Krav Maga…aka, Awesome Workout aaaaaaaand I Got to Hit Stuff!!!!!!

Ikms-logon following through with my plan to check out Krav Maga Seattle, aka KMS, I got up early, ate a healthy breakfast in plenty of time to let it digest before I headed down to the gym.  It was really easy to find, and there was plenty of free street parking.  I walked in, was instantly greeted by Ally, who helped me get set up for my free week trial (this is usually $20, but there’s a special going on right now where the trial week of unlimited classes is free!  Can ya say kismet??) and I took a seat and watched the final few minutes of Krav Maga 2 class, and holy friggin wow!  That class was no joke!  The amount of self defense, combat training, and technique going on amongst these amazing athletes blew my mind!  I decided to just watch the Krav Maga level 1 class today, but was planning on taking the KMS Bag class, which I’ll get to soon.

So, Krav Maga Level 1….yeah, not for the faint of heart!  The pre-workout, good gawd, I got sore just watching the class.  And after about 10 minutes or so, they all partnered up and started working on punches.  There was every kind of body type, fitness level, skill level, and intensity out there.  The first timers to the class were well instructed and people were so willing to help them do things correctly.  The veterans were friggin inspiring.  One chick in particular, she had dreads and a black bandana and she was a beast!  Her technique was impeccable, her focus was formidable and her intensity was inspirational!  They moved on from punches, to working on knee strikes.  They then worked on getting out of a hold if someone grabs you around the neck from the back and tries to choke you.  I just loved everything I saw, and can’t wait to take my first level 1 class.  Ally taught the class with help from a few other instructors, with the owners keeping watch and shouting out words of encouragement and inspiration throughout.  Everyone gave 110% in that class, and it was a powerful thing to watch!

An hour after that I checked in, grabbed a pair of boxing gloves from the loaner bin, and headed to the mat for my first KMS Bag class.  And Chau, one of the owners started us off.  We all grabbed a jump rope and jumped for 5 minutes.  That doesn’t seem like that long, but when you haven’t jumped rope since the 80s, yeah, it was so long!!  I instantly realized how out of shape I am, but I fought through the pain.  Fought through the burn.  And lasted the full 5 mins.  After that, we did some across the floor work, engaging our core, warming up the entire body.  I felt slow, and weak, but I pushed through.  Then, Ally took over the class and we strapped into our gloves and all grabbed a heavy bag.  And that’s when the magic happened for me!  Not only was my body already sweaty and exhausted, but it was invigorated and craving more!  And this is what I was craving!  I got to hit on the heavy bag!

Working in 2-3minute intervals on different punches, it felt so good to get back to working on a heavy bag.  My body instantly remembered the form I need for accurate, effective punches.  I heard my grandfather’s voice in my head telling me to center, engage my abs, use my hips, keep the punches at shoulder level, and exhale.  And I did.  And it felt great!  All was well until we had to drop down and do sit-ups, and that quick change of level send the first wave of nausea and dizziness.  Coming off of 65 days without sugar made it tough because my body was low on fuel!  My pace may have been a lot slower than the rest of the class, but ya know what, I didn’t quit!  I went at my pace, but I didn’t quit!

I got back up and pushed through.  More dizziness came.  More nausea.  The coaches checked on me, I slowed my pace, but I didn’t quit.  And somehow, at the end of class, I was able to complete a pyramid series of punches, roundhouse kicks, and splays and did so without puking all over the gym!  It hurt.  It burned.  My brain and muscles were screaming for me to stop.  But my heart was too far into it.  My soul was too hell bent on finishing.  I remembered that I have the word Forza, which means Strength in Italian, on my arm for a reason!  I am stronger than I’ve been lately.  I am one tough bitch when I want to be, and I was NOT going to give up!  And when I finished, not only was I so proud of myself, but all the coaches gave me high fives and congratulations!

For the first time, in a long time, I felt so welcome somewhere new.  It felt like I finally found a place I belong!  And even though my heart was pounding out of my chest, I was breathing harder than I have in a long time, and my entire body was shaking, I felt such elation, I can’t even tell you!

I am going to finish out the free week, cuz why not, but I can tell you right now, I’m already a member of KMS.  I am so stoked to workout at this place 5 days a week.  And the best part, it’s friggin walking distance from my office!  No excuses!  This was meant to be on so many levels.

