Monday, January 3, 2011

Keeping It Fresh and New

The surgeon held the beating heart in his hand and gently turned it on end so that we could see the twisting motion of the left ventricle, like a towel twists when you wring it out. I was at the Pumps and Pipes Conference, a collaboration between heart surgeons and oil and gas engineers sharing their expertise and technology to solve each others "pump and pipe" problems. We were watching a live feed from an operating room a few buildings away at the medical center. I was grateful for the man laying on the table with his chest open who volunteered to allow us to view his bypass heart surgery. When I was in college I considered the specific discipline of bio-medical engineering within mechanical engineering, but never switched. Medicine and surgery have always fascinated me and the operation was amazing.

What I remember most are the words of the surgeon as he held the man's heart in his hand - "Isn't it incredible. Isn't it beautiful". Here was a doctor who has probably seen hundreds of hearts, if not thousands and his natural reaction was amazement and appreciation. This man truly loved his work.

This morning I drove downtown with the convertible top down on an incredibly sunny, though cold, day to teach two cycling classes in a row at the downtown gym. I had the heat on under my seat and the hot air blowing full blast as I clutched the steering wheel with my driving gloves on, wondering if the surrounding drivers thought I was crazy. (Probably!). I only teach at this gym occasionally, so it was a treat to work with a different crowd. Though the process is the same - warm them up, kick their booties, cool them down - and you don't really go anywhere, class is always a new adventure. The music changes, the people change (though there are always a few new faces - even in my regular classes), and their faces change as they struggle to survive. I like to teach at different gyms occasionally, just for something new. So, it always stays fresh and exciting.

In yoga class I try to work on different poses each time I teach so the members always get a different experience. I've taught for many years and still delight and enjoy it every time. Next week I will attend a yoga conference in San Francisco to learn new techniques and methods to keep my classes interesting. I am eager to return to my students and experiment with them. This retreat to one of the most beautiful and exciting cities I know is one way I keep it fresh and renew my attitude.

What will you do to continue to make your work new and exciting every time?

It is a new year. Keep it fresh. Keep it new. Happy New Year!