Class was good tonight. More sweeps and I got to work them on a guy that was 240+, so I HAD to get them right. We went over the...and someone please correct me on this if I'm spelling it wrong...Balalonga and scissor sweeps. I'm just not getting my hook right against the side of the torso on the scissor. I think it's because I've been seeing the move demonstrated, and stopping my knee where I see the instructor stopping his, but my shin is longer, so I'm a good 3" off where I need to be, and that makes all the difference. It really is a game of inches, isn't it?
Anyway, I was talking with one of the other ladies in class tonight and she was telling me that one of the guys had her feeling really, REALLY bad about her skills and had been making negative remarks about her being female. We talked for a while about how hard it is being female...not so much about the physical issues, but the toll it can take on you mentally. Just sitting in a room with that many men can make you feel like an outsider. You wonder if the guys dislike rolling with you because of your gender, or because you're too weak or too small or too slow. You wonder if, even if you've told them five times not to go too easy on you, if they still feel annoyed at not being able to go full gorilla with you. You push all that wonder and doubt down every class and go and train anyway.
We got to talking about some of the guys there and how great the higher belts were and how a couple of lower belts were getting a little...cocky...and it made me think about intent. That's been coming up a lot in my life lately...message at church, office stuff, family-ness. Everywhere. I had a huge fire at work today (well..."have", because it's still nowhere near out) but it was one of those issues where you really start to wonder if everybody's playing on the same team. No matter what I do or where I go, it all seems to come back to that.
Why do you show up to work. Why do you show up at the gym. Why are you at church. What brings you to those community and HOA meetings. Is it to fill a desire you have? Is it to make yourself a better person? Is it to help others with their lives? I don't think any of those are mutually exclusive at all, but I look at the first question, and too often, that's the only one of any concern and the second two aren't even after thoughts. I don't expect people to be Mother Teresa, but the blatant disregard for the ripples they cause or even directly predatory behavior for the sake of soothing one's self...well...getting a break from that is part of the reason I show up to train my little 3x a week...and hearing that that's causing problems in a gym...it makes me sad. To be honest though, I also find it motivating to do my part in maintaining the great atmosphere at my school.
My private was so timely. Getting to talk with one of the instructors just about...training and age and the school's background, it really gave me insight into what's really going on around me and where I am in the big picture. The higher belts do such an amazing job of maintaining a physically AND emotionally safe training environment that I'm still being caught off guard. I'm also even more thankful now for the white belts that I started with who, despite my being slow and tired and and an anti-athlete and frustrated, still didn't show one twinkle of annoyance at working with me. Amazing.