I got to my car, checked in with my best friend so he would know I survived.  And then, I cried.  I cried a release of tears I didn’t know I needed to cry.  The release I got today from all the tension I have been carrying around for the past 6 years finally felt like it was letting go of me.  The weight I’ve been carrying felt lighter.  Yes, I’ve tried yoga.  Yes, I’ve tried diets.  But none of that gave me the endorphin rush, the fulfillment, and the sense of personal accomplishment that this KMS Bag class gave me today.  Some people run. Some people yoga.  Some people crossfit.  Me?  I like to hit stuff.  I like to spend an hour with a heavy bag. I like to learn to defend myself while getting fit.  I’ve found the place that is going to help me reach all my goals, both fitness wise and nutrition wise.  How’s that, you might ask?  Well, because they have a nutritionist there that I am going to work with to ensure I’m fueling and recovering properly for this level of pushing my body.

I more than found a breadcrumb today.  I found a lost piece of myself that I’d forgotten about, and was so ecstatic to find.

Ciao for now,

M sm

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Feels Like Home…But Not To Me

home-iconBreadcrumbs have popped up here and there since I started this journey, yet they are too few and far between for me to feel like I’m really getting anywhere new.  I feel so horribly lost, still, somewhere between the path my daughterly duty had me stuck on for years, and the one I’m supposed to be on.  And in the search, something occurred to me tonight.  The final breadcrumb I find that will be sitting in the middle of my path will be called one thing:  Home.

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I absolutely hated the house I grew up in.  I hated it as a child, ran from it as an 18 year old, and only went back to take care of my mom.  And after her passing, having the chore of cleaning it out and getting it ready for sale was one of the worst experiences of my life.  And doing it completely alone just reinforced how much I absolutely hate that piece of real estate.  It holds no sentimental value to me.  It meant nothing to me to sell it.  I moved, and never looked back.

How strange to spend most of your life in one place and somehow not feel like you belong there.  And yet, that’s how I’ve always felt about this house.

And then this holiday season began and it hit me completely out of left field that this will be the first Christmas in my entire life that I won’t be in that house.  It’s not my first Christmas alone, that was last year.  But it wasn’t so much of a big deal, because there was something ‘normal’ in being in that place on Christmas day.  Cooking Christmas dinner in that kitchen.  Watching TV in that living room.  Hating it, yet comfortable in it.  However, this year, I can’t go there.  And it’s not like I want to go there.  I have no desire to go there.  But the finality of it brought up a ton of emotions this past week.  I blame the yoga (see previous post here for explanation).  Any way, as the tears stop falling, and the sobbing subsides, the end of my journey revealed itself to me.

I will finally be ok when I find my home.

I have no idea where that is.  It’s not the Tri-Cities.  It’s not Seattle, although Seattle will do for now.  It might be Venice, as I felt more at home there than anywhere else I’ve ever been in my life.  Cannon Beach holds a close second.  But neither of them gave me that sense of belonging to a place.

I want to find my place so badly.  I want to have that place that, when I walk inside, I feel peace.  My home.  My sanctuary.  The place that, no matter how hard it gets out there in the world, I can go home, close the door, light some candles and breathe.  And up to now, every place I’ve lived in has been rented, so never felt like mine.

Does that mean it’s time to buy?  Perhaps.  But I won’t until I am sure I want to set roots down.  All this haze still surrounds me, but I do see the light through it…I am ready for a home.  Not an apartment, not a rented condo, not a rental house…a home.  My home.  In my place.

No idea where that is.  No idea when it will happen.  But I trust that when I find it is when this journey, this journey of finding my way the life I’m supposed to have will be over and I can start the next one, whatever it may be.

Can’t wait to find that last breadcrumb.  Hoping it arrives sooner rather than later, cuz God knows I’m not getting any younger.

Ciao for now,

M

Love While You Can….Please!

Love has been on my mind for quite some time, and it’s still there, but taking an interesting turn these days.  In an answer to my needy vs. not needy post, a song came across my iTunes and I’m sure I’ve heard it dozens of time before, but for whatever reason it really hit me hard today.

“Love whenever and wherever and however you should.”

This song is from a new play on Broadway called If/Then starting the great Idina Menzel and one of my favorite voices, La Chanze.  This song just slapped me in the face today, and I wanted to put it out there so I didn’t forget this feeling.  Love is friggin fantastic in all of it’s forms, so I need to stop waiting for and worrying about only the true kind, but instead, just be grateful for all the love in my life.

Take a listen….I don’t think you’ll regret it:

Ciao for now,

M

Got Bliss?

Got Bliss?

So, I searched for ‘happiness’ on Pinterest, and came across this photo of a little girl on an ostrich in Africa. The sheer joy on her face. The sheer happiness that just jump out at you from this photo moved me. And made me think, when was the last time I was truly happy? When was the last blissful moment of my life. And then I looked closer at this picture, and realized, it’s not about the bliss of the past. It’s finding the bliss in the now.

Got Bliss? Not quite yet…but I’m on my way. First breadcrumb found!

This photo, compliments of Pinterest