I’m under the weather this week, which means I missed my Tuesday night class.  Which also means I have to tell you about what went on last Thursday night.  See, after my first class with Eddie, I thought he was the Antichrist.  Then, as I continued to go to class, I figured he was a pretty good guy.  We did things like laughing therapy, a little yoga, some breathing exercises, and I admit I started to feel like maybe it was going to be a little easier than I thought.

I was wrong.

Holy cow, was I wrong.

We started out Thursday night with a little something called the “Horse Stance.”  It is an ungodly pose invented by some sadistic son of a bitch a long time before I was born, and I am sure whoever it was who invented it is one of Satan’s best friends.  You stand with your feet shoulder-length-and-a-half apart.  Then you turn in your toes so you’re sort of pigeon-toed.  Then, just as the white hot flames of agony are shooting up your legs, you bend your knees.  THEN, you straighten your back, jut out your pelvis, and pull your elbows and arms flat against the sides of your chest.  And you stand there.  And your pigeon-toed feet dig into the mat.  And you hurt.  Eddie then casually mentions that during the blackbelt test, you have to stand there like that for 20 minutes.  Then another 20 minutes.  Then another 20 minutes.  God help me.

So then after we learn some blocks in this terrible position, it is time to do some punhing.  And I am happy.  Because I had a hard day at work, and I am actually pretty good at punching. 

The only problem is that I am the only girl in class tonight, so Eddie pairs me up with a really big dude who also happens to be a green belt.  He’s a really nice guy, and he gave me some great pointers and really helped me with things like punching straight ahead and not bending my elbows… and I learned that I have a terrible habit of dropping my defensive hand when I throw a punch.  So everytime I did this, my Green Belt partner very helpfully bopped me in the face with the punching mitt.  You know, just a friendly reminder that he could cave my skull in any time he wants if I let my guard down again.  I was actually okay with this.  Because then it was his turn to throw some punches.

Now, I am not going to complain about getting hit.  A warrior always takes the punches and moves forward.  And quite frankly, I was not going to be one of those wussy women who freaks out just because she’s throwing down with a dude twice her size.  But the truth of the matter is that I was shitting bricks.  This guy hits… HARD.  And it didn’t seem to matter after a while that I had a mitt over my hand and forearm, because he hit so hard I might as well have gone into it bare-handed.  We went at it for about 20 minutes… and when Eddie called us forward to teach us another ungodly lesson, I could not move my arm.  When I tried to lift my arm, my hand shook.  Uncontrollably.  Let me just say OH MY GOD.

Eddie, bless his soul, noticed that we were throwing punches incorrectly, so he was determined to correct us.  He told us to get into the push-up position.  I almost cried because I cannot feel my right arm anymore.  The muscles were well beyond total failure and in jello territory.  But I got into push up position and then almost cried because I cannot do man-style push-ups.  I can do the girly ones, you know, where you balance yourself on your knees, but the man-style push-ups have always been the bane of my existence.

Eddie wasn’t finished with us yet.  Because Eddie, bless his soul, was going to teach us an object lesson in how to throw a punch.  Not only did he order us into man-style push-up position… we had to perform said man-style push-ups ON OUR KNUCKLES. 

Well, I got onto my knuckles and felt my right arm cave in under me.  There was no way in hell I was going to actually do the push up.  Just being on my knuckles was enough to make me want to scream in horrific agony.  Had I actually been able to feel anything in my right arm, I would probably have passed out.  So I just stayed there in that heinous position while the guys did the push-up.  Did I feel like a wuss?  Yes.  But you know what?  I managed to survive the class.

Almost.

Because Eddie, bless his sweet soul, saw that we still had a few minutes left of class time, so it was time to do some kicks.  Had we done these first, I would have been all right, but by this time I was literally a mess.  My right arm was no longer operational, so I could not get into the correct position.  My balance was shot to hell.  And Eddie pretty much called for DOUBLE TIME snap kicks.  Mind you, I have been trying to watch my language, but I think God will forgive me for the filth that ran across my mind that night.  I could not actually SAY the words– I was far too gone to do much more than utter things that were totally incomprehensible– but I was thinking terrible things.  Hateful things.  The kinds of things that would really make a sailor blush with shame.

The guys were into it– they were kicking along like the Rockettes of Death… but I struggled to eke out two kicks that would not leave me paralyzed for life.  And I was never so grateful to see 7:15 come along.

I got to the locker room to change out of my sweaty gi… and realized with horror that I could not use my right arm.  It took a good 15 minutes to do a one-arm clothing change.  And then, upon reaching my car, I literally had to use two hands to shift gears.  Driving proved to be a special challenge.

I awoke Friday morning feeling as though I had been hit by a truck.  My knuckles were bruised and swollen.  My arm was still useless.  My right hand shook uncontrollably… and I literally could not type or even write for the first few hours at work.

The ladies at work wondered why I would not say something when I felt my body start to fail me during class.  They wondered why I pressed on, why I forged ahead and took the abuse.  The answer is quite simple.  It’s because THAT IS WHAT A WARRIOR DOES.

And I am a warrior, dammit!

Well, except for this horrible chest cold.  The warrior shit ends pretty quickly when you’re hacking up your lungs and running a temperature.  But I will be back.  Oh yes, I will be back!

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