spell was broken and I went up two steps after her.
“That’s a mouse! I saw it!”
“It is! I’m glad you said something OMG I WOULD HAVE STEPPED ON IT!”
And with that we both ran up the steps all the time keeping our eyes on the mouse.
By that time the rest of the class must have figured out what was happening and rushed back into the studio or something, I’m not sure because I was focused on the brave little mouse down by the shoes. At some point our yoga teacher came out and said something along the lines of “What? A mouse?” and I bravely and accurately played the part of the damsel in distress instead of the serene yogi I was supposed to be turning into and pointed at the shoes and begged him to please DO SOMETHING.
So the poor guy went to the shoes with a crowd of his students staring at him and then he stood there a minute, because what do you do in this situation? Eventually he started to pick shoes up. As he picked up my shoe I came to the horrifying realization that my cosy moccasins with their sheepskin lining make perfect rodent nests - ewww - I can’t handle it! I won’t survive winter.
It was quiet and you could cut the tension with a knife. I was actually dying.
“I’m going home barefoot!”
“Your shoes are fine. There’s no mouse here.”
“Can you check inside just in case?” I felt terrible as soon as the words left my mouth, but there was no way I was checking because I’m both a monster and a scaredy cat.
I sensed some hesitation, but hey, it’s not like I could blame the guy. In any case, he, brave, stoic teacher that he is, put his hand inside my shoe. And there was no mouse.
He picked up a few other shoes, and the little critter was gone. Which I think made it worse.
So he gave me my shoe back. And I put it on, because it was cold outside, and what can you do?
(I’m now at day 25 of yoga. There’s your happy ending! But I don’t leave my shoes outside the studio.)