Monday, September 22, 2014

Perseverance, Sweat, and Pride

Six months ago I listed a bunch of activities that The Princess could choose from to participate in. Much to my surprise she chose Karate. Upon arrival at her first lesson (at the business closest to our home, because I wasn't going to drive a long ways on a whim!) I found out that they also had classes for three year olds. And, since I felt bad for Sweet Pea whose life was basically defined by tagging along on her older sister's life, I signed her up too.

Unbeknownst to me, I signed up for the family plan. The family plan that included free classes for parents...  "Oh, that's a nice," I thought.

But I am budget minded, and FREE classes just really shouldn't be wasted, so I sent Steve off to his first class.

When he came back he made me promise I'd go the next night so, with MUCH trepidation, I went. Not to Karate classes - those are just for the kids. I'd somehow signed up for Krav Maga classes.

Oh, you've never heard of it?  Neither had I...  My first class involved a twenty minute death trial that the instructors jokingly called a "warm-up", a quick stretch, and then 30 minutes of learning how to punch correctly ("you're punching THROUGH the jaw, you can dislocate it right here...") and get out of a choke hold.

Seriously, have you ever even thought about getting out of a random choke hold around your neck?

It was totally crazy and totally intriguing and so I went back a second time. And a third. And then I bought an extra shirt (cause you have to wear the right attire, duh). And then I started getting twitchy if something messed with my schedule. I even skipped a couple of naptimes to go to the noon class because I wasn't going to make it to the evening one. (She's ALMOST 4, she can handle it!!  I rationalize well.)

Which brings us to six months later.

I spent 3 1/2 hours in a Krav Maga qualifier to advance to a yellow belt status this past Saturday. I haven't been that nervous in a long time. Nervous for a week in advance. Nervous enough to make stupid mistakes at practice. Nervous enough to choke down food when I wanted to throw it up. Nervous enough to stand at the door and wait for my partner's arrival (we've been practicing together for three months. She's THE BEST!) and hug before we proceeded to punch, kick and choke each other.

At the end we were all shaking, nerves annihilated by exhaustion. We had bruises, scratches, black eyes and jammed fingers. And I accomplished something that was never even on my "to-do" list. Next week I go back, theoretically capable enough to don headgear, pads, and gloves to learn how to kick, punch, and defend myself even more. And I'm pretty excited about it!



Monday, September 15, 2014

Friend

There are good friends.

There are friends who are there through thick and thin.

There are friends who adopt you as family.

And I am so thankful for each and every variety.

Friendship is such a gift.


Sometimes friends just sit in support...

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sudden



 

GIF credit to MorgainePendragon on Tumblr
(If you're not a Buffy fan we should have a serious discussion about your life choices...  However, that's not the point of this particular post.)


During my last year of high school I cried myself to sleep every night during the month of March. I was leaving home for college that coming September and mourned in anticipation. And then I mourned again when I actually got there, for all of the same reasons and for all new ones too.

We try to prepare ourselves. Visualize the scenarios, plan the course of action, and imagine what it will feel like and how we will react.

We know the facts, we know the steps, we know what’s coming and still, with all of the preparation, there is the moment.

Toe up to the line we could see coming, the one drawn with “someday” in mind.

Pause in the breath between then and now.

Step over the edge.

And it’s an entirely different world.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

World Cup Connections

It was just another normal day at work where I ride down the hill on the tram to spend 20 to 30 minutes waiting at the research pharmacy to pick up medication for a patient. This time, however, Germany was playing Portugal and the score was already ridiculous - 3-0 Germany. I checked the score, since I had nothing else to do, and was shocked to see that Germany had scored again. My surprised intake of breath caught the attention of the man also waiting and playing with his phone.

Now, normally I would have exchanged a polite smile and returned to my private bubble. I'm not that great with small talk and I work under the all encompassing HIPPA regulations; it's just easier to politely keep to yourself.

"Germany just scored again." I blurted out instead and his eyebrows rose in surprise.
"You're watching the World Cup?" I don't really look like a soccer/futbol fan I guess.

And then we started chatting like old friends with different accents, comparing notes on teams and commiserating on our countries', Mexico and the USA, poor chances for making it past the first round. I told him that we're watching all the games on Univision and working on our Spanish and he directed me to the Univision app so that I could watch the games on my phone (which is what he'd been doing).

It was a connection that wouldn't have been made except for the world-wide excitement about The Cup.

I've thought of him while cheering Mexico on in each of their games (even though a win over the Netherlands would have completely broken my bracket!) and wondered if he remembered me when the US played each of their heart attack inducing games.

I don't think the game can save the world. But, oh does it open doors for some human interaction. And the bridging of different worlds, that is a small step in the right direction.

Monday, June 30, 2014

World Cup 2014

Can I tell you how much I LOVE the World Cup? Despite the ridiculous and awful FIFA corporation?

Three Reasons:

1. My brother and I have long conversations (in person and over email) about players, games, our bracket picks, and current outrages.  It's so awesome!  Plus, the 30 minute conversation with my sister about soccer and the fact that two old guys were TOTALLY eavesdropping on the entire thing is icing on the cake!

2. The Princess is totally into the games. To the point where, when going upstairs for quiet time, she reminds me to update her should any team score! (I had to update her twice during the France-Switzerland game. If you don't know what I'm talking about you missed a completely BIZARRE game.)

3. Immersion language lessons as we're watching all the games on Univision because they're streaming them for free. (I'm looking at you ESPN who requires a cable subscription. Shame on you!)

I know there are politics involved, I know there is corruption, I know there is stupidity...but for 90 minutes it's just about the joy of the game. And the certainty that you're ACTUALLY going to die from a heart attack by the end.

Watching the game first thing in the morning.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Solitary

This girl loves her solitary moments.


I completely understand, even when I'm trying to provide "socialization" for her - because that's an important skill too.
 
 
Basically, we like to be solitary together.


Which is a lovely sentiment.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Magic

There is magic outside.

You just have to get out in it.





 
Fort Vancouver, Washington.
June 2014