Ray, Reggi, Andy and I set up in our "usual" spots and break a sweat just putting our mats down. Class starts and it's a pretty good size crowd. We are all sweating during first breathing. Awkward series was brutal, we were held in second part forever second set. My legs were shaking like crazy, but I hung in there, trying to focus on breathing. By eagle I noticed my chest and face was beat red, sweat pouring off me like rain. By the time we got to balancing stick, there were downed yogi's taking a knee scattered throughout the class. I kept plugging away, red faced, trying to ignore the sounds of yoga carnage around me. Loud breathing, sighs, grunts, it was crazy! It was hot, humid, tough. By the time we got to triangle I was at the point where I needed to take a knee. I was unsteady on my feet, dizzy, losing focus, exhausted. I bent my knees, heading toward my mat when all of the sudden a voice said "don't bother Michelle. She'll just call you out. She'll say Michelle get back up , you can do this, don't give up" and you'll have to get up. So don't bother taking a knee. Instantly I sucked in some air, straightened back up and finished out the standing series to the best of my ability. The floor series didn't get any easier. Camel about ruined me for the rest of the class. She kept us in second set forever and I held it the whole time, seeing yogi's coming out early from the corner of my eye and hearing sounds of agony as they moaned and breathed loudly. But I held it, and when I came out, I clasped my hand over my mouth, sure I was going to throw up on my mat. I didn't throw up. I clumsily fashioned my body into a slow moving descent to savasana and just sucked it up. When the class was over, I lay there in amazement. Amazed that I didn't give up. Amazed that I pushed myself harder than normal. In that moment I loved Roberta for ignoring the whining and complaints that always ensue in the lobby afterwards. It falls on deaf ears. She stays true to her style of teaching. She doesn't waver, doesn't blink, doesn't change. And for that I am grateful. It's easy to become complacent. It's easy to take a knee when you are tired, not just in that room, but in life. So when somebody reminds you that you can in fact do it, whatever "it" may happen to be, that is a gift. We are so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for. I walked up to Roberta after class and said "hey, thank you. Thanks for keeping it real".