Nerding

I finally looked up something that had been bugging me. You see, for the workout called “Murph” by CrossFit, something was off. CrossFit said to wear “body armor” or a “20lb weighted vest” for the workout, back when it was first announced officially.

However, the workout itself was the workout done by a man named Michael Murphy. He was a Navy Seal. (Wait for it…) And yes, David Goggins trained with and knew him. (He comes up basically every day, now, no matter that I don’t even try.) From a combination of interviews I read that were about him, I learned that he wore the Navy-issue body armor vest while doing the workout. Someone mentioned in the interview – I think it was his dad – that the vest weighed 16.4 pounds, and that Michael would finish the workout, on average, between 32 and 35 minutes. That means that he did, in just over 30 minutes, a mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats, and another mile run, all while wearing a 16.4lb vest.

But the workout says to wear a 20lb vest. What gives?

Well, I finally looked up the government-issue body armor vests, the ones that were (are?) worn by the Navy from, at least, the year 2000 through the year 2017 (possibly still now, but I didn’t delve that deep). It is called the Interceptor Multi-Threat Body Armor System (IBA).

And guess how much the total weight is. Just guess.

16.4 pounds.

It was an upgrade in lightness from its predecessor, which was 25.1lbs and went by a different name, and the latest version apparently weighs 33.1lbs.

So, under no version of this vest would Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy have had a 20lb vest. And, given the years that he was a Navy SEAL, he would have worn the 16.4lb vest. If he only wore the outer shell of it, it would have been only 8.4lbs. Those are the two options. Not 20lbs.

Anyway, I know officially now what my goal weight is for this workout: 16.4lbs in the vest.

Hashtag NerdAlert ;P

Post-a-day 2021

Goggins, eh?

It seems that David Goggins is incorporated deeply into my life at this point in time. And I haven’t even finished the book. And I haven’t even done much differently than before I started the book.

He comes up in conversation just about every day, it seems. And I’m not even trying. I’m surprised every time that he’s come up again in a conversation in my daily life not at the gym.

I think I have had such an easy connection with him, because I can relate to much of his mindset. No, I haven’t had the extreme struggles that he has had in life. I haven’t attempted the crazy difficult physical and mental feats that he has. But I use a similar foundational view of my own struggles and physical ontakings, and I feel a certain sense of camaraderie with him because of that. It is as though we have known each other for years and years, at this point, such that it feels like a piece of him is almost always with me. Especially when I’m looking at something that other might consider ridiculous – he is right there with me.

And I love it and am grateful for it.

And I’ve never even met or seen the man in person, or heard his voice. I’ve only seen the cover of the book online, which has a photo of him, and the cover of another book that has the side of his face, as well as the kindle-d occasional black and white photos within the book.

And yet he seems to get me so well, we must be long-time buddies.

And I love that. That is a powerful book.

And I haven’t even finished it yet…

Post-a-day 2021

Ouch…

But seriously, who invented all the nonsense that goes alongside menstruation? Utter nonsense… ::facepalm

Anyway, this weekend, I saw the wife of someone I know. Though I had seen the husband many, many times, I had not seen the wife until this Saturday.

When I first saw her, it took a few moments to process fully what I was seeing. Then it took another few moments to allow for my initial reactions. And another few to crave indulging in them. And a final few to allow them just to be, and then, therefore, to release. Rather than being upset by what I saw, I knew I could have it be a positive experience – even if it took some effort.

“Body goals,” I told myself, letting it fall heavily from my lips, the initial sigh thereby dispersed. Music was playing loudly at the gym, so I had no overhearing ears. I really only could feel the words vibrate through my body, as it wasn’t loud enough for my own ears to hear over the music.

But I felt it… and in more ways than one.

After that, I kept going back and forth between awe at how amazing she was physically, and wanting to break down crying at how far away I am from that right now.

I knew pitying myself was neither necessary nor valuable, so I always let that one go. But that didn’t stop it from co to hint to pop up at intervals throughout the whole day afterward, and even the following day somewhat.

As a friend reminded me later, the wife probably wasn’t like that when they got married, and it probably took her years to get to that point. Same for the husband. (Though, he was always less intimidating or whatever, because he’s male, I suppose.) It wasn’t an overnight process for either of them, and they probably weren’t already like that when they first met one another or even got married.

