Musing Moment 108: Throwing Down the Gauntlet

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I’ve been thinking about this for a while. For months. It’s been a thought that keeps popping up. It’s something I’ll ponder on and then let go back into the vast, endless sea of thoughts that fill my head, but it keeps coming back.

I want to be a fighter. Yeah, like an MMA fighter.

I don’t really know why. I keep asking myself that because I know other people will ask me the same question.

I know it’s not because I want to beat people up. I don’t have anger issues where I’m using this as my outlet. I’m actually a very anti-violent person.

So why this pull to something so… well… violent?

I want to prove to myself that I can. I want to prove that I’m better than I was the day before. I want to fight “for real” because every morning I wake up and it’s a fight inside my head.

Do I get up and go through another day without mom or do I give up?

I can’t put into words how much I wish I could give up sometimes. How I wish I could stop fighting, struggling, pushing. It would be so much less effort, less pain, less everything if I just stopped.

But I can’t. I promised mom I wouldn’t. So every day, I get up. I fight even if sometimes I struggle more than others.

That fight, the fight to keep going, is so much harder than going to the gym and busting out some burpees. It’s harder than the guys I go up against at the dojo. It’s harder than 16-hour shifts with dialysis patients. It’s harder than anything, everything else I have ever done. Just because after over a year I am more familiar with how the fight goes doesn’t make it less hard, less tiring, less demanding.

It’s the same fight, I’m just conditioned for it better than I was when mom first died.

I want to fight against other people to make my mental fight real. To make the fight of Life tangible. I know I’m going to lose some fights, or all of them because who knows, maybe I’ll super suck at this. I know I’m going to get knocked down, knocked out even. Maybe I’ll get injured. Broken bones, cuts, bruises to be sure.

And I know I’ll get back up. I want to fight and I want to lose and I want to keep going because that’s what I have to do. That’s Life. There’s giving in, giving up, and saying it’s too hard, and then there’s giving a giant middle finger to Life and saying “Fuck it. I’m going to do what I want to do and you can’t stop me.”

That’s why I want to do this. Because fuck you, Life.

I know I still need to condition. I know it will still be at least a year before I even want to start toeing the subject with my trainers. This is me throwing down the gauntlet, though. This is me declaring to myself that this is something I’m serious about and something I WILL do.

I will be a fighter.

There are very few people in my life who know I am interested in doing this, let alone the fact that I’m seriously going to do it, and even though I’m writing this for all of the Internet to read, I want to keep this information to a very select few.

I don’t want to explain it to Facebook. I don’t want to be discouraged any more than I already have been from something I want to do because “I’m a girl” or “too pretty to get punched” or any of the other things I’ve already heard when I’ve brought this up to people.

I’m going to do it and I don’t need permission to do it. I don’t need people to agree with it, or understand it. Not my brothers, not my lovers. No one. My body, my choices, my consequences.

I’m serious about this. I return to the dojo with a purpose.

Why do I train? Because mom died.

Why do I fight? Because I can.

Those are my answers, my reasons, my justifications and I am content with them. I don’t need other people to be content with them. Just myself.

Hopefully, I’m content enough to now go to sleep because tomorrow is going to suck if I don’t. At least it’s a short day… because you know… 12 hour shifts are short… ;-;

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Daily Post 040: Yes

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Ok…

So…

I didn’t get up at 2 am and go to the gym like I had planned.

I did, however, work for 12 hours and then do another two hours of kickboxing. Yes. I am a badass. And extremely tired. And I have a spin class tomorrow with my trainer. I’m crying on the inside just a little.

One thing I do have to say is, “Holy shit, Shefit sports bras are amazing!”

Seriously, hands down, THE BEST sports bra I have ever worn.

They’re pretty much the only reason I did any sort of workout today. I ordered the bras a few days ago. So firstly, I have to say awesome turn around time.

I was feeling like a slacker for not going to the gym like I said I would. Integrity was on the line. I had to do something. So I decided to try on one of the bras and go to kickboxing.

Just… seriously, I’m almost speechless with how fantastic they are.

