It’s Never to Late: a Story of Survival

As the faithful among you know, things have been very busy around here, even more so since we enrolled the boys in a martial arts class.  After watching their first couple of classes, I realized they were getting a great workout and not realizing it because they were having such a blast.  This got me thinking about my own health and how much I hate working out. Seriously, we owned a treadmill and I used it faithfully for a long time, but I’m not good at sticking to an exercise regime…especially when I’m walking and not going anywhere or sweating and not feeling like I’m accomplishing something immediate.  Yes, ADHD sometimes robs me of my ability to see the forest for the trees.

Anyway, at 43 years of age I decided to give the adult MMA class a try since they were offering 3 classes plus free MMA gloves for $19.95.  You have to understand that, until a year ago, I couldn’t handle even watching that display of “barbarism” on TV and would get annoyed with Jamie when he turned on UFC and the like, so this was a huge leap for me.

I’m almost 4 weeks in now and I can’t tell you how much I love it.  If you’d have told me a month ago that I was going to love MMA and talk about it almost as much as Crossfit people (sorry, Crossfit people), I would have laughed out loud.  I am having so much fun while getting a great workout and learning skills that could save my life someday.

What follows is a harrowing tale of mental and physical survival I attribute to skills learned at Gladiators Academy in Youngsville, LA…

The boys enjoying Nerf Night/Parents’ Night Out, courtesy of Gladiators

Last night I was walking under the oaks, thinking of the great people we are meeting and the wonderful things we are all receiving since joining Gladiators Academy for my MMA and the boys’ jiu jitsu.  It occurred to me that Eric Scallan and co. might actually help me become the warrior woman I always thought I could be and I smiled.  I suddenly knew the things that have been holding me back most of my life…EPIPHANY!  I’ll skip the details, but it was deep and I was ecstatic, tough, soft, proud and happy all at once.

Two seconds later I walked onto the patio and a giant spider landed on my foot.  Naturally, I freaked out in a very unwarrior-womanly fashion.

First there was a stuttered scream, smothered by fear and choked into a whisper- not unlike the squeak you might imagine from a mouse taught to speak machine gun…if you imagine such things.  Simultaneously, there was leg movement similar to a flailing, kicking, hip-hop karate, quite different from the kicks I’m learning in my MMA class.

But that frickin’ spider was not letting go, and as I danced like Ralph Macchio being electrocuted while doing a high kick, trying in vain to shake the little devil off of my foot, I felt the pool deck under my heel disappear.

My senses returned to me instantly and I threw my body away from the pool, toes gripping the cement through flip flops, my head violently thrusting forward, and arms pumping.  It flashed through my mind that I likely bore a strong resemblance to an Olympic speed skater, with none of the grace or fluidity.  My arms still protectively held my phone and wine glass out in front of me, initially to protect them from the water, but I realized with horror that these precious items were once again in peril.  While my jiggy-rocket-ski jump maneuver had saved me from falling backwards into the pool, I was now dangerously close to face planting onto the cement.  I tried to summon the warrior woman within, but all she could give me was, “Don’t spill your wine and break another phone.”

I somehow managed to step away from the pool and looked down at my foot, staring with terror at the heavy, alien presence still clinging effortlessly to my metatarsals.  My eyes slowly adjusted to the dim light in the pool area and the parasitic monster I’d imagined with 8 hideous, red eyes and dripping fangs finally came into view…

3 oaks leaves.  3 frickin oak leaves transformed me from “warrior woman” to Jerry Lewis doing a can-can on an old $.25 hotel vibrating mattress in 2 seconds.

This, morning I am just thankful to have remained dry, without a broken nose and of course not to have spilled my wine or broken another phone.

I can only credit my survival to the training I am receiving at Gladiators.  For now I suppose I’m just a part time warrior woman…or maybe spiders and leaves are my kryptonite?

*******

If you are seeking inspiration, or like I was, aren’t even sure you need inspiration, follow this amazing woman’s journey on Facebook and YouTube: 

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