Monday, August 29, 2016

Eureka, sort of, finally!

  "She needed to be 'bitch slapped' but he didn't do it".  I heard my spouse read this to my daughter before bed recently.  Someone is apparently getting frustrated with our girl's choice of reading material.  We've gone through this before when our girl was smaller.  She would get stuck on one book until we all had it memorized.  After a while we'd get bored and mess with her by changing things in the story.  Half the fun was seeing if we'd get caught. "That's not what that said!" At least we knew she was paying attention.
  This was all part of the "process" involved in getting her majesty to get ready for bed.  Some nights are better than others, of course.  The stories are probably my fault.  I'm a book nerd from way back and when I had my daughter, that was just a cheap excuse to get more books.  The downside of this is inventory management.  I'm a regular at library book sales and I have a ball looking.  It's one of the few times I will voluntarily shovel my butt out of bed early on a weekend.
  The rest of the process can be attributed to standard kid operating procedure.  Our girl is a professional staller.  Can I have some water? I'm hungry! Is it a bath night? Things got a bit hairier at during second grade.  Our girl's math grades were almost swirling the perimeter.  We tried the computer math games, math dice and getting her 'help' with figuring out the cost of treats at the grocery store.  Finally, her teacher suggested flash cards and our therapist helped out by suggesting they be neon.  Somehow flashcards got added to the "process" mainly because I couldn't figure out how to get any cooperation earlier in the day.
   I think the captive-audience-because-you're-upstairs helps.  It was painful at first but it got a little better when she figured out that these weren't going away anytime soon.  This harrassment continued all through the summer.  What frustrated me was that I didn't figure out how to take the torture out the flashcards until almost September.  Our therapist suggested that since our girl is more of a visual kid, I could just get her to find the answer to a math question in a pile of flashcards.  When we went to the library one day and ran into one of her teachers, she gave me the second half of a great idea!  We could have a race.
   Built into our bedtime saga is now a math game.  I spread out the answer cards and 'race' our girl to find the answers.  She had so much fun beating mommy that she asked for more cards!  I had to wonder if she was feeling well but I've learned to shut up and go with it (selectively, that is) for as long as it lasts.  Despite the fact, that I'm a CPA, my seven year old wins the math race every time by a mile.  She hasn't figured out why mommy is so slow.  Sometimes I don't get it, either.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

exercise - in masochism?

   I am very jealous of my gorgeous instructor, John.  It began as a horrible girl crush.  The man is young, handsome and in fabulous shape.  He's the complete opposite of my husband.  That's an ongoing struggle I have in my marriage.  My spouse is my best friend and we are practically joined at the brain.  I didn't marry him for the unbridled sex appeal but sometimes I miss that.  I'm having an imaginary illicit affair with my teacher.  Good thing he's not aware of that, I wouldn't want to skeev him out.
 Before anyone gets the wrong idea, make no mistake.  We are all of us right where we belong.  That is to say we are all paired up with the perfect spouses for us.  'John', my teacher,  has also never been anything but a consummate professional.  We all know I've made a commitment to run to the end of my chain and bark (to quote a comedian) and I'm cool with that.  Those that know me and my spouse know how spoiled I am and also know I'm smart enough not to louse that up.  John is also so married it can be seen from space.
  I've been taking classes with him for years now.  He began teaching self defense at my dojang.  Recently, he started a new series of real world self defense and intense fitness classes.  They began with an evening information session to survey for interest.  I figured it sounded neat and a little intimidating but I wanted to check it out.  I decided I'd have no problem looking at John for an hour a few nights a week so I signed up.
 Thus began an odyssey into what I can only guess is some warped combination of humoring my mid life crisis and an undiagnosed mental illness.  We started classes and I had no problem watching those nice muscles.  After the first week I woke up so sore it felt like my hair hurt and I was cursing Mister  Handsome Pants -- and I kept coming back.
 The lunacy continued and included such fun things as flipping tires, box jumps and ground pounds and went on to include burpees and "hood drills".  Hood drills, just to enhance the masochism, involve an exercise in reacting whatever threat is in front of you once a hood is removed. (See undiagnosed mental illness.)  
  What's even wierder is the fact that I enjoy these classes or should I say the benefit of them.  I've had fantasies about working out at home in my basement but the reality is that I'm someone who needs to leave the house.  I've also noticed that the older I get the closer to impossible it becomes to get in shape (unless you count round as a shape).  Normal gym workouts no longer seem to give the same results they used to.  I could also eat salad until I develop a nose twitch but still stay ostensibly the same size.  Unfortunately, I also need to sweat like a farm animal and do it often just to break even.  The sessions themselves are fast paced and you don't see the same exact routines twice.  Putting it mildly, by the end of a class, I 'mell.
  I'm guessing the real root of this warped addiction goes pretty deep.  When I was a teenager I lost a lot of weight the "wrong way" and ended up in the hospital.  I recovered physically but haven't been able to see myself clearly since.  I did manage a healthy pregnancy although I was frustrated that the only thing the doctors removed was the baby. They could have taken some extra but no, just our daughter.  Besides the peer pressure of "not wussing out and quitting", my pants are the other big reason I return.
   Somewhere around the sixth week of training from hell, I noticed my abs were improving and my jeans were starting to feel loose. I was teetering on the verge of feeling good about how I looked and was unwilling to give that up. I was trapped, dammit.
    I am one of the older students in our group. Some evenings you'd think John was making a concerted effort to kill us.  There was one particular evening recently when we were doing four rounds of craziness.  By the fourth time,  my burpees had gone from a normal looking down and up to flopping myself on the floor and praying for death.
  What helped a lot was the camaraderie of this group.  Maybe you latch onto each other in a crisis but these people are da bomb all the same.  I've gotten cheered on to finish a set of evil exercises by people I've just met that night as well as the regulars. They also make you feel like you want to finish your set even if you have to drag yourself across the floor with your teeth.
   Every once in a while, we'd all go out for a drink after class, too.  I try to be careful not to put back on too much of what I took off but either way, they're fun evenings because I get to listen to people's blackmail stories.
  I've also learned to look at the world differently.  I'm a bit more aware of my surroundings.  The self defense courses have taught me to look at my environment as a source of weapons should I ever need it.   Every class with John is a combination anatomy and physiology and a physics lesson.  I am a little bit proud of how much stronger I've gotten and I plan to keep training to build up muscle memory.  That part, I'm finding, seems to take a while.
   I figured out another reason why these classes are so much fun and the biggest reason I'm jealous.  The passion is infectious.  John really enjoys what he does.  It's as if someone told his parents, 'Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. you have a bouncing baby law enforcement professional.'  There are very few people I have met who are doing what they were born to do.  My ex, my mechanic and my instructor definitely are born to their jobs.  I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
     I plan to keep trying to figure what I am meant to do, in between classes when I can walk, that is.