The build out for the space for Bikram Yoga Nebraska-Omaha was extensive and fortunately I managed to secure an SBA loan to pay for it (mostly). Although the contractor was sketchy, his project supervisor was not and thank God for that! Mickey had been a contractor for many years and knew what he was doing. He really had my best interest at heart and within 90 day, give or take, the studio was opening. Without Mickey, the studio would not have been so beautiful and I probably would have been in jail for killing the contractor. I kid…but seriously. There were a lot of problems in the beginning. You get what you pay for. Lesson learned: don’t always go with the lowest bidder.
Opening a studio to Bikram HQ specs was expensive and challenging and now, realizing that had I not been so determined to “do it the right way”, I could have save some money, found a smaller space and would, most likely still be in business. The studio was really beautiful and big. Here is a link for the build out photos. https://www.flickr.com/photos/dancinyogi.
I was so proud of Omaha’s only Bikram Franchise! It was my dream and hope for the future. Still, the bad press and dissension within the Bikram global community hovered over my head and now that I look back on it, was warning me from the git go. I wanted this studio and with it, my freedom. I literally could NOT go back into the corporate world and knew that I could teach this yoga the rest of my days. I knew it would be hard but I’ve never been afraid of hard work and felt it was my true dharma. It was not sadly.
We opened Bikram Yoga Nebraska-Omaha on November 18th 2013. One year to the day that I graduated from training. So many new people to the studio! Some past students and some friends, but very few of my past students came to see the studio and take class. I found that odd. I had such a good following at the studio where I taught for 10 years prior to training. I was surprised actually, but it spoke volumes to me as to where I stood in the yoga community. I felt I was virtually starting from scratch.
Long story short we had an amazing 4 years. During the last 6 months or so, we were struggling. The studio was expensive. I overpaid the teachers and rarely paid myself, so I invested in a Bikram Yoga business coach. It was helpful and I felt that I had support and direction. I should have done it in the beginning. It too would have helped me to have remained open…possibly. The first quarter of 2017 was the best quarter ever! I lowered the per class fee for the teachers which helped too. Things were on the up and up! Then, I got the calls…First Scarlet called with her side of the situation and then mom’s friend Etheline called with hers. It was ugly. Mom was in trouble.
Mother’s care giver Scarlet who vowed, “I will take care of her to the end”, called and told me that she would no longer take care of mom. She would have another person check on her until I arrived. Shit! There were several times that I told the teachers that I would have to leave immediately to see mom and ended up not going, but this time…I had to go. This was not a drill. I emailed the teachers and thankfully they were supportive and covered my classes and the studio. I called my son Max and flew him from Yuma to Midland to then drive to Alpine with me. He had NEVER been to see where his Grandma lived or that part of the country.
When we arrived at mom’s house, she was clearly over medicated. Scarlet had overdosed mom on Parkinson’s, epileptic and and anti-depressants. The day before she refused to take the meds that Scarlet was forcing her to take and had pulled her gun on Scarlet. Mom had run out of the house with one shoe on, to her friend Ethelines house 4 blocks away and arrived screaming and crying. Scarlet called the Sheriff who confiscated her guns. And to make things worse, Scarlet had called Adult services on mom. MOM’S CAREGIVER, CALLED ADULT SERVICES ON MOM. WTF??
Mom was hallucinating, paranoid and super thin. She looked bad. We calmed her down and got some much needed food in her. She was so weak. She had to lay down a lot and it was pitiful to see her in this state. I met with the Dr. the following day.. This dude was a hipster, fresh out of med school douche. I demanded to know why he was allowing the combo of drugs to be given to mom!!! I called him an idiot and was so pissed. I told him what Scarlet was doing and it was almost as if he was like, “Right, we’re trying to kill her”. I honestly could not get out of that shit hole soon enough. I pissed Dr. Snowflake off and he refused to provide me with her medical records even though I had power of attorney. He sucked.
When I got back to her place I hugged her tight and said, “mom, you’ve got to come live with us, you cannot stay in this toxic place”. There is no one to take care of you here.” She looked at me with this pitiful look, lowered her head and said, “I know”. She was resigned to it and agreed so Max and I quickly got busy packing her stuff. Things to take with us, and things for the movers. At first glance her little trailer was darling. Nicely decorated and quaint but when we started packing her up we found dead mice and tons of droppings. The window in her bedroom was broken and stuffed with blankets. Her back door would barely shut and lock…Ugh! What we also found was $30,000 in missing gold, missing jewelry and records from her accountant showed how much money that mom was withdrawing to pay Scarlet and it was a lot.
In 4 days, we managed to pack her up, sell her trailer to the owners of the trailer park, take tons of stuff to the thrift store, donate a ton of stuff to the church and schedule a mover and her friends daughter to supervise the relocation of her things. Max left soon thereafter with the rental car to head back to Yuma with a little road trip up to Midland through Big Bend and Mom and I left the following Friday morning to drive her and her little dog Sahb up to Omaha. I had scheduled an appointment with a gerontologist for Mom on Monday. We had to get out of that shit hole stat. It was sad to see mom leave her house that she lived in for 20+ years, but it was way past the time that she should have moved up with me. I had stopped her meds completely. That was not a good thing to do, but I wasn’t sure what to give her and Dr. Douche was no help.
The trip was hard. Mom was struggling without the meds but I gave her a Xanex a few times to take the edge off. I knew what those were and did and was just trying to get her to maintain until Monday. Sahb was a little champion and I felt that she was glad to be leaving Alpine and somewhere other than with mom all the time. Sahb was being neglected somewhat. Mom was just not able to really take care of her.
We made it to Oklahoma City the first day and stayed at a pet friendly Hilton. We got mom in a nice bath and got her into bed. She was up and down all night, which meant that I was up and down all night. This was total foreshadowing of what was to come.
We made it home on Sunday after another long day on the road. It was a big sigh of relief for us all to be in Omaha, but the hardest work was yet to come. Big changes were coming.