A couple of years ago I had a dream that I was a superhero in training. I was in a very tall building (I feel like it was a cathedral) and I was hanging upside down by ropes from the very high ceiling and fighting with swords. I was being attacked from above and below and from the side and all the while my instructor would shout direction, correction and encouragement. He was a samurai and I would be too. He wanted me to fight upside down because if you could beat your attacker disoriented and without footing, you could never be defeated.
When I woke up I was pumped with adrenalin and ready to kick the day’s teeth in! I felt undefeatable! I could do anything. In fact, I felt like I could make this dream come true. I could train to fight and I could be a superhero. (K. Not really a superhero but…I could take on anything and anyone if need be.)
I looked into these Filipino blade fighting classes. I forget what the art is called but it sounded exactly like what I was wanting. I told Man that I was going to take these classes.
“No,” he said.
“No. You have no training in martial arts. You don’t just go jump into blade fighting with out having some experience first.”
“The instructor said you don’t need a martial arts back ground.”
“Of course he did. He wants your business. Why don’t you try kick boxing or karate first?”
I imagined myself in a class of people, fists raised to guard themselves from an imaginary opponent and kicking in the air to beat of some pop song.
“I don’t want to do kick boxing. I want to hit something. You, to be specific.” I was deflated but still I dreamed of being a super hero and sometimes I would, indeed, hit man. He’d laugh at the punch that would hurt me more than him. His mocking laughter fueled my fire.
Little did I know that about a year after this dream, I would lose my best friend. I fought grief, while depression came at me from the left and anxiety from the right. I fought for peace and for my marriage and sometimes my life and all while my world was upside and while I struggled to find something solid to stand on.
I just want to add that it sucks when your Grandma dies, not just because you lost someone dear but because people don’t really sympathize. An old person died and that’s to be expected and a lot of people seem to grow out of their grandparents and aren’t very close. They love them of course but my relationship with my Grandma was not just the requisite affection you have for a relative. She was one of my best friends. When my friends lose a parent or a spouse or a sibling, there is an out pouring of sympathy in messages, cards, and flowers. It’s just not like that when it’s your Grandma. She was old. Old people die. So my grief seems ill proportioned, I think even to my family. I sometimes suspect that my mom and her sisters are like, “Really? What the hell, Michal? Get over it. She wasn’t YOUR mom.” Anyway, I just want to say, thank you to the friends who got/get it and to others: be sensitive to anyone’s loss, no matter if you can relate or not.
So, anyway, I fought like hell and still find myself battling some of those things but the attacks are more brief or I’m stronger and the battles are quickly won.
And then I read Divergent and I saw the movie and that desire to be a fighter came up in me again. I want to be able to defend myself. I have a gun but what if I can’t get to it? I know it’s just a movie, but I watched this little girl take on the world and I just…want that. Some friends were over and I mentioned it to them. Alicia has boxed or…something…and against men too.
“Man insists that there is no way a woman can out power a man. By nature men are stronger. It’s a scientific fact. But…I still think if you have some knowledge you could get out of an attack. Not unscathed but…you could survive and maybe even defeat the attacker, ” I told Alicia and Her Man.
“Absolutely, and really, you can beat a man. There are tactics you can use. If My Man comes at me, if I let him get too close I’m screwed but if I stop him here and like this,” she said as she held up her hands in a certain way with certain angles, “then I have the control and I could even bring him down.”
“Cool…” I said awed.
“What you need is Krav Maga,” Her Man suggested. “It’s a self-defense art, Israeli street fighting. Their military is trained in it. It’s self-defense but it is a kill or be killed sort of tactic.”
“YES! That’s what I want! I want to be Jason Bourne!”
“If we can find Krav Maga here, we’ll do it with you,” Alicia’s Man promised.
“Really?! Let’s do it! Let’s do…Tim McGraw…” I said, uncertain of the name.
“Ha ha! Yes! I am SO in!” Alicia laughed. “I would LOVE to do Tim McGraw!”
“Yeah, I’m out,” joked Her Man.
“Sorry, it sounds like you’re saying Tim McGraw. How do you say it again?”
They pronounced it again for me, slowly…
“K. I’m just going to call it Tim McGraw.”
I asked My Man if he wanted to do it with us.
“Come on…” I pleaded with him later. “It will be fun! Then we could ‘wrastle,'” I joked as I tackled him onto the bed.
With the ease of flipping a pancake, he tossed me off of him and onto my back.
“No,” he said and chuckled as he kissed my head.
“I’ll still be feminine and soft and curvy and…I’ll let you win,” I promised.
He still will not play Superhero Training with me. What’s a girl gotta do?
So, this morning was to be my first day doing Tim McGraw but Bug is sick. I think it’s strep. I’ll be taking him to the doctor instead. Alas, my Superhero Training will have to wait. Sometimes a hero’s work is to administer medication and kisses and to tuck the blankets just right.