Kick’em When You’re Down

People often do uncharacteristic things when they are newly divorced or separated. Maybe they buy a flashy car, get drunk too often, sleep with people they don’t know, start a blog…but for me it was kick boxing. I may or may not have done some of the other things too, but I seem to have some big gaps in my memory during that time…thankfully.

Anyway, back when I was too young and married to anotha I’d always felt “looked after”. You know? Like, if a pipe or something broke in the house, there was someone there to fix it, if I couldn’t move a piece of furniture, there was someone stronger to lift it, if a bad guy broke in, I had someone big enough to hide behind, and so yes, I felt like I was “looked after”. But when I found myself on my own with a small child I suddenly felt r-e-a-l-l-y vulnerable.

The first thing I did was buy myself a small metal tool box and an electric drill. I remember feeling ridiculously giddy and really tough at the same time after I successfully installed my first curtain rod.  Look at me! I can look after myself! (Don’t judge…I was still only in my 20’s)

Anyway, kick boxing. It actually makes perfect sense when you stop and think about it. I needed to feel like I could protect myself and my young son, I needed to get stronger. Plus I was still pissed off with the whole failed marriage thing and I needed to beat on someone. Kick boxing fit the bill perfectly. After learning the basics and pummelling the heavy bag (which looked remarkably like my ex) for a few months I was finally able to get in the ring and spar with a real person. It was invigorating even when it was sometimes painful. Despite always being covered from head to foot in padding, there were some rounds that left me bruised and limping. Still, it didn’t matter, I felt strong and ready to take on the world.

The gym, or Dojo, I learned kick boxing in also trained us in Karate. I learned so much from that discipline. At one point I couldn’t afford to continue my membership so I asked if I could work it off somehow. Luckily the Dojo needed to be painted. Perfect! I spent all of my spare time there and instead of  going out and drinking and partying too much like most twenty-something singles, I trained. Meanwhile, I got into the best physical shape I’d ever been in. My confidence soared. I was not only physically stronger but without realizing it, I had become emotionally stronger too.

Kick boxing and Karate entered my life at the perfect time. I’d like to end this by saying how it’s kept me young and in shape but the truth is, after a few years I moved on and away from the sport. Part of me wishes I hadn’t – the part that wishes I could still deliver a powerful round house kick to someone’s head if I had to…but I can’t. Truth is, I just don’t feel the need to any longer. There is a bigger part of me that is grateful I don’t have to fight anyone anymore. Somewhere along the way I lost the anger and vulnerability. All these many years later my young son is now a grown man and more than capable of looking after himself. Plus, as long as I don’t have to live with him, I consider the heavy bag my ex a friend.  So it’s all good. Hiy Ya!

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