There’s a pretty wide band at the bottom so you don’t have the annoying “roll up” that some bras have, and the band is adjustable so you can customize how tight it is around your chest. The straps are also adjustable and you can change the straps from H-back to X-back. The zipper locks and has a flap of material so you don’t have to worry about the zipper catching on your shirt or digging into your skin. Because the straps are adjustable, you have control over how much “strap down power” the bra has. There are cups built into the bra so you can still have form rather than feeling like your chest is being crushed into your ribs.

It felt like wearing fucking battle armor under my compression gear.

A-maz-ing.

Right Brain: Oh don’t mind me… I’m just here for light cardio… AND CRUSHING MY WORKOUT INTO OBLIVION BEFORE ACHIEVING TOTAL WORLD DOMINATION!

I don’t think I can gush enough over this sports bra. It held up extremely well. It didn’t even feel like I had one on, to be honest. It was so comfortable that I didn’t notice it. My chest stayed still and out of the way without feeling crushed. Now that I think about it, I didn’t get overly warm either, so the material breaths pretty well on top of all of the other awesomeness this bra has.

I can’t wait to test them out at the dojo with jiujitsu. They held up fantastically for kickboxing. Now we need to test them out with grappling.

They’re on the expensive side, but, in my opinion, they are very worth the money and live up to the hype they have. I’m thoroughly pleased with this investment and I know I’ll be buying more in the future.

I actually pushed myself pretty hard at kickboxing today. I stayed for core which I normally skip out on. Afterward, there was a technique class, so I stayed for that, too.

I’m happy with what I did, with my effort. That’s two days “hard” since I had conditioning at the gym yesterday. I forgot to wear my Fitbit to work so I don’t know how many steps I did, but I do know the only time I sat down today was when I was on break.

Warren and I ended up going out to eat when I got home. I got a rice bowl with steak, carrots, zucchini and two eggs. Sooooo good, and worth it. I earned every carb in that bowl. No regrets.

Work is going well. I talked to my supervisor about having Monday nights / Tuesday mornings to be with Big Bad. He seemed pretty sure that it wouldn’t be an issue. He said on Mondays I can be scheduled as one of the openers, or at least one of the first people to come in so I’ll be one of the first ones to leave.

I haven’t meditated very much about becoming certified. To be honest I haven’t meditated in a while about anything. I’ve been focusing on surviving, but I think it’s time to do some tidying up in regards to my spirit and mind.

Since I’m on the topic of working out I guess I can focus on that for now.

Work isn’t going to make getting to the gym or dojo easy. I’m not going to know when my work days end. I’m going to be tired some / most days. I’m not going to want to do much on my days off.

I can’t let any of that stop me.

If I’m serious about keeping the gym and dojo in my life then I have to make time for them and I have to find routines that work for me. Part of that may include learning how to sleep after working out. In regards to the dojo, the classes happen later in the evening. I’m normally amped after a workout.

With how tired I am from the two hours of kickboxing, maybe what I need to do is stay for multiple classes at the dojo so when I get home I’m tired enough to pass out until I need to be up for work.

My gym trainer, we’ll call her L, wants to increase the intensity of our sessions.

L wants me to do at least two days at the gym, two days at the dojo, and then an active recovery day, in addition to working my job.

I think I’m ok with that. I think I want to do three days at the dojo and two at the gym.

I know that’s a lot. It’s where I want to be. If I can’t hack it yet, then I’ll keep working at it until I can. The days I go to the dojo I’m going to do two hours at a minimum to see if that wears me out enough to sleep.

I miss sparring. I miss my dojo family.

L made me realize that I wasn’t really owning my goals or intentions anymore. It feels like she’s given me a call to action.

She wants me to increase what I’m doing.

Do I want to increase what I’m doing?

After spending the past 24 hours thinking about it, yes. I do. I want to feel like I’m doing things with intention rather than just haphazardly hoping things work in my favor. I want to have a plan and to know what I’m doing and for what reasons.

I’m going to the gym to build muscle and work on agility. And to chill in the sauna because those things are amazing. One day I’ll break down and get a swim suit so I can hang out in the jacuzzi. I’m allowed to have slightly skewed priorities…

I’m going to the dojo to find myself. Like all those months ago when I found my answer for “Why I’m doing this”.

I train because mom died. That’s my reason.

