Middleton Yogi of the Month: Field Stark

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When the basketball coach called my mom to try to recruit me in seventh grade, she told him that her girls didn’t play sports. Tumbling into my twenties, I found that I loved to exercise! I had trained and gotten my CNT (Certified Natural Trainer) at the Monkey Bar Gym where bodyweight training and clean eating are part of the practice. I worked out with my friends at Pat’s Gym and Paik’s Traditional Martial Arts (PTMAC) where my son trained. In 2009, I trained intensely to earn my certification to teach Russian Kettlebells. I was burning the candle on every end and I was enjoying life. A routine visit to my doctor started with a diagnosis of a hernia and quickly turned serious after the ultrasound showed multiple large fast-growing tumors.

I knew I wouldn’t be throwing any of my roundhouse kicks to the head for a while. My goal of testing for my next Tae Kwon Do belt and continuing my sparring training was on hold. I had to get off the fast track. I needed to find a place to breathe and heal. I woke up on 12/20, with 23 staples in my body and a diagnosis of cancer. For exercise, the nurses let me practice ankle rolls until I could learn how to sit up by myself. I am still amazed at how quickly life can change.

I stumbled into Dfly on New Year’s Eve. There was a special candlelight class with movement and meditation. Through the windows, a gentle snowfall dusted the ground. In the quiet, I could focus and breathe. While some illnesses have no early diagnosis, being in tune with your body is key. I am happy to see so many people carving out time to grow their own yoga practice. By drinking lots of purified water, eating a nutrient-dense diet and enjoying sunshine, laughter and time on the mat, we bring out our positive energy. We cultivate a warmer heart space. One of the changes in my life has been finding gratitude. I am thankful to be part of the vibrant Dragonfly community. Thank you for sharing your practice.

From instructor Tiffany Geier: “So much love and congratulations to Field! Her strength and determination on the mat is absolutely stunning. She radiates pure positive energy. As one of Field’s instructors, I know that I have grown as both a teacher, and yogi. Chat it up with her sometime, or lay your mat down next to hers, you too will find her energy contagious. Xo”


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