Stronger…Whatever It Takes!

Nothing will make you realize how out of shape you are like a KMS Bag class.  It’s hard.  It’s so hard.  It pushes you physically, but more than that, it pushes you mentally.  I’ve got three classes under my belt now, and one thing has remained the same through each class for me:  I’m stronger than I think I am…and I’ll do whatever it takes to finish!


And it’s funny, you know, the thoughts that go through my mind when I hit those moments during class where my muscles are burning, my breath is shallow, and I feel like I’m going to puke.  With that level of exhaustion you’d think I’d be thinking, “Stop!  Quit!  Enough!”  But I don’t.  Those thoughts don’t even enter my mind.  Instead, what I think is, “One more!  Don’t Quit!  No Pain!”

I actually hear Rocky’s trainer from Rocky IV, when Rocky is training in Russia, and he’s doing that insane exercise where he’s holding on to a table, with only his shoulders resting on the table, and he’s slowly and with epic control lowering his feet to the table in slow, methodical reps, and the trainer just says calmly, “No pain.”  He says over and over with intense control, “No pain.”  And that’s what I hear in my head when I’m struggling to do one more rep, to punch one more time, to throw one more kick!  All I can think is, “No pain!  Finish!”  How fitting that the soundtrack under that scene is called Hearts on Fire.  And that’s how I feel during class.  It’s hard!  Really hard!  And yet it’s the most amazing thing, because I’ll do whatever it takes to finish!

And you know why I think that?  Well, it’s twofold.  The first is because, and I can’t believe how much I truly had forgotten this fact, but I’m a tough bitch!  When I set my mind to something, I truly can do anything.  No matter how much it hurts, no matter how long it takes, no matter how much I sacrifice, I will achieve my goal!  But the second, and the most powerful piece for me is that it’s the culture at KMS.  They make me want to push harder, hit harder, finish as hard as I possibly can.  They make me want to make them proud as much as make myself proud.  It’s a place of positivity, of encouragement and of community.  And to finish a class and have everyone congratulating each other for killing it out there, well, that’s just something amazing to be a part of, and I’m so grateful for every class.

kms200The last two days I haven’t taken a class, because my work schedule doesn’t line up for me to take a class.  And I find myself missing it.  I’m looking forward to noon tomorrow when I get to go hit stuff again!  I find my self getting into fighting stance while waiting for the elevator, or standing in line at the grocery store.  It’s pretty awesome.  It’s only been a week, but I already feel like I’m a part of KMS.  And when I signed up, I’m the 200th member, which was such a cool thing for both me and the owners!  It’s a big milestone for them, and a huge moment for me.   Every experience I have in this place just shows me that I found the right place at the right time, because I feel so good when I get there and even better when I leave!  If you like to hit stuff, and want a good workout, and you live in Seattle, you really should come join me!  I dare ya!

Ciao for now,

M sm


Don’t forget about the joy!

So, I took a few days away from my life, and went on a mini vacation to Seattle to visit my best friends.  Friends, who in truth, are my family.  And we spent a glorious weekend indulging in all the things that bring us joy.  The best of those is the simple act of being together.  Things are just better when we’re together.  The past few years have brought me very few things to be joyful about.  However, there is one thing that brings me so much joy, it literally brings me to tears to think about it.  And his name is Mackenzie.  


I mean, look at him.  He’s literally the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.  And he’s beautiful both inside and out.  His mere existence brings me so much joy, I can’t even put it into words.  His smile lights up a room, his spirit makes my soul sing.  He’s amazingly talented, and breathtakingly stunning, and I’m so blessed to call him family.  He’s the little brother I always wanted, and I’m so proud of him.  That bracelet is something I gave him years ago, and he always wears it, and it means so much to me.  He truly, is my joy.  He keeps me going, and makes things better for me.  I smile when he smiles.  And on the flip side, I hurt when he hurts.

Life hasn’t always blessed this beautiful boy, he’s had his challenges.  He’s just returned home after a time in New York City, and he’s regrouping back home in Seattle.  He’s focused, and he’s driven, and he’s hungry, but to know that not having New York embrace him with open arms from day one, and that fact brought him pain, also bring me pain.

I’m not a parent, but I wonder if this feeling I have is what parents feel for their children.  That hope that they succeed.  That need to fix the hurt.  That want to bring them happiness.  I feel that for Mackenzie, and have since the moment I laid eyes on him; which was strange for me, as we aren’t related in the slightest, and I didn’t meet him until he was almost grown.  But, there was something…something about him that I wanted to be a part of…something about him that i wanted to protect and nurture.  And lucky me, I got my wish.

Mackenzie has a wonderful mother, so that role is very well cast and very well performed.  I, however, get to be the big sister, and I love it.  I want this next chapter to be everything he needs it to be to take the next step in his career.  I want him to find his joy.  And I’ll do everything and anything I can to help him.

So, why add this to my blog that’s dedicated to me finding my way out of my own darkness?  Why write about someone else’s journey?  Because, what I realized in getting my arms around Mack for the first time in years is, while, yes, there is a lot I want to change, there are somethings that I did correctly.  Some things in my life so right, they don’t need me to do any work on it.  Some things already bring me joy, and I need to celebrate them.  So often I get bogged down in the crap that is awful and negative and painful.  I have a lot in my life to be happy about.  Mack is at the top of that list, and today, I take a moment to celebrate that joy!

FWY, Mack, Always!

Ciao for now,