No Escape: Looking for a Way in Rather than Out

Over the weekend, Adventure Film festival here in Boulder screened a Global Glue Project film, Sticky Honeymoon. The film followed Jason and Chelsey Magness, five days after they were married, as they literally stuck together and maintained physical contact for the duration of the Hanuman Yoga Festival. Jason and Chelsey are famous in the acro yoga, slackline and adventure racing worlds and are both accomplished athletes.

Given they are accustomed to challenge, they signed on for our little experiment with gusto, assuming it would be relatively easy. They discovered it was anything but easy. They bumped up against a lot, and against each other, as they moved through the days without the ability to take any space for themselves; including visits to the bathroom.

A few things helped them last for 56 hours, including a sort of mantra that they practice in their athletic endeavors. It’s an idea that I also talked about during an Ignite Talk several years ago, because it is one that many people apply to physical challenge, but it is difficult to apply to relationships, and that is: In times of discomfort instead of looking for a way out, can you look for a way in? I realize that sometimes space is healthy and necessary, but perhaps there are times when we can stop and look for a way in, versus running away when we feel uncomfortable, especially emotionally.

Jason & Chelsey learned a lot about themselves from sticking together.
Jason & Chelsey learned a lot about themselves from sticking together.

They were surprised to find how much community support helped them stick together. In this case they were literally stuck together, but looking at this silly little “Glue Challenge” in a bigger context, I believe that community support can help couples stick it out when challenge sets in. In difficult moments Jason and Chelsey were encouraged by strangers cheering them on, “I love what you guys are doing, great job.”

Sticking together is challenging, even for these guys, who relish in challenge and even seek it as a form of entertainment. A few years ago I joined them on a NYC yoga marathon of sorts. As if 3-4 yoga classes a day weren’t enough, they added an elevator ban simply to up the ante. Remember to cheer on the couples in your life and remind them that sticking together matters. And in your own relationships, when you bump up against those uncomfortable moments, think of Jason and Chelsey and consider their practice of looking for a way in, rather than a way out.

 

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