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!