Saturday, March 23, 2013

Goodbye Kickboxing

*This is my "therapy" post for the day, so please feel free to skip it.*

I quit kickboxing today.

I'm actually shaking right this very moment because it feels a lot like a break up with someone you've had a long relationship with that's come to an end. It's one of those relationships that started off so fabulous and has slowly become something else over time. It's not the people, it's not the instructors, it's not the exercise... it's me.

Ugh, me? Really? Yes, really. It's hard to admit that. I know I'm a lunatic and I expect a lot of myself and others around me, but I guess I didn't realize how much I expected until all of this came to a head.

One year ago tomorrow, I set foot in the local kickboxing studio for the first time. I had done kickboxing before, but it had been a good 16-17 years, and I was a little freaked out about trying it again (especially because I'd put on a lot of weight since I'd last done it, and I was big even then). I gave it a try, thought I was going to die at the end of the first class, and thought, "You know what? This is a great thing for me to push myself."

And, it was. There were great people around me every day, encouraging me to be better. It felt good. Who doesn't want to be cheered on?

Then, G.E. got in the way. I truly don't know what is wrong with me, but I want to be pushed past what I think I can do. I want others around me who want that as well. There were some of those around me, and a few who just show up, but that's true of almost any place. Somehow, it all started getting under my skin. I just kept wanting to be pushed to do more and be better. It didn't help that about six months ago I stopped losing weight and the only thing I could think was "just keep pushing." But the harder I pushed, the harder my body resisted.

I've had several days in the last few weeks during which I've worked out for 4 hours a day. That's a lot of working out - especially when it isn't my job - and yet, I've somehow maintained. I've made my peace with not being able to lose, but I need something to keep me moving forward. Anything.

Today I was supposed to test for my high brown belt, but that didn't happen. Whether I was capable of it or not, who knows, and honestly, I never cared about the belts themselves. But, there was a part of me that needed this marker along the road to just prove that I had done something over the last year. That it wasn't a waste. That I truly made a difference in my life.

Instead, today I find myself crying uncontrollably, shaking, angry at myself... and realizing that I have to move on. This part of my life is over. The relationship wasn't working anymore. It will be hard for awhile, but I'll recover and something else will take its place.

It's a big part of life to say goodbye to suddenly. It's one of my extremely few connections to the city I live in. Kind of sad - in many ways. I'm also terrified that I'll immediately start gaining weight. It's not that I'm not doing other things, and I know those activities will continue on, but it's so strange how the mind works... how it controls so much of our being. In fact, it really is our earthly existence. I couldn't exactly survive without my crazy noggin'. I'll miss the people. I'll miss the kickboxing itself. I won't miss what it's done to my mental state of being over the last several weeks.

So, I'm living with the pit in my stomach for now. I'm surviving, knowing that there are other things to do and other ways to workout.

Life will go on.

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