Monday, July 06, 2009

Flying like a Penguin

When I was a kid, more than anything, I wanted to be able to fly. Peter Pan seemed like a dream come true, but no matter how hard I wished or how much Peter Pan Peanut Butter I ate, when I jumped off the kitchen chair I landed on the floor with a disappointing thump. Gravity sucks!

I wonder how flightless birds feel. Do chickens get bummed out when a robin or cardinal zips past their hen house? Is an ostrich jealous of a vulture or hawk, gliding over the open savanna? Do penguins feel inadequate as they waddle along while petrels swoop overhead? Probably not (a good lesson for humans not to covet thy neighbors' mad flying skillz, btw), since each has nicely developed alternatives to get around.

One of the boys' books ended with a quote that "Penguins fly in the water." I've looked for an attribution, because I thought it was so sweet and pithy, but it seems to be a common refrain. It's a nice metaphor--excel and enjoy the medium you do work best in and don't worry about the ones that slow you down.

I've repeated this in my head over the last few weeks, because I've started swimming to add a little aerobic work into my schedule. I love gliding along in the pool with just the sound of bubbles and water splashing in my ears. I feel so streamlined and elegant--unlike the clunky, sloggy feeling I get when trying to run--pound, pound, gasp, wheeze. I feel akin to those little tuxedoed Southerners, darting and spinning beneath the waves.

So I'm all about finding your best medium and taking off. I'm not saying dodge the challenging stuff, but sometimes it's best to let yourself do something you enjoy and can be good at with just a little bit of effort.

For the record, I really like raw seafood, too.


Melissa said...


I love your blog and always enjoy your entries. Since I don't completely 'get' Yoga and I do completely 'get' being a mom, I always enjoy your mom-ly posts a ton. This one is stellar, so enjoyed all of it and the quick chuckle at the end. You are a great writer!


PetalsYoga said...

Thanks Brenda. This is a really good reminder for me today to be content with where I am and to enjoy the gifts I already possess. People will probably be staring at me today as I walk around waddling like a penguin to keep it in mind! ;-)

I'm posting a link to you today on my twitter account too!

zellia said...

This is definitely true. It reminds me of a book I read recently, called Lucky Everyday ( ). you might enjoy it! said...

What an uplifting article Brenda. Thank you for sharing that :)

Rachel said...

I swim too or power walk. Running makes me feel like a clunky, unco-ordinated zombie!!

A lovely uplifting post. Thank you :)

Anne-Marie said...

I remember the first time I visited a seal colony. They are most uncoordinated animals on land but just watch them in the water. They're so graceful - and they're amazing surfers!

I too love swimming; I try to get myself to the pool or beach at least once a week. I think it's an activity that goes well with yoga.

Thanks for a lovely article that made me smile :-)

Kristin said...

For me, it's spin class or bicycling. No matter how much I stretched, strengthened or just "worked through it", running hurts my shins and knee.

But on a bike, it's like I'm flying.

Thanks for a great post.

Jenn said...

Thanks Brenda. I just stumbled across your blog this morning. You have reminded me to be happy with myself, and I will get to where I want to be if I just keep working at it.

Jenn said...

I just stumbled across your blog this morning and it was perfect timing. This post has reminded me to be happy with where I am right now, and if I just stick with it, I will be where I want to be soon enough.