Wednesday, October 20, 2010

If you are new to this thread, please go back to to start. It will make more sense.

Happy Camp
Hi again,

I meant to finish talking about goals last night but I was so tired I couldn’t even lift my arms. I completed a goal yesterday that I set 3 and a half years ago, before things went to crap at work, before I was diagnosed with FMS, before I really starting feeling the symptoms of pain and fatigue. I earned my blackbelt in mixed martial arts! It was one of the hardest things I have done, physically and mentally. I cried when it was done. Today, I am feeling the pain of the scrapes, bruises and a black eye. I have sore muscles in places I wasn’t even sure I had muscles. I earned my blackbelt!

There is a saying that goes, “a black belt is just a white belt that never gave up”. That’s absolutely the truth! The past couple of years have been a real struggle for me physically and mentally. When I started as a white belt, I was playing soccer on 3 indoor teams and one outdoor team. I was playing ice hockey occasionally and I had a very physical job teaching physical education to kids with disabilities at 6 different schools. In just 3 short years I have retired from soccer after 32 years. I haven’t played hockey at all. I am no longer teaching. I rarely go for long walks with friends and I don’t run anymore. The only thing I held onto was the martial arts and that was out of pure stubbornness. My husband and one daughter have already earned blackbelts. My youngest will earn hers this December. Giving up was never an option.
There have been so many days that have taken all I had mentally and physically to get myself to a class and many more when I wasn’t even able to do that. I passed on the blackbelt test last December and missed a belt test this spring because of being sick and not able to train properly. I also missed too many classes to be eligible. Yesterday, I earned my blackbelt! A new goal has been set. I will earn my first degree blackbelt!

I plan on attacking FMS in this same way. I am too stubborn to give in to it. I refuse to give up my life to it. I will fight my way back to a place where I feel healthy, to a place where I decide what my day will look like, not my body. The goal has been set. The specifics of the goal and the checkpoints along the way are yet to be determined. I will let you know when I figure that out.


PS: I don’t get nervous about things like games or physical tests. I retreat into myself before hand and try to think things through, visualize, and calm myself. I played goalkeeper for many years, high school and college. It was something I learned to do before games. I did do some tapping before the physical test yesterday just to remain calm, to go into the process thinking about nothing except the task ahead. There were many points in the test where I wanted to give up. What helped me to stay focused and not think about the physical pain and exhaustion was to repeat the Oneness blessing over and over in my head. It calmed me. It helped me to let go of the heat, sore muscles and fatigue, to not worry about what was next, to share strength with the others in my group. To just be in the moment. And I was grateful for it.

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