Proud Mary

I arrived back at my dojo for the first time in 3-weeks. A honeymoon was followed by a minor flu episode that put this part of my practice on hiatus for longer than expected.

I felt hesitant. First, I was not feeling 100%. Second, Murphy (and his ‘Law’) decided to show up at class that night. Yep. First night back and my “re-entry’ class featured lots and lots of hip throws. I was feeling simultaneously dizzy and hesitant to commit 100% to the throws. I didn’t like it. Not only was I feeling fearful about being thrown, I was also holding back when I was ‘uke’ (the ‘thrower’). It was a recipe for disaster but I trundled on.

I was able to manage until at the very end of class where we were to finish with a series rigorous, fast-paced throws and rolls. Line up, run to the thrower and get flipped over his back to the mat. I probably could have opted out of that final series; instead I pushed forward. I made it. But, after a lifetime of sports and vigorous physical activities, this was the first time that exertion had brought me to the brink of puking my guts out.

I had allowed ego and pride to step in. I pushed beyond the limits of both my physical condition and my training. And I got away with it. I did not throw up on the mat. I made it to the end of the class without embarrassing myself.

I gingerly made my way home, and sat very still for the better part of an hour. I hoped that the room to stop spinning and my stomach would stop doing back-flips. It gave me time to think.

I found myself wondering, “What, exactly, did I gain from that show of “toughness”?” Was it stoic, macho, or just plain stupid to ignore the fact that my body was unhappy? Why couldn’t I have taken care of myself, stepped off the mat and called it a day?

Why can’t I accept that there’s always tomorrow and that at the end of the day there’s nothing to gain and nowhere to go?


One Response to “Proud Mary”

  1. I vote for “just plain stupid” my dear friend!

    Much love, Jackie

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