That idea gives me hope… that I can find someone who is fit beautifully already and who values my own work thus far, but who will continue to grow with me and thereby support and empower me o to further-enhanced fitness throughout our future. I would continue this same road, but no longer on my own. I’d have a true partner in crime for it all. (So to speak, that is… haha)

Anyway,… there’s that ouch and the menstruation and resulting digestion ouch, and the utter exhaustion that they and all the other stress have brought for this evening.

Alas, I shall now go sleep… with an alarm every two-ish hours, of course, to use the bathroom. ::facepalm I swear…, whoever made up this nonsense must have been severely out of his wits at the time… Man

Post-a-day 2021

Baseline

I did the baseline for my fitness test today. And I was rather at my worst. It hadn’t been long enough since I had eaten, so the running portions had me wondering all throughout them if I weren’t going to hurl on the street. I started menstruating right in the middle of it all, and had to use the bathroom quickly during one of the rest times – talk about being exhausted on the first place, with all the menstruation prep that’s been going on in my body. It was mid-afternoon in Houston, Tx, right near the start of summer – temperature was 86°F with a feels like of 93°F. Plus, the entire running section had almost no coverage at all from the sun, so I was running on bright concrete in full, blazing, direct sunlight. Talk about hot. And then, I had some measuring difficulties with both runs, thinking I had reached the end of the run, then suddenly realizing I hadn’t, and having to jump back into the run to finish it. That added annoying time to both runs, which are judged by their times, by the way.

So, I was miserably tired, undigested, out in the stupid afternoon humid heat of Houston, and I messed up my measurements twice, adding time to my runs. Plus, I had an improved setup for the sit-ups, but I only have 15lb dumbbells, and, though they helped significantly in helping hold my feet in place, they moved around a whole lot more than a human’s knees and hands pinning down my feet would have done.

And yet… I still only had the push-ups as my one area that didn’t pass the test. And that already was 100% expected to be an area that didn’t pass. But all the other areas, despite my being at my worst, still passed! And, if I had gotten the bare minimum requirement for the push-ups, my scores were high enough that I would have passed the entire test.

And so, my training began this evening for my push-up preparations. I obtained coaching from the gym owner on Saturday, as to how to proceed regarding my terrible push-ups abilities. And I put those plans into action today. I need to be able to do 20 push-ups comfortably for me to be satisfied for this test, but I technically only need to move up from ten to 14 as my baseline. Nonetheless, that’s a 40% increase. And my goal is actually a 100% increase… but I know I can make it happen. The only question is a matter of how long it will take.

Also, separately, now that I have these specific fitness goals towards which to work now…, what are my financial gain goals towards which to work right now? Because those have an absolute max of three more weeks to get sorted for, at least, the next four months.

Post-a-day 2021

A touch crazy…

So, I might apply for this job. But it has a physical fitness test that is required to be passed… twice…, just to be considered for the employment.

I don’t even know if I want to work there. So, it seems a tad silly to train for this test, when I might not even want to work there. However, I’m going a touch Goggins on this one, combined with my regular attitude.

My regular view is that I can make up my mind about the job once I qualify for it fully…, which would mean I am able to pass the physical fitness test with reasonable ease, and three times. The Goggins view is that it is a worthy goal to have for myself, because it is a mental and physical training, especially considering that I don’t know if I will want the job at all. But it will be a fabulous physical feat to pass that test in the first place, and so it is a worthy goal towards which to work already, especially with all the extra effort on top of my regular rather intense exercise. Add onto it the mental effort of doing just that for a purpose that might end up being only for seeing what I am capable of doing (i.e. not even for the sake of the job).

So, it shall be a combined effort; Dyer and Goggins mindsets unite.

Let us begin.

I have already tentatively tested myself on part for the test, but I will spend time tomorrow to have a full baseline score for myself on this test. From there, I will figure out and put into place the work that needs to be done.

Post-a-day 2021

Training

Just because I’m reading David Goggins’s stories of doing intense physical training, I have found myself feeling like I were doing intense physical training.

But I’m totally not.

Right?

Sure, I’m doing the workouts at the gym 4-5 days a week, weekdays at 5:15am, Saturdays at the 10:00 class (because there isn’t one like it earlier). But that’s it, right? I guess I am training for Murph for Memorial Day. That’s usually once or twice a week. It is actually a rather intense run with a weighted vest, where I do between two and four and a half miles. I end up sore for days afterward, every time I run, and almost all over my body. I’m at the ten pounds now, and am considering finding a way to get it to 16.4 before the end of the month, even though the weights don’t come in increments to allow that very easily.

