Yesterday was the third day in a row of fighting classes, and I still haven’t managed to shake this cough of mine, and it appears to be culminating in the loss of my voice (this happens at least twice a year, during the changing of the major seasons).
So at about 40 minutes into class last night, I was exhausted – body shaking, sore muscles, wobbly stance exhausted. We were doing a cardio Krav Maga class, which is heavy bag work (kicking and punching techniques) cut through with ab work, lunges, and push-ups.
As we got to the very end of class, Sifu Katalin had us get into and hold a plank position. This isn’t actually a very difficult thing to hold – it’s basically holding yourself up into a push-up position, tightening up your core, and holding it for a minute. Doing this as part of a pilates class, or at the *beginning* of any other class, isn’t difficult in the least. Doing this at the end of a cardio Krav Maga class, as the third day in a row of classes when you’re used to doing two days a week… was harder.
“Hold it,” Sifu Katalin said. “Twenty more seconds. Close your eyes if you have to. It’ll help. Get through it.”
And I closed my eyes and quite literally went away. My brain just sort of clicked off from my body and said, “See ya,” and I fell back into my writerly fantasyland – I think I ran through some Delaraan plot point I’m cleaning up in book one, with dancing and dog riders.
I descended into blackness for the last twenty seconds, until Sifu Katalin said: “Time” – and then I crumpled.
Tuesday was a really frustrating boxing class. I was paired with an Amazon-like purple belt, Jai, who helped me through the uppercuts. I find throwing uppercuts to the body really awkward, and I’ve apparently been keeping my feet too narrow while in my fighting stance. I wasn’t feeling well, and I was really fucking frustrated.
Jai said, “How long have you been doing this?”
I lied and said three months, when in fact it’s been four. That’s how bad I thought I was doing.
She just laughed at me. “I’ve been doing this three years,” she said, “and I used to teach boxing at another school. Don’t get frustrated. C’mon, tall girl, you’ve narrowed your stance again.”
My friends have gotten to the point where they know me well enough to help me understand the significance of events in their lives by giving me a writing analogy. My buddy Ryan was asked by a formidable guest dancing instuctor to give an example of a form during class, and he said – without my prompting – “It would be like a really famous author holding up an example of your work to the class and saying, `this is how it’s done.'” My buddy Patrick once explained how me dropping out of being a bridesmaid at my best friend Stephanie’s wedding would be “on par with an editor buying your novel, getting through rewrites and bluelines and shit, and then saying, ‘Oh, hey, we just had a strategy shift, and we need this all ironed out in one book — and we need there to be at least three enormous fight scenes with riding dogs in them. You’ve got ten days, or else the book will never get published.'”
I love my friends.
So, coming home from class last night, sore and exhausted and knowing that I still had one more class tonight in order to hit my new four-days-a-week goal, I equated my frustration with a wannabe writer being pissed off because they wrote for an hour every day for four months, and they still weren’t making a living by writing books.
And I thought of how long and hard I would laugh at that person.
I’m doing OK.