Sucker Punch: Keep Fighting and Walk it Off

Tonight we reviewed techniques we’ve learned in this class.

And I was calm, ready, and logical. A few times I blanked out, but my instructor was right there telling us what we were doing wrong and how to fix it. They were fleeting moments, and then I figured it out and got it right. We as classmates broke down each other’s reactions and moves as well, re-positioning, critiquing and praising. It’s been that way all along.

I’ve learned so much about myself in this class. I started off very meek, and would panic easily. I was also defiant, because I didn’t trust myself or the moves in the class. But repetition and a safe environment helped me overcome that.

Last week, I had a small meltdown when I felt afraid. I panicked and cried, just gave up entirely. I had been holding it in the whole class– but crying helped me get it out. I went off by myself and calmed down for a few minutes. Sometimes you just gotta feel what you feel and release it. It’s bottling it up and pretending you don’t have a problem that gets you into trouble. My classmates were supportive, as was my instructor. I think it reinforced to them that although the class is also fun and a great way to get in shape and meet people, we are all there because we need to protect ourselves– and each other– in an unsafe world. We’ve become allies, if not close friends. But I do like and trust all of these people.

I had some major trust issues when I began this class. I still don’t trust most people unless they prove safe– but that’s smart. But now because *I’m* more confident, I’m finding it’s getting easier for me.

Probably the best thing I’ve learned is to not put up with disrespect. Confront it right away, and most likely you’ll stop it in the future. People will test your boundaries to see how far they can push you. It’s up to us to let them know we’re paying attention and what we will not tolerate.

The problem with being Christian is we are conditioned to forgive at all costs. But I’ve learned now that if someone moves to strike or threaten you, the SAFEST thing you can do is to make a decision and take control. Waiting to react on them could leave you dead.

I have no obligation to forgive someone who has betrayed my confidences, lied to/about me, threatened me or attacked me openly in any way. If you do that at a job, you get fired. Why do we make exceptions for people in our lives just because we have a long history together, we’re related, or we’re dating? The only people who are truly innocent are children or individuals with disabilities, be it mental or physical. Everyone else needs to be held responsible for their words and their actions.

I’m letting go of guilt over people I cut out of my life because they were insufferable or untrustworthy. Condescending, hostile, passive-aggressive, disrespectful, constantly drunk/high and using that as an excuse to behave badly. I’m making peace with realizing I let go of toxic friendships and relationships to protect MYSELF– and I don’t need to apologize to anyone for that.

I’ve become more decisive in my personal life. Things roll off me easier. I’m not scrambling for approval. I’m taking more pride in my appearance. I’m more relaxed, but also more aware.

Tonight I had a few moments of having to pause and think before I could react, but I never quit or got afraid enough to be emotional. I wish the class was longer, because I’ve come to really respect and trust this group. I’d like to keep in touch with some of them, or maybe take another class if my schedule and finances allow.

It’s nice to be called, “Miss Amee,” for a change. To be treated with respect, rather than objectified. All the men were respectful, not creepy. Once you’re treated well, you just can’t accept anything else.

I’ve learned to rely on reason, structure and repetition in this class. I’ve learned that I CAN keep myself safe, and that I’m way ahead of the game in terms of just avoiding bad situations and being aware. That being small can be an asset– and how to use it to my advantage. That I have excellent instincts, and I should trust them.

While watching me and one of the men in the class work on an exercise tonight, our instructor reminded me that I can’t out-muscle him– to stop struggling and just stick with the techniques. After that, I was calmer, and I did it quickly and correctly.

I don’t need to out-muscle anyone. Just out-think them. And that, I’m already doing.

If I know what I’m doing, it doesn’t matter what they’re doing. It’s wonderful.