I train because it hurts.

I train because it makes me face moments where I want to give up. It makes me confront those feelings of being lost and alone and outmatched. I train because it helps me find myself through all of the pain and anger I still have. I train because at the end of it all I can cry away all of the anguish and scream in my car and be left with a calmness that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else.

I train because it helps me survive my grief.

I don’t want to give that up. I want to keep working on belting up and getting better. I want to prove to myself that I can do it. I want to be a fighter because I can. Because I don’t want to be a victim. Because I want to be strong physically as well as emotionally and spiritually.

Do I want to increase my intensity?

Yes.

I think I lost sight of that for a little while. Maybe that’s understandable with starting a new job and focusing on passing my certification and not getting fired. I do seem to have this addiction to food that my body won’t let me give up…

I’m feeling more secure in regards to my career, so now I can come back to this area.

My physical self. My inner self. My warrior self.

I need this physical aspect in my life. It’s become part of me over these past four years, even more so in this past year since mom died. It’s how I cope. It’s how I show myself that it will be ok.

I think that’s worth investing into. I’m not going to give myself shit for spending money on new workout gear that I needed. I’ve had that voice nagging in the back of my head since bought my shirts, shorts, and bras. No longer. If I’m serious about my intentions to train then I need to have gear that fits properly, and, ideally, that I want to wear.

I might actually get two more sets so I don’t have to constantly do laundry. I’m going to give it a few weeks and see how having three sets works for me.

I’m going to keep moving forward. That’s basically what I feel L said to me. “I want you to keep moving forward. Is that something you want?”

Yes.

Yes. I want to keep moving forward.

So now that that’s decided and confirmed in my head the only thing really left to do is to do it.

 

rest dy

Daily Post 032: The Floor Isn’t So Scary

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I think I might actually get to sleep at a decent hour. Thought 3:30 am is a pretty lame wake up hour when you’ve been unemployed for a year. I do have to say, I at least know how to wake up and function that early in the morning thanks to my time at Full Sail.

I wasn’t as tired as I thought I would be this morning, which was a nice surprise. I showered and got ready for work. I even took some time to braid my hair. I’m not going to lie… part of that has to do with watching Vikings and seeing some of the cool shit they do with their hair. Another part of it is me wanting to be more girly and feminine, though if you ask me if that’s one of the reasons to my face I’ll totally deny it and say it was an alternative fact.

So yeah, I done did my hair this morning. I packed my gym bag since I had the training appointment after class, packed lunch so I wouldn’t starve during the day, then headed out to work.

I like the routine I’m forming. I get there early enough to see my trainer by himself. We exchange pleasantries. I offer to help set up, an offer he always graciously turns down. One day I will win. From there I go to the break room and make coffee while my breakfast heats in the microwave. The room is empty, quiet, peaceful. I listen to the coffee machine humming as it heats the water. I love the soft pouring sound as the smell of coffee begins to fill the small space. It’s nice.

Today I noticed that the rack where the coffee pouches hang was low on some of the flavors so I restocked it while I waited. It gave me a reason to go through the cabinets. I know where the stir sticks are now, and the sugar packets, which I also restocked.

It was nice watching everyone filter in, making their coffee and knowing that I had helped improve their day. They didn’t have to dig around to find stuff. It was already there and ready to go. Maybe I’m weird or slightly voyeuristic by enjoying that behind the scenes sort of knowledge.

Anyway, today we worked with the machines again. One of the things we had to do was mix a bleach solution so we could clean the equipment once we were done. Some of my classmates were having issues keeping the different ratios straight so I got to explain the method I’m using to keep the confusing mess organized in my head. It helped some of my teammates.

We also had a “friendly” competition where we divided into teams. Our trainer picked a leader for each team and said we were going to race to see which team could set the machine up the quickest while still being accurate.

My team was last even though everyone kept commenting on how well I did…

I seriously don’t get it; this… whatever it is my classmates feel for me. Admiration maybe? I definitely don’t feel I deserve it whatever it is. I’m a student just like they are, and a lot of this stuff doesn’t come naturally for me. I have to read a lot of the content several times before it starts to sink in, and even then, it’s not until we get to the hands-on portion where I get to mess up, then write out my notes so I can reflect back on my process and understand my errors that I really begin to solidify everything in my head.

