23 November 2011


My fighting class instructor asked me today if I want to go to the annual conference in February. I was almost as pleased and embarrassed as I was when they announced that I was student of the month.

I know that I should be used to this by now, now that I've been in my fighting class for over a year, but I am still surprised that there is a sporting activity involving physical coordination that I appear to be able to do. And, to be fair, there appears to be only a minimal level of coordination required. The rest is just pure determination.

That, and showing up every single class, which I also do.

I almost never even consider skipping class. Even on days (today) when we run and jump and crunch and flutter and pushup until my lungs are burning, and that's just the beginning of the warmup, I love being there.

I could never make a bat hit a baseball. I could never line my shot up with the basket. I could never connect with the ball in the right place to make it soar into a goal box. Even when I liked the sport (soccer), I never could really enjoy it, because I sat on the bench so much.

But I can kick, and I can punch, and I love that. I love doing it, and I love that I can do it. Maybe all those fights with my brother* were good for something.

* My brother and I literally fought fist and foot, and sometimes knife and door. If someone had wanted to call the police over some of the fights we got into, either of us could easily have ended up in the juvenile justice system. I think of this sometimes, about how class and race can protect you from or expose you to involvement with The System. If we had lived in a poor apartment complex where people could hear us fighting, or if someone had thought our parents couldn't or wouldn't discipline us because of their stereotypes about the color of our skin, we could have ended up somewhere very different than the stable and adult places we are now.

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