A Stretch Year

Well, it’s been a lot longer than I intended since my last post. It’s been a busy time … in the past few months, I left my job and Tim and I packed up our house in San Francisco, rented it out (thankyouverymuch, SF real estate bubble), and moved to Big Sky, Montana for the winter. Between late-November and now, we had a great trip to Dallas, the Middle East and France/Switzerland to spend time with the Trampedach family, and a visit to PA to hang with the Stengel family. With all of those long flights, it’s obviously understandable why I couldn’t write. I was far too busy watching Love, Actually for the 10th time. Priorities, people. In all seriousness, I was focused on all-too-rare quality family time, and it was great.
The newest member of the PA Stengel family ... 5-month old Charles (Charlie)

Hangin’ with the newest member of the PA Stengel family over the Xmas holiday … 5 month-old Pippet Charles (Charlie)

This winter is half sabbatical, half period of reflection and planning to land on my next career move. What would be the name for that? Sabbplannical? The sabbatical part involves indulging in a long-held desire to ski — a LOT — for a season at a great mountain. The reflection/planning bit involves a few personal projects and designing a path to a new career move come spring.

It’s an understatement to say that risk like this doesn’t come naturally to me. But so far, I’m embracing the uncertainty and relived to discover that I do in fact have the courage to step out of my comfort zone. Most of all, I’m feeling extremely grateful for the opportunity.

Now this is how a front porch should look in the Winter!

Happiness is a front porch full of winter sports gear

And so here we are in a new year, and like millions of others, I’ve been pondering what I want to get out of 2016. And I found inspiration somewhere unexpected. Before I left Montana for my PA trip, I came across a Winter Solstice workshop at a local yoga studio. The concept was a simple yogic tradition: mark the seasonal turning point of the beginning of more daylight by setting an intention and reflecting on it while completing 108 sun salutations. Why 108? Because it’s an auspicious number in eastern history, science and medicine. And naturally, the beginning of more daylight also symbolizes a time of awakening, re-birth and growth. Nice concept, huh?

Aside from the heavy symbolism, I discovered that repeating an intention 108 times is also a damn effective way to drill it into your head and heart. Like our teacher predicted, not only was the experience physically strenuous (let’s just say those 108 chaturangas stayed with me for about a week), but the frankly boring repetition was a mental challenge. You quickly lose count and the teacher doesn’t announce where you are in the sequence. Somewhere around 50 salutations, I finally felt a shift: I stopped feeling distracted and panicky, and fell into a rhythm of breathe and movement. It was a similar to when you get hyper focused on a task, and time seems to bend. It was way cool.

I could go on about the nuances of the experience — and there are a lot — but maybe I’ll cover that in a separate post. The point is that I’m excited about my intention for both the new season and the new year.

It’s simply to do more than I think.

On a literal level, it means to trade over thinking for action.

Figuratively, it means to do more than I perhaps — deep down — believe I’m capable of.

2016 will be a stretch year. And if I lose my way, I can always remind myself with another 108 sun salutations.

Happy new year and cheers to the new chance to stretch not only your muscles, but also your mind and heart.

Sun catching in the desert

Happy new year!

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Chrissy Trampedach
Chrissy Trampedach is a PR & communications pro by day and fitness buff, skiing fanatic, dedicated yogi and wannabe tennis champ by night (and weekend). As a former competitive figure skater, she’s lived a life of training and sports from a young age. Today, she fuels her competitive spirit and drive to challenge her body and mind with USTA tennis, skiing adventures around the world, the SF yoga community and tracking the latest fitness trends. She lives in San Francisco with her husband Tim and their “75-lb lap dog” Enzo.

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