I’m not a prodigy. I’m not better than they are, but I feel that they hold me above them, like the shining example they strive to be. It’s a little alienating, and I think it bothers one of my teammates, conveniently the one I’m supposed to train with at my clinic tomorrow…

I know she was having a bad day today, so maybe that was it more than her actual feelings towards me or the dynamic shift in our group, but still. I’m not trying to rock the boat. I would really be ok with not having the attention that I feel I have.

The second half of class was mostly computer work. I wasn’t able to get all of it done because there were three side conversations going on which made it hard to focus. I was interrupted several times with questions from a few people as well. That I didn’t mind but hearing about someone’s plans for how they wanted to remodel their kitchen was pretty annoying.

I was glad for the day to be over. We were allowed to leave a bit early which let me talk to two of my classmates alone. The one-on-one interaction was a nice break from the constant stimulation of being around 12 people. All girls I might add. Sooo much estrogen. x.x

Because we left early I got to the dojo a bit early which allowed me time to stretch and decompress from the mild overwhelmed feelings I had been picking up throughout the day.

By the time my trainer was ready for me I was ready for her. She showed me how to do front rolls and back rolls. I have done front rolls in aikido and had started working on backrolls, but it’s been so long I wasn’t confident in my ability anymore, and when I messed up during normal warmups for Gi and NoGi classes I didn’t know what I was doing wrong to fix it.

Having my trainer, we’ll call her MG, there with me explaining it all to me again was fantastic. I am now a roll master. We did cartwheels, too. That’s another warmup we do every so often in jiujitsu class and even though I did gymnastics when I was little I haven’t done a cartwheel in what feels like forever. For some reason the floor seemed terrifying when I thought about doing a cartwheel; more so than when I thought about doing front rolls.

I mean, really? Out of everything I’ve been through in my whole life I’m going to be scared of making myself look silly by trying to do a cartwheel? I’m pretty sure I could find something more ridiculous to be scared of but at the moment I really can’t think of anything.

Left Brain: It’s the floor. It’s not like it’s going to jump up and attack you. Just do a fucking cartwheel.

Right Brain: Screw you! We’re going to die if we try doing this. Instead, let’s panic because having an anxiety attack over the thought of maybe potentially doing something is a way better way to invest our limited energy.

Well, no longer is the floor terrifying. I can totally bust out a cartwheel on my left side. The right side is still sort of dodgy, but I can mostly do it. It’s the landing that sucks. MG said it’s normal for people to have a good side and a bad side. This just means I know which side I need to practice with more.

We did some weight training, too. That was fun and I know my arms are going to hate me for it tomorrow. Good. Maybe they’ll suck it up and finally stop being so weak. Totally happy with how well the session went. We arranged to meet again this coming Monday.

I think that’s how I want this to flow for the remainder of my clinic training. Monday I’ll have a session with MG that way through the week I can alternate between yoga and the workout she has me do. On the days I feel up for it I can go to a jiujitsu class or Muay Thai, but for now, I think I’m content with focusing on conditioning.

I talked to Jon a bit when I got home. We ironed out some details with his resume. We’ve also arranged to go kayaking next weekend. Big Bad is interested in going as well, which would be really nice. I might suggest making it a date day and seeing if he wants to go to the beach afterward since we’ll already be in Daytona.

I did a few other computer chores while I was at my desk. I finished the training I hadn’t been able to complete while I was in class since it would have bothered me to leave it unfinished. It would have required me to have less time on the floor tomorrow interacting with patients as well, so I’m glad it’s out of the way.

I ate dinner and watched another episode of Vikings once I was happy with the tasks I accomplished. It’s been a nice way to unwind at the end of the day. Eat, relax, make my night time tea, blog, prep for bed, go to sleep.

I’ve never been one for having a night time routine. Not a solid, consistent one at least. I think I’m forming one now though, and I think it is helping me to sleep better. I think the blackout curtains help as well since there’s a lamp post close to my window. I love sleeping in darkness. ❤

Well… That’s it for today. Tomorrow starts early so I’m going to go. I hope it’s as good a day as what last Friday was.