But that might just need to wait for next year. I am into this Goggins approach, but only to a degree. I want to take care of my body more than I want to push it at far as it can go. The 40% Rule is great, and I’d love to increase myself to 50 or 60% more often, but, more than that, I want to increase significantly what my 40% is in the first place. I want my 40% to be what my 100% would have been in the past. I like to be strategically smart and safe. I will get things done, but I always will be strategic and safe about doing so.

On that note, I must sleep, as the gym awaits me early in the morning.

May the fourth be with you all. 😉

Post-a-day 2021

Back on the log*

I stayed in bed – with possibly six bathroom breaks (number one only) – from 7:45pm to about 6:45am this morning. My sleep was fitful. I did my feel entirely rested when I got up. However, my bowels functioned somewhat normally, and without any pains, and that was a total win.

I still felt slow, my lower belly and lower right edge were still uncomfortable (but not in pain), and I was somehow a bit clumsy, but I felt significantly improved overall. It still took effort to talk, but a whole lot more came out, whenever I did attempt speaking, and much sooner than it had taken every time yesterday. My mom noticed that part immediately when we finally spoke later in the morning.

I wasn’t sure how the day would progress, and was worried I might have to be home and, possibly, in bed most of the day. By nine o’clock, I had determined that I likely would go in to work. It was only for three hours today, and the prospect of being at home all alone, especially with the discomfort and all, was not a delightful one. So, I took a fitful nap, after eating some, and then got up and went in. I was slow-moving still, with a light sensation of my guts being as of yet undetermined as to when they might escape my body and in which direction they might choose to do that escape.

I adjusted after a little while to being able to talk to people quite normally, and eventually was at almost full normalcy on that front. I was able to walk around a bit faster near the end, and even jogged back inside, when I discovered that I’d left my smoothie near-dregs in the fridge. That surprised me, even.

I did my grocery shopping, and headed home to change. Since late morning, I had been messaging a buddy from the gym about running together this afternoon/evening. He hadn’t replied to my inquiry yesterday (about running today), and I knew he probably had been out drinking.

Turns out that he had arrived home around 3:30am last night/this morning. I told him that 13+ hours was plenty of recovery time, and that, though he claimed he felt like he was dying, I had almost ended up in Urgent Care, and so he and I could die together – it would be better to die in good company than all alone, after all.

He allowed that we could make it work, assuming he didn’t feel quite so terrible by the evening. We agreed that we would be in touch after I finished grocery shopping in the afternoon.

By the time, however, that he responded to my messages in the afternoon, he told me that he was out drinking… right then. Can we get a facepalm, please?? ;P

I considered running to the bar to meet him, partly for getting back at him for leaving me hanging, and partly for my desire not to be left alone with whatever was going on in my belly. It was gorgeous outside, and I knew it was an outdoor patio kind of place, only a 5k from my house. However, he was actually doing some one-on-one time with a friend from out of town, and so I did not do that.

(Okay, but when was he planning to run with me, if he had the friend in all weekend, anyway?? Either he’s a sneaky liar or wasn’t thinking, I dare say.)

And so, I went running in my own. What had intended to be a short little run, maybe two miles at most (plus a .05 as stretch beyond the goal), and at a slower, we-are-ill pace, turned out to be a full-on ladder run – with the 10lb vest, recall – that ended up being the third-fastest 5k I have ever done. Period. That means without any weighted vest for those fastest times. And I did my third-fastest with a 10lb vest on me, wondering the whole time if I might hurl or just sh** my pants at any given moment.

That is some other-world Goggins stuff right there.* Nearly end up in a hospital in the morning, have a panic attack, work out late morning, nearly fall apart trying to work in the afternoon, so go home and get ready for bed at 4:45pm. Sleep forever, wake up still sick, go to work again anyway, and then do one of the hardest and most successful runs of my life, considering if and when I might need to crap or vomit on the side of the road somewhere. (I actually did come very close to vomiting right after I set out!)

So, yeah… what a day…

*If you don’t get the references, read David Goggins’s book, Can’t Hurt Me.

Post-a-day 2021

Oh, snap…

6:40am: Wake up groggily, in need of a bathroom. I have slept in by over two and a half hours, and my body is demanding that I get up to relieve it, at last. I do.

As I re-ascend, a flea lands on my ankle. I grab it immediately, destroy it, and flush it down the sink. This cycle repeats itself once more, but this time with the bug landing on my shin. I head downstairs a get plates and tea lights, set up the traps in a few spots, hoping to nab anything left while it is still somewhat dark outside, and pour the soapy water and light the candles.

