Yesterday was the hardest class yet. They introduced choke holds. As soon as I saw the male instructor's elbow going around the female instructor's windpipe and thought "We're going to have to fight to get out of that?" my adrenaline leapt and my heart started racing. It's a good thing to learn, of course (put your hands on either side of the guy's elbow and pull down, taking his weight with you.) But it set the tone for the day: harder, more serious. And I thought we were fighting hard before!
So i fought harder. I landed a great elbow strike into my instructor's solar plexus--he said it would have knocked him out if he weren't wearing his padded suit. I got clear on the physics of the sideways leg kick, how to uncoil the leg using all my thigh muscles and the muscles in my hips and butt for maximum power. There is still--there will always be--an issue with the slowness of my muscles to fire. I am simply not a surgical strike type of mover. if I were a piece of music I would be played legato. I am flowing and continuous, not sharp and staccato. But fighting demands those kinds of abrupt movements so I am learning. Sometimes my body will do them, sometimes it won't.
At least my issue with dropping to the floor, which worried me last week, somehow magically solved itself. When the instructor blew her whistle like a drill seargant, I was on the floor neatly tucked up, foot in position, surprising myself. It made me smile. I would be the one voted least likely to survive five minutes in the military by anyone who knows me, and here I am doing drills! And loving them!
The teachers also invited us to share a new level of emotional vulnerability when we were asked to come up with "custom scripts"--what were we really fighting? What were we most scared of? For some it was a past abusive relationship, or a current one, an ex-over, a husband, a crazy-making job. For some it was the voice in their head that said they would never be good enough. Some of the toughest women revealed the pain behind their armor. I am not a crier, but I cried when I saw the vulnerable girl-children underneath the powerful kicking and striking.
When it was my turn I fought the fear of my loved ones dying. That is my worst fear. Because I have low blood pressure and take lots of naps, I fear I will lumber along until age 99 while all my nearest and dearest drop dead around me. I don't want to live in this world without the presence of those I love most, and although I believe that the spirit world is also real, and the dead are not really gone from us, I prefer my loved ones clothed in flesh and blood where I can hug them, smell them, talk to them, hold their hands.
I don't know how you fight that one. But when i came home, once again there was a hot bath drawn for me. I poured in a little lavendar oil and sank in and babbled about all this to C who sat on the floor next to the tub and loofah-ed my back. Then dinner and a funny movie. I was tired enough to sleep like the dead, but I couldn't sleep. There was still too much adrenaline going through my system. And today I could hardly move. My elbow hurt, my legs hurt, my hips. I took some aspirin and took a long nap instead of showing up at Wing It! practice. This is deep work.