Sometimes, I’m a little slow to accept things. Sometimes, I need a smack in the head. Literally.
Many months back, I told myself that I was good with an easier pace of exercise. Yoga and longs walks on the beach are a far cry from my history of karate, Krav Maga, and MMA. I love yoga, and I REALLY love walks on the beach; but I found myself longing for the days of Drunken Ninja attacks. I told myself that those days were over, and that it was ok, because my body has been through a lot and this is a new chapter in my life.
Acceptance. I told myself that I accepted this truth about my life, but in truth, it felt like defeat.
In November I had a miscarriage. I needed something more after that. My mental, emotional, and physical well-being depended upon my being able to do something really aggressive and intense. I needed to thrash someone.
Don’t judge me.
I signed up for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I’m pleased to say that my instincts in high adrenaline, “fight or flight” situations is to inflict damage and create space from an attacker, however, that is of no benefit in BJJ. The idea of keeping very close to your opponent is very counterintuitive to me. For the first few weeks, I really struggled to not hurt my classmates while we were ‘rolling’. They were practicing submission techniques and sweeps, I was trying hard to ignore my krav training to crush a throat, or stick my thumb in someone’s eye. It was hard.
Jiu Jitsu has been very satisfying, but honestly, I’m not twenty-one anymore and my body really has been through the wringer. Training is painful, and coming home covered in bruises… no bueno. I was in class on Tuesday, I’d just gotten kicked in the face, I was trying hard to protect a knee that I’d injured in class the week before, I was covered in bruises and conscious of new ones being created by the eighteen year old that was giving me a sound thrashing, and I thought to myself “What the hell am doing here?” Two minutes later, that eighteen year old’s knee connected with my right temple.
Back in 2004, I got a concussion from a hit to the right temple. It was bad. It took a long time to recover from that hit, and I’m still affected by the damage ten years later.
I stood up, stumbled, and then crumpled into a fetal position, my arms cradling my head. With my adrenaline pumping and my head spinning from the hit, I really couldn’t tell right away if I was damaged or not.
I cried. Not because it hurt (although it did), but because I was terrified. It was embarrassing.
Once I’d sat up, and the room stopped spinning, I knew I was alright. Even then, I was still telling myself that I’d just take a week off and then get back into training….
I still couldn’t accept defeat.
Then I pictured The Commander’s face when I told him what happened, and I knew that I was being ridiculous.
I was done.
I am done. With all of it. No more grappling or fighting of any kind. It’s out of my system.
It’s not defeat, it’s just good sense.
I’m going back to the beach.