As I am just about to head upstairs to my bed – for I had not felt as though I had slept eight hours, and felt a real need for more – , a pain strikes my lower belly. Oh, no… digestion problem, I think, rushing back to the bathroom. Everything had gone as usual in the bathroom initially, but my father’s (and my maternal grandfather’s) GI tract genes had been passed down to me, so it is somewhat always a toss-up as to whether by bowels will be normal or ridiculously sensitive.

Back in the bathroom, I find that nothing is interested in moving – it feels as though there is nothing to depart from my body, even. And yet, I am suddenly crying out in pain, it has become so intense. But nothing seems to be happening inside me. Just pain exists, increasing to a point I have never known. I have had success pains before, but they typically end within a minute, as things readjust inside me, and then I am fine.

But this is somehow different.

The cries of pain continue to escape my lips, shocking my more and more. What is happening?

There is a chance it could be the appendix. The position of the point of the most pain is appropriate. But I’d need a second opinion to be sure. Perhaps I would do best to call my mom and ask her, since I know that she knows. The cries and the pain continue and increase, as the phone calls.

Straight to voicemail. I call again, in case it is merely Do Not Disturb. Voicemail immediately. She’s still asleep. I could call the house, but only if absolutely necessary, as it would wake more than just her. Wait on that.

Thinking is growing fuzzy. As I begin to get up from the toilet, my ears lose full hearing, filling partly with a fuzzy, humming noise. My vision is shaking. I might be about to pass out.

I rush to wash my hands, and rinse some cool water on the back of my neck. It helps briefly and barely. I need water. But my bottle is upstairs. If something goes wrong, I need to be downstairs. There’s a cold bottle in the fridge, I recall.

I bolt in a slow stumble down the stairs to the kitchen, and open the fridge, shakily. I manage to pull out the water and drink some, then hold it against the back of my neck.

But I cannot hold it there. Before I really know how it has happened, I find myself on my hands and knees, my head laying inside the fridge, my breathing heavy and intense.

I just feel so hot.

And I hadn’t five minutes ago.

Something is definitely wrong.

I call my brother. He does not answer. I call the house for my mom twice, but it just keeps ringing both times. Some emergency contacts, I think, somewhere far back in my brain.

I might hurl, I realize. But I might just need a bowel release. Either way, I need to get back to the bathroom.

Because I always put things away, I put the water away in the fridge, though something inside tells me too weakly to bring it with me. Too hard to hold.

I crawl back up the stairs, so hot, out of breath, the pain only increasing in my lower belly, just above my pelvic floor, especially on the right side.

I make it to the bathroom. Nothing is moving in my bowels, nothing wants to exit. As I have been contemplating where to seek emergency medical care, should I need it – though, I had wanted a second opinion on that, this the phone calls – I am now faced fully with making the decision myself. But I know I cannot see well enough or function well enough to find the directions to the right place on my phone. Urgent Care, not ER, but I have never been there, so I’m not certain we’re it is; just that it is near.

First that, then see if I can drive… or even make it to the car.

I have been very near passing out this past several minutes, I know I need someone else to know of my situation, to help if I do pass out.

I call a friend on EDT, knowing she would be awake by 8:20am, even if it is a Saturday. She answers.

But I find that I cannot speak.

I manage a greeting of some sort, I believe, but then just continue breathing heavily, crying tears of pain and confusion and frustration. I know she will remain calm and evaluate properly, but I need to communicate what is happening.

My arms have gone completely tingly, shoulders to fingertips. When did that happen?

With much struggle and murkiness, I finally manage to say what is happening. I am only in underwear at this point. My shirt was wrenched off in the bathroom when the heat first began – I had thought that I only was overheating somewhat, but my skin was completely soaked with sweat once I’d slid off my shirt.

She first tells me that her husband (hems a doctor, but not the first reason I was calling her) is not with her right now, but then immediately tells me that I might be having a panic attack – BREATHE. At this point, I am lying face-down on the floor, my cheek just hanging over the first stair step. My left hand clenches a soaked paper towel… soaked with what? Tears, snot, sweat…, probably all of them, but I cannot quite remember how it even got to my hand. My right hand is pressed into my lower right belly, at the point of the most pain.

Staring at the phone – on speaker – on the floor next to me, I focus on calming my breathing, deepening each stroke. I am still terrified, but I already feel immensely better emotionally, now that someone is here with me. That helps my breathing ease better.

