Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Blood, Sweat and Epiphanies

I've been in the mood to make a new blog post, but I can't seem to get my thoughts together enough to not bounce around too much.  Had I written three days ago, you'd have been exposed to my musings on how I have changed my mind about Brussel sprouts because I had them fried.  I would have also gone on a rant about my hatred of pleather.  I'm sure you're thanking me from for refraining from both topics.   You're welcome.

I have a new trainer at my gym.  I went on a hiatus earlier this year out of sheer frustration. I had become so consumed with my ideals of progress and my ridiculous goals that I sort of imploded and had to take a big step back.  All or nothing.  That's me.  I did take up P90X at home over the summer, but I quickly realized that I do my best work in the right environment, and my living room isn't it.

Every time I take a break from the gym I want to punch myself in the face when I return.  You lose it all so fast.... tone, strength, endurance, agility.  Bleh.  I was pretty embarrassed about meeting this big guy and being in such crap shape, but in good trainer form, he lulled me into a false sense of security and was very nice to me until I committed and then he started beating my ass.  I like him.  He doesn't seem like a deep introspective guy, but he's busted out some Yoda shit on me and I've really had to reflect on how much training, especially sparring, will teach you about yourself and how you function in the world.

Fact:  I'm right handed.  We were practicing Muay Thai and roundhouse kicks on the bag this morning.  I was internally beating myself up for being so ineffective despite putting my all into these kicks, my shins were screaming and he was raising a brow at me in a mocking manner.  Then I switched legs and threw a couple out.  He stopped me and exclaimed, "HOT DAMN!  YOU'RE A LEFTIE!"  Well, yeah.  I always knew my left leg had more power to it, but I guess it's not all that common.  "This is great.  You're tiny, you need the element of surprise when you fight.  This may just give it to you."   I was smug and pleased that I seemed to finally do something noteworthy, but the thought stuck with me.

I am not a scholar.  I am not musically inclined (but that doesn't stop me from singing.  Loudly.)  I am not a great artist, but I have always seemed to have the element of surprise on my side.  Once I became comfortable enough with myself to say 'screw it', I began giving time to all of the things that make me happy and come together to form who I ultimately am as a person.  This blog isn't labeled JUXTAPOSE for no reason.  I'm multi-faceted and I don't make sense on paper.  I sit in on PTA meetings with lots of tattoos.  I listen to classical music and punk seamlessly.  I like to watch MMA while wearing a grandma shawl and then fawn over thousand dollar shoes.  I never graduated from high school but I speak three languages and I dare you to call me stupid.  I'm under a buck ten in weight but I will fight you with a big stick in a heart beat.

You get it.  While I have few outstanding and exceptional qualities that stand out alone, I'm glad that the culmination of all of it can throw one for a loop.  We must work with what we have, not just when sparring, but in real life.  Know yourself and take honest inventory.  It's the best thing you can ever do for yourself.

I'm sure Mr. Trainer Man didn't mean to make me become so introspective, but it's not the first time he's doled out some wisdom by accident.  Last week, we were practicing combinations and he became very frustrated with me... he continued saying, "STOP IT!  Don't think so much.  You already know what you're doing, stop THINKING AND DO IT."  I didn't understand what he meant, to be honest.  I didn't think I was thinking, but then he began tapping my face every time he saw me move my lips and I had to concede that he was right.  Not a shocker, really.  I over think everything to death, the options, the possible outcomes, the variations of ideas... blah, blah, blah.  It doesn't ever stop.  Not sure why I assumed it wouldn't filter into that room.

I got quite the talking to about that one.  "When you think too much, you hesitate and that moment is when you leave yourself open to attack.  You have instincts and you have knowledge.  Trust that.  Think until you know, then put it away and let go.  It'll make a difference, and you won't understand it until you know what it feels like."   Now, this man was not speaking in life terms.  He was speaking from a trainer's perspective about when someone is trying to hit you in the face.  But the entire time I drove home, I couldn't help but be struck by the correlation of how this imitates life.

I'm proud to say that today was the day.  I don't know what happened, and I'm not about to over think it, lest I revert to my old ways within 24 hours.  I have tried to meditate, and I suck at it.  Clearing my head has always seemed an impossibility to me, something I hear others boast about but totally elusive to me.  This morning at around nine fifteen, I let my hands fly repeatedly.  There was not a single thought in my mind about what I was doing.  Know what it felt like?  Like when you're dreaming that you can soar through the air.  That emotion, but just with more sweat.  It was damn near close to a ritualistic release, and I know that some of you will understand what that means.

He was right.  It made me hit harder, move faster and I was elated.  It almost makes me think that I can apply this elsewhere, that it's actually attainable, that suspension of analysis that plagues me on the regular.  Look, I know this all probably sounds trite, but I don't care very much about that... those that get it, get it.  I'm going to continue stepping foot into that building on a regular basis just like I have for the past seven years for self inflicted pain, constantly pitting myself against a person that I never stand a chance of winning against.  But for once, winning doesn't matter to me.  It's the damn journey, growth and internal strength I'm after at this point..... ok, fine.  It's the lowered BMI, a small waist and desire for really nice deltoids, too.  That's not the whole point, though.

I may never be a killing machine, but I can throw a mean elbow and a strong left leg, now I don't even have the chains of thinking about it holding me back.   Today was a good day.

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