Friday, February 27, 2009

Fear of Aggression

My kickboxing instructor asked me to punch her. She wouldn’t punch back. She's training for a big fight and needs to get used to being hit.

I don’t know if I can.

Why am I kickboxing anyway? For a few years, my husband has been suggesting kickboxing whenever I lament my large “slavic thighs”. Joking about my thigh genes being passed down for thousands of years to the women of my family, I have the legs of my mom and grandmother. They are the last hold out for my fat deposits, so I need to work them.

My instructor has started to talk to me about competition. An exhibition could eventually lead to sparing against other women. I hold back telling myself that I’m in it for the exercise.

During my third class I took her up on the offer to release my frustrations on the bag. Until that moment, I was just going through the physical motions. “What’s bothering you?” she yelled. With the thought of an annoying situation in my life, I really wailed on that leather bag. The sensation was scary. I’m afraid I’ll lose myself down the long dark tunnel of this aggressive world.

My instructor has a fourth degree black belt. She tells the story of the guy who came up to her with a knife one night. He said “Give me your bag.” She tried to warn him by saying “Don’t mess with me.” He decided to repeat “Give me your bag.” So she tossed it high in the air. When he went to grab it, she punched him hard, caught the bag, and took off. The thought of that kind of power hasn’t left my mind since I heard the story.

Imagine having such control and confidence.

So what’s it going to be? Can I really fight someone? Will I slip into this world and not recognize myself?

I’m still trying to figure out who I am. I must be alive.

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