Friday, October 28, 2011

“In love, it is better to know and be disappointed, than to not know and always wonder.”

There are many sayings that get thrown at you while growing up and I attached myself to plenty of them.  “Outside looking in, Inside looking out” was the theme of much of my bad woe-is-me 8th grade attempts at poetry.  “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game”.  I swallowed this one like a giant sedative horse pill disguised as a vitamin.  Everything I played I played with great dedication and passion but still I cannot help but think that I could have learned my lessons about losing and at the same time gotten a great deal more satisfaction from all I had put into practice had we won more often.  “It’s not a fear of failure, it’s a fear of success”.  That was a great excuse to not fully be an active participant in my own dreams.  That is bullshit.

Who would not choose a path of guaranteed success?  Who fears success?  Really?

Think about it.  If what you want to be is a great parent do you fear being successful at it?  We can list a plethora of occupations from the seemingly mundane to those that appear glorious, in what you love to do and I mean really love to do not just sort of like or do because the bills have to be paid somehow… in what you love to do whatever it may be, do you really fear being extraordinary at it?

I do not.  If anything I fear finding out that I am simply ordinary at it.

I understand that with success comes great responsibility.  But if you could be promised the outcome would you not choose it?  Success over Failure?  Success over Mediocrity?

Recently a well known professional fighter at the end of training as we all gathered per the norm of how we end our sessions spoke from his heart to those of us just getting started on this path.  He said for us to truly enjoy this beginning.  That the Portuguese word for amateur means, for the love of (“from French, from Latin amātor lover, from amāre to love”), and how a part of him wishes he was still an amateur because over time as you succeed more will be expected of you and the pressure to perform is immense.  Not only will this sport bleed your heart and your soul but it will also destroy your body.  You will wake up in pain.  You will spend your day in pain.  You will go to sleep in pain.  And you will probably live another fifty years this way after you retire.  He was trying to tell us to truly apreciate the pure love of fighting, the pure beauty of being a competitor before managers and promoters and fans and image consultants tainted our passions. He was trying to warn us that success is not all champagne and parties and glamour.  On the contrary, by choosing to be fighters we were choosing a path that would bring us great hardships and suffering in mind, body and soul.

On positive days I feel unstoppable.  Nothing will stand in my way.  I have what it takes to rise against the challenges that will come my way.  But on hard days I sometimes doubt myself.  What have I gotten myself into?  Really, what insanity have I committed myself to these next X number of years?  What if I am not all that good?  I feel tears flooding into my sinuses and I push them back down to save for a more private moment.

And then I remember what I have said here and say to myself whenever I begin to see the light coming through behind the veil of darkness… after today there is always tomorrow and with tomorrow there is always new hope.

Back to the gym.  Back to work.  Back to school.  Back to learning.  Back to believing in the possibilities.  Back to Love.

“Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.” -Katherine Mansfield

Whether I be ordinary or extraordinary... "it is better to know and be disappointed, than to not know and always wonder..."  But let us hope that I will not be disappointed.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Crazy Things We Do For Love…

Tomorrow I fight.  I have a nice shiner from training and I am beginning to worry that the Doctor will not let me in the cage.  I am getting desperate.  I want to Fight.  I am told to hard boil an egg and rub it on the bruise, that the color will be soaked into the yoke.  My reasonable mind does not believe this but my hopeful self is willing to try anything.
So I cook eggs and peel them and wait for them to cool just enough so they do not burn my skin.  I then stand in front of the mirror and roll an egg over the black and blue.  I am thinking these are free range grass fed organic eggs… fancy eggs… I should be eating them… these premium quality eggs.  With my second try I have developed some technique.  I have found my rhythm.  It is less sloppy.  It feels oddly nice.  But the results are disappointing.  I am still purple and the yolks are still yellow.
Tea bag.  Massage the area with a warm tea bag they say.  My reasonable mind is beginning to think all these tricks are simply saying to bring heat to the bruise and massage the old blood out.  This makes sense.  So I lay with a heated pad over my eyes then massage then heat then massage then heat etc etc etc and while I am doing this my insanity returns.  I am thinking about how I should take a needle to the little pocket of fluid that bubbles out at the corner of my brow near my temple.  Drain it like cauliflower ear.  For some reason this seems like a good idea.
I consult my nurse friend, Mimi.  She says, No. 
Well shit… I was hoping she would say, Oh yeah no big deal stick a syringe near the corner of your eye and suction out all that extraneous squishy stuff.
I spend the rest of the day alternating between ice packs and heat packs.  I am massaging the little swelling and thinking if I cannot puncture my face from the outside to free the goop then maybe I can push it around enough to create a hole on the inside of my head so it has somewhere to go.  
What did I just say?!  Really?!  "punture my face"? "hole on the inside of my head" ?
It is official, I am certifiable.  I am insane. 
Before I got hitched to Fight I would have said, Not even when pigs fly would I ever, to all of it.  I begin to laugh at myself as I think, Oh goodness me the crazy things we do for Love…

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

CuddleBuddle? ~ Them's Ain't Fightin' Words...

I have been taking notice of my niece who does not quite yet have two years of exploring this world under her belt.  I have been envious of this time in her young life.  Her freedom of expression is only just beginning to be stifled by expectations of how we are to behave.

When she sees me holding her older sister she stands before us and makes protesting sounds, she is making demands.  When I lift her onto my other knee she is still not content.  She starts to push her sister away.  She wants all the attention.  I do what is right.  I tell her to share, that I have enough love for both of them.  But what I am thinking is how I wish I could still do that.

I think of my grandmother who passed away some years ago.  For a moment I dream of childhood.  There must have been a time when I needed tenderness that I would walk toward her with arms raised asking to be loved and comforted.  I wonder when that stopped, why that stopped.

In fight training we are so damn tough so all the time.  But this thing we are doing we are all so passionate about that sometimes emotions flood through us and sneak out of our bodies in streams of tears.  You would think with all our jiu-jitsu training we would be expert huggers but we are not... not with each other.  No one holds me when I fall apart.  Everyone just feels uncomfortable and uncertain of what to do.  And when I have seen frustration and heartbreak crying I have wanted to hold them and comfort them, these teammates of mine, but I have not.

My little niece would.  I know if she saw me or you in pain she would not hesitate to scoop us into her arms.  She would cuddlebuddle any one of us.  She has not yet been told not to... and oh how I do envy that about her.