We laugh at her comment on how I should probably be talking to an actual doctor, not someone searching on WebMD. My face is soaked and my body hurts, my arms still tingling, but my hearing has been restored and I can see clearly, though my processing is still slow – it takes real effort to make the words come out. But I tell her that, if we determine I need to go to see a real doctor, I first need to make it upstairs to put on clothes. We laugh at the prospect of my showing up in my car in just a pair of underwear, and I wonder if I would end up with a ticket afterward for indecent exposure…. and yet an ambulance would have taken me in just my underwear, and that would have made their jobs even easier.

I marvel somewhere in the back at how I can even have such thoughts right now, but can barely manage to mutter a single simple sentence aloud.

I tell her that, even if it just turns out to be digestion issues, I am totally okay with that. I’m still glad I was able to get ahold of her. I’d actually rather not have it go that way if I ended up at Urgent Care, however. Not cool. She is giving me options of what might be wrong, assessing my specifics on the pain locations.

Nothing quite lines up as well as the facts that 1)I am near beginning menstruation, and 2)I have bad bowel genes. I ate brisket yesterday, which I do not usually do, but everything else was rather normal in my food.

As we sit on the phone, the pain slowly begins to ebb away, bit by bit. I ask her to stay with me, and she agrees with a firmness that she had already planned on that.

After an hour, I finally have been able to roll to my right side, and curl up in a ball for a bit, and then lie on my back, knees up. The pain has finally begun shifting around slightly, no longer covering such a great area within my body, but it has shifted partly, though gently, to the tender area just above the pelvic bone and in front of the uterus. It is relaxing its grip, nonetheless. I make it to my hands and knees. My arms are only barely tingling.

I need water. I had wanted some already, and had laughed as I’d told her that my brain felt like she could get it for me, because she was here with me now… that fogginess hadn’t been able to sort out the different between digital and physical presence, obviously. But so, I have finally made it to my hands and knees. After staying there a while longer, I finally make it shakily to my feet, and then head downstairs. Perhaps I should eat food, too.

I have some calm, dry food, after I gulp some more water, and she tells me she’ll check in again later.

It is almost 9:00 now. I use the bathroom once more – no BM or gas, of course – and head upstairs to rest briefly. For some reason, I have it in my head that I still need to go to the gym. I had already canceled the 9:00am cardio class, knowing that was neither an option nor a good idea. Not paying that no-show fee. But the 10:00 class is just calm weights, and part of that was something I had missed Monday and had been waiting to make up all week.

I couldn’t miss it… but that had been a thought I’d had before the morning’s insanity. However, my brain was still so murky that it was not able to notice that fully. It just knew that I had to go to 10:00. And that I had convinced someone to go with me, and had helped that person sign up for the class this morning… while I was lying on the floor in the hallway, shaking still…

(I know, right?)

And so, after a brief nap, I did go. Before we began, one of the guys asked about my morning so far – I think – and so I told him a brief summary.

‘And you’re still here?!’

My brain hadn’t even considered that yet. Life goes on, was all it could think, and so it had had me continue onward in my day.

It was still very difficult to talk, to make my body out forth the effort of creating and spitting out words, more than just a few at a time. But, once we got to work on our training, I didn’t really need words – not more than a few every so often – and so life felt somewhat normal. I was sleepy, exactly, but my brain felt something like sleepy, and my body was definitely tired. I had the wherewithal to take it all easy, but not to consider that I maybe should just go to bed or something.

I think I really wanted to be with people for a while. And whatever was wrong with me seemed utterly unlikely to be contagious. I’d even checked my temperature, and it was quite low. No elevation whatsoever. And I don’t feel that kind of sick, anyway. I just felt cloudy and a bit weak on endurance.

And I was. But I got through all that I’d determined to do for today’s workout, and I felt much improved by the end of it. Though, no longer having a specific, repetitive task in front of me, it was a struggle to walk to the car to get myself home. I stopped for bananas on the way, knowing I would want smoothies today and tomorrow, and feeling a call toward eating a banana, anyway.

I managed to make food and eat it, and drink some smoothie, and then shower and nap for a while before having to head to work. When I got in, I found that I couldn’t talk. Not quickly, anyway. If someone greeted me, I could only smile, and then wonder how speech worked, feeling mentally my throat and mouth. I set down my stuff, and acknowledged that maybe I couldn’t do this work today, despite my efforts to show up. My belly had begun aching again, but I wasn’t sure when. Every time I considered genuinely talking, my eyes started to burn.

