Thursday, February 10, 2011

Being Tough is Hard to Do

February is a tough month around these parts. As a teacher, you're kind of stuck. The kids are crazy from having to stay inside in the subzero temps. The administration is freaking out about ISAT, next year, and insane amounts of data that don't always make sense. To add insult to injury, Target (and all of my other favorite stores) have started rolling out my adored sundresses and flip flops, and I'm still imprisoned in sweats that Kev could fit in and hoodies that transport fatty snacks. It's not an attractive time.

Yesterday, my friend E and I were discussing ways to get out of these winter doldrums, and we decided we needed some projects. We decided to do two polar opposite things:

1) Learn to crochet so we can make baby blankets for other people's babies. (Babies seem to be everywhere in my life. I swear, every time I load up my Facebook I see a new fetus in my feed. What's up with THAT?)

2) Try some new physical stuff. So today, we cashed in a Groupon that we had both bought ages ago and headed to boxing.

Yes, boxing. I can't even believe I did it. Me, who spends so much time at the arthritis clinic that everyone there knows me as "the young kid with the really nice blood" went to boxing. I knew I was in trouble when a beautiful, perky blonde girl with the most perfect calf muscles I had ever seen greeted me at the door and made me sign not one, but TWO waivers. I nervously asked her if she had any tips for newcomers.

"Oh no! This is the best place in the entire world and Robbie is THE BEST. You'll be fiiiiiiiine." she chirped. Her perkiness made me re-assess the situation. Here are the things I saw:

1) BOYS. I have never, ever been to a workout class with boys in it before. Sure, there's been the occasional muscular karma type dude in my yoga classes, and I've had an occasional greyhound hiding in the back of my spin class, but these were real BOYS. The kind who wrestle and drink beer and wear cutoff t-shirts and grunt while they do their knuckle pushups. They were warming up on bags right near mine. Yikes.

2) An Australian hyper man in red satin shorts swinging like an orangutang from the rafters our body bags were swinging from. Literally. Swinging. From. The. Rafters. Clearly, he had not been chasing kindergarteners around all day.

3) My terrified and crotchety eyes looking back at me in the mirror. I walked out of work crabby to the max today from work. Stupid state-mandated testing. Stupid people not believing in me. Stupid me not believing in myself. I was doomed.

I changed, then she grabbed my hands and started wrapping them. Then I got to wear the coolest things ever:

For the next 60 minutes, I huffed, puffed and punched a gigantic black bag. It almost knocked me over sometimes. I almost knocked it out sometimes. Through it all, a super spastic Australian man named Robbie prodded us onward while yelling things like "Higher! Kill it! Jab at the body, jab at the head! Men don't like love handles, but women HATE love handles! THROW AWAY YOUR LOVE HANDLES!" You know what? I loved it.

I walked out of that gym feeling better than I had in the last few weeks. I think I proved to myself that I could do it. And if I can box, I can certainly find a job that will make me happy, find the time to pay more attention to the details that escape me in every day life, and be a kinder person. I felt like I was going to die, I cheated on a few push ups, but I did it, and I want to do it again.

I tell you what, though, this being tough is really hard work. There were some really tough people in that class today, and I worked really hard to pretend to be tough too so that they didn't beat me up. Now I'm sleepy. Thank God for my snuggly clothes and well-loved blankets, because I'm pooped. Punching is HARD. Punching hard things is REALLY HARD. I feel the only way to remedy this situation is to sit on the couch, eat a pizza lean pocket, and call it a day with my favorite Teen Moms. After all, let us not forget it is Thursday. Our crochet project might be the way to go until these shoulders of mine stop aching. I wish they would stop tattling on me while I'm trying to hang on to my inner badass.

Oscar De La Hoya never had these problems......

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