The best scenario we did by far was tonight’s: we had to spin around with our head on a pole in circles, then fight off one of three people who would charge us, with padded shields. Our instructor said this is the closest way we can simulate being sucker punched. I asked for a definition and he said that’s being hit when you’re not expecting it– it’s not any particular location. It’s just being whacked hard and getting dazed a bit. And I don’t drink or get high on anything, so right there, I have a huge advantage for my safety.

He told us when to wait, when to charge. I charged my hardest, and I fought my hardest.

Now I’m going to study what I’ve learned, and practice with a classmate or two before the test. I already made plans for that.

Wish me luck! Whatever happens, I feel good. I feel capable. I feel strong.

That’s Aight With Me

It seems as I’m posting in a more confident voice, I’m losing some readers.

My subscription numbers fluctuate slightly. Gain one, lose one.

I’m talking less about God, and focusing more on me.

I’m not as humble. But to be a good Catholic or Christian, you don’t need to put yourself down.

It’s okay to like yourself!

I feel like a common trap with our faith is to become so meek, we compromise ourselves. I’m outgrowing that.

And maybe that’s not something everyone can relate with, but that’s fine.

Because this blog is for me. It’s to validate what I feel. It’s a reflection of my journey and growth and the epiphanies along the way, simple and profound.

But I’m not letting the fear of the unknown dictate what I’m going to write. The right readers will find, and appreciate, what I’m sharing. They’ll stick with me. They’ll “like” and comment, or not.

I’m realizing that I’m not speaking to anyone in particular, it’s not about the reaction I get anymore.

I’m thinking out loud.

By being myself, I can’t lose!

And I Danced

Tonight my friend Nikki invited me out for karaoke, and I said “I’m in!”

My friend Tim was bartending and my fav KJ Katrina was working again. The songs I requested kept getting scrambled or delayed.

“You’re the Queen of Technical Difficulties tonight,” Katrina said. “Sounds like my life!” I replied.

How often did something you planned not work out? But there’s always a good reason.

Tonight was about flexibility despite stymied plans.

My first song, “Speechless,” by Gaga, was a bogus track. The tempo was totally off— then it got stuck on a loop. I got her to switch out for another song, since that track was broken. I did “Come to My Window,” by Melissa Etheridge, and rocked it.

Those strong ballads and raw rock songs are my specialty.

I got Nikki to sing “Eye of the Tiger,” with me, and goofed around. She got into it and soon we were both dancing a little bit. We took pictures and just had fun.

And I noticed something: the way I sing is changing. I used to stand there meekly with my feet crossed in front of me, my water in my other hand. I would cling to the mic and only make eye contact with the screen– even when I knew the words.

Now I’m chancing eye contact– and finding that others are watching with respect. Daring to look around the room a bit, even.

I was hoping to do “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You,” by Michael Bolton– I was in the mood for some soul. But the track never materialized– it was listed, but always came up as another song. So I substituted “Love is a Battlefield,” by Pat Benatar.

And that’s when I started dancing. I had both hands up, my feet were going, my hips swaying. I was smiling and laughing– I was in my own little world. I didn’t care if anyone was paying attention or not– but I saw they were.

I sound quite a bit like Pat Benatar, and have been told before I resemble her, being petite with a pixie. I don’t harness her total firepower– but I can hold most of those notes and always get the low ones.

But I’m getting her attitude. I love it.

As my confidence grows, I’m taking up space in my performance– and that’s a small step.

Maybe next time, I’ll interact with one of the other patrons.

But I forgot how happy it makes me to just dance around. At work earlier, I got caught by a co-worker dancing in the aisles. She completely cracked up! It helps pass the time!

Karaoke used to be one of my regular activities. I remember why now– it’s just a wonderful stress relief.

Just like stand-up.

Despite being a bit shy otherwise, I like performing.

I like drawing out the shy people and getting them to loosen up and laugh in spite of themselves.

I don’t mind being silly if it helps others relax.

I know I’ll sleep better tonight because I got to belt out out some great songs, hang out with Nikki, and dance it up too. And I did it all drinking just water.

I just gotta get out more.