I went a spoke to the supervisor. She reminded me what the store actually does, that they’ve been short workers before, and that it is significantly more important that I take care of my own health and well-being than suffer through helping there. They absolutely would make it without me, if I needed to go home. And the fact that I had shown up in the first place spoke volumes to my dedication. No, there were no negative repercussions for me, if I determined that I needed to go home right now. Think about it, she told me, and let her know. I had been crying from the moment I’d started telling her what had happened.

After a few minutes sitting there, chatting – well, sort of – with another coworker who had been in the room with us, I noticed that I was hunching forward. When I stood up, I could not stand up straight. The pain was too strong, and I was too weak.

I was going home.

Now, it is just after 6:30pm. I am lying uncomfortably in bed, that lower right spot gently twisting again. The aim is to sleep. The goal is to awaken healed tomorrow. We shall see what happens.

Post-a-day 2021

No faking it

At the gym yesterday morning, a fellow gym-goer asked me how I was doing. I always consider the answer to such an inquiry fully before answering, and so I told him with a shrug that I was, ‘alright.” After a few beats of silent, accepting nods from him and the other guy with us, he commented on my honesty, and that it was clear that I was being honest.

We all kind of chuckled at that, as I said that things were going just alright, and I wasn’t going to lie. The other guy said that he wouldn’t have been honest about it, if things were going well for him. The first guy totally agreed, as we all laughed, adding that he would have even said “good,” but that he would have said things were going “great,” if he’d been asked and things were going crappily at the time. We all were laughing at that.

“I will always be honest,” I told them. If you ask me, I will answer honestly.

And then we started talking about the workout I had just done and that they were about to do. Of course, I discussed it honestly. 😛

This is likely to be one of those incidents that sticks with me for a long time. It is extremely valuable to me. I was 100% myself, with no struggles or worries, and with no stories. And, though we all acknowledged in the moment that my behavior was abnormal, it wasn’t a bad thing and it wasn’t shoved away. It was embraced, despite the fact that those embracing it would not have done it themselves. And nobody shoved anything under the rug. We all just acknowledged what was so, accepted one another as we are, and thereby showed true love. And I love that kind of love.

I look forward to more and more of such opportunities and experiences in my life as that one was.

Post-a-day 2021

Ready, go!

I was nervous about sparring.

Extremely nervous.

I was actually shaking while I waited for my turn. So, I kept breathing consciously deep.

When I began sparring, I destroyed.

Both of my classmates, I utterly destroyed. Yes, the first got in a few points – we were doing practice, so there was no stopping just because a point was made – and the second finally did, when I purposely slowed up on him. And the third opponent was the main instructor. She definitely got me several times, but I was right there with her, getting point after point against her.

In my second one, I initially just went for it. When, however, my opponent’s splotchy face caught my eye, and I saw tears brimming, I found that I all too clearly could relate. I was, basically, pummeling him. Just as we were told to do, I gave combination after combination. And almost every strike hit home. In his first bout, he and his opponent had rather fooled around, hadn’t maintained stances, and hadn’t done almost any combinations, despite the real-time encouragement from both instructors. (The lead is his mother.) I was matched with him, I believe, to help teach him a lesson.

And he learned it hard. No, the locks and punches were not hard. Just the lesson was. When I saw his brimming tears, I knew the lesson had settled. I calmed my attack, gave him some words of encouragement to, ‘Come on,’ and allowed him some breathing time and space between my attacks. He eventually rallied himself and got there, landing a few points with his combinations and my relaxed defense.

I patted him on the back and shook his shoulders after we finished. We both knew exactly what had just happened a all of it. He knew I had seen him crying. He knew I had let up. And he knew I had wanted him to figure it out and get it right.

And we necessarily had bonded over it.

It was really cool. And I was certainly grateful to be on the other end of such an encounter for once – so many times have I been in that intense space of frustration and tears. I imagine I likely will be back there again at some point, if not many points in my future. For this time, though, I am grateful that I was able to help the person on that end, to encourage and empower him, and to remind him that, despite his frustration, he has enough to offer and he can do it.

Nonetheless, it’s still a bit silly: I made a kid cry. 😛

When I sparred with the instructor, I was ready to be the one not as prepared. And I took it on comfortably and with gratitude for the opportunity to spar against one who is much more experienced than I am. And, I believe, it is because I maintained that calm comfort that I was able to do so well against her.

A lot seems to be amiss in my life right now. This is not one of those things. For whatever reason, karate is exactly where I need to be right now.

Thank you, God and Cosmos.

P.S. Happy Earth Day, folks!! ❤

Post-a-day 2021