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  • Writer's pictureSteve Szakal

And That's OK


Last weekend I was awake for almost 36 hours straight.  Saturday morning I taught the 8:15am yoga class.  I went right to the running store after to work my shift till 5pm.  After my shift was over I ran a 12-hour race that started 7pm and finished at 7am.  I ran all through the night completing a little over 60 miles.  I then headed back to the studio to teach my 9 and 11am classes.


I started running about 11 years ago.  When I started running it was just something to do to get in shape.  That mindset changed to running as fast as I could to set PR’s and qualify for Boston.  After a few years of marathons I got into the world of ultras.  Road races gave me anxiety because of the large crowds and heavy security.  Trail races were more intimate and running in mountains gave me a sense of peace that I needed.


My yoga practice has also evolved over the years.  I went from yoga practitioner to a full time yoga teacher.  I have studied with some of the best teachers in the world.  My yoga practice has evolved from mostly focusing on the physical to now my focus is on yoga philosophy and transcendence.  My experiences with plant medicines and psychedelics has opened my mind to who I am and my true nature.


During the 12-hour race last Saturday, something happened around 2am.  I started to get tired, but not tired as in my legs were tired from running, but tired in a sleepy way.  My legs felt fine but my eyes just wanted to close.  It’s a very strange feeling.  You almost find yourself sleeping and running at the same time.  It lasts for about an hour or so then you body kind of snaps back.

Sometimes in these moments of great fatigue the mind goes into a dream state.  From my experiences with psychedelics and my personal yoga practice, I’m able to tap into these dreams and better understand them.


I passage from the book The Leftovers came to me.  It was a letter from Nora, a woman who lost her whole family. The sentence that kept playing over and over in my head:

“I'm beyond repair. Maybe we're all beyond repair.”



This powerful sentence made me think about my own life.  I have spent the last 25 years trying to put myself back together.  I know I am broken and I have done so many things to heal.  This one sentence from this book made me realize that I am beyond repair and that I will always be broken.  Running around in circles, in the middle of the night, in the pouring rain revealed to me that being broken is ok.  It’s who I am.  It doesn’t mean that I can’t be happy.  Knowing the truth is what will make me happy.  I don’t need to fix myself. I am who I am, and that’s ok.


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