Did you ever have one of those days in which just the thought of physical activity makes you want to cry?
What about a day where if you have to call one more company to complain, straighten something out, make an appointment, or even just ask a simple question, you feel like you'll lose your mind?
Have you ever had an emotionally draining day? Week? Month? Lifetime?
In other words, have you ever had one of those days when you were just EXHAUSTED - physically, mentally, or emotionally? Boy, I have.
Do those kinds of days ever have you thinking maybe you'll "play hookey" from karate class that night? Boy, I have…on more than one occasion, too. (Thinking it, that is. I rarely opt out from class because no matter which of the above exhaustion flavors I'm experiencing that particular day, I feel better during and usually after class.)
Just Thursday, I was having a bad day…mostly of the emotional/mental variety. Bad day is a major understatement. Everyone wanted something from me. Nobody had anything to give me. I was spent. Depressed. Sad. Tired. Depleted. Well, you get the point.
I have been going straight from work to karate class on Tuesday and Thursday nights now to save a little on gas money. I was on my way there - about 12 miles or so from the dojo when I had one of those emotionally draining phone conversations. Without going into details, I had had a disagreement with someone on the phone, who shall remain nameless except to say that we share a last name. (Okay that narrows it down to three!) Anyway, this was one of those calls where the other person says it is not a good time to talk and the two of you can talk later. I hate that. It's like going to the doctor and having to wait over a weekend for test or lab results. You'd rather just get everything out on the table and resolve things and then sigh a big old sigh of relief that things are going to be okay. So, we hang up.
I'm now stuck with that nagging feeling of waiting for those lab results to come back. My stomach felt "icky" and I had a headache and tightness in my chest. I immediately think to myself that I'm not going to go to karate tonight. How can I go and concentrate on karate when I'm feeling this discombobulated?
I tell myself that my hubby is going to play softball - why shouldn't I have my "me time" too? (Oops…so much for remaining nameless!) And I decide to go ahead and go to karate class. I figure maybe there will be quite a few adults gone on vacation and I might be allowed to help with the kids' class. Almost as soon as I'd made the decision to suck it up and go, I felt a smile sneaking up on me. And I knew it was the right decision - discombobulated or not.
I got to class and almost immediately the side effects of my troubles started to evaporate. I knew they'd resurface at 9:00 pm when class was over, but this was my escape time now. The next 2-1/2 hrs was "Me Time". Even in helping others, this is "Me Time".
I have always been the worrywart. I have never been the type to be able to "forget my troubles" or just smile through it all. As a rule, I usually get all mired up in my emotions and the physical side effects of my nervousness. But since starting karate, I have changed two-fold in this respect. First, I have learned some deep breathing and relaxation techniques that really seem to help me physically. And second of all, I have found such enjoyment in my classes, even the difficult parts…ESPECIALLY the difficult parts, that it proves to me that I am a capable person who is able to overcome obstacles - both physical and mental / emotional.
True to myself to a fault, I was emotionally a bit down on my way home after class. But it did amaze me that I had just been "in the moment" in class. I had not thought of anything except what I was working on right at that moment in time.
This is a really big hurdle I have overcome here. Being able to NOT get all bogged down with the things not going great in my life - finances, disagreements, career disappointments, gas prices (seriously!) and being able to enjoy martial arts to the extent that everything else falls away for a little while.
I guess that makes me a Martial (Escape) Artist!