I was angry today.
I wasn’t angry at myself, but I was certainly angry with my situation.
Today was another rainy day. It was ridiculously hot around 2pm. Others might disagree, but they probably weren’t wearing rubber rain boots over skinny jeans and lugging around a heavy bag full of books. Those people might not have noticed how hot it actually was today, and that’s fine. Me? I noticed. And when I got home at 2:30, the first thing I did was strip down, drink a big glass of water, and run a cold bath. I actually took a cold bath because it was easier than getting my bathing suit and trying to brave the heat for an hour (minimum) to get to the pool and see it was crowded.
Nope, better to just lay in my bathtub until my body temperature was back to something like regular (read: non-relapse) and then just lay around the house in next to nothing, letting my hair dry naturally (also good for keeping cool, even if it doesn’t look awesome).
A note to people without AC: when it gets too hot, take a cool shower or lay in the bathtub. Thank me later. Lay on your tile floor, in next to nothing. These things will bring your body temperature back down.
So imagine how excited I was when it finally rained a few hours later. I. Was. ELATED. I was excited to go to Budo, because it meant that I wouldn’t overheat while training. Maybe today would be the day I’d make it through an entire class.
As we were leaving for Budo a few hours later (hair still kind of wet), René asked if I wanted to bring the ice pack and the bowl for water. I was being optimistic and said that there was no need, we were just doing Hanbo anyway. This was a major mistake. When we walked into the dojo, which had been locked, I realized that the temperature INside the dojo was at least 10 degrees higher than it was outside, and minus the awesome post-rain breeze. Of course.
I lasted 20 minutes before having to step out. I was already training in short pants instead of my hakama, in order to combat the heat that comes from too many things around my midsection. About 30 minutes into class, I’d taken off my gi top and replaced it with a wicking tank top. That helped. Then I made sure to stand in front of the fan and train.
None of this made me able to repeatedly be knocked down and get back up. There was no way I could get dropped this evening. And I was mad about it. Really fucking angry.
I know I’m supposed to be being all positive about how awesome my disease is in comparison to, say, my mother’s version of it, but some days I just get angry. I told Verena in the changing room after class that I’m torn these days: on one hand, I’m really glad summer’s here, because I get to lay around outside and go swimming. On the other hand, I almost can’t wait for fall and winter to get here, so I can train hard. Like I want to train.
I know I have good reason to go slow. I know that I have to safeguard myself from relapses or long-term/permanent damage. But some days, I really want to train hard. I really want to put power into things. I really want to continually get knocked down and thrown around, and that’s not what I can do in the summer. Shinden Fudo Ryu? Not in the summer. And I hate that. I hate it SO much.
We got home and made dinner, and I was kind of feeling sorry for myself, just a little bit. We talked about it in the car and kind of laughed about being that lame old broken couple that still tries to train. We’re both kind of rough right now.
Then I was going through some of the pages I’ve got open in my browser, trying to clean up and be able to confidently turn the computer off at night, and I found this article about being new to being Gluten Free.
I realized after reading it that I feel this way about being slow on the hot days, and that it’s exactly how I felt when I had to go gluten-free, as well.
I can’t believe it STILL pisses me off sometimes, because by now, this being the sixth year, I should really be over this already. I feel like I’ve been over this in my head a million times. I can write and speak about it all day. I love to answer people’s questions. But there are some days when I want to step outside and get some wind and cry my fucking eyes out for training in what feels like a half-assed manner.
I know I’m not being half-ass. I know I’m not making excuses. I know I need to get over it. So that’s why I’m sharing that article, because one of the first things that the writer says is to just ‘say yes’. She says, ‘You could pretend it isn’t true because you are so loath to give up the life you are living (is it really that great, that life, when you feel so rotten? are those grocery store hamburger buns worth that?). You could cheat when you’re in social situations, feel like crap for days, and go back to being “good” after you have recovered. You could ignore all this because you just don’t want to deal with it.’ And she’s absolutely right.
Sure, I want to eat bread products and cheese sometimes. Just like I want to train harder and be more of a badass. Sadly, I have to really, really accept (not just say that I do) that these things just can’t happen all the time.
I was bad for a few weeks, I let a lot of gluten and milk in that I shouldn’t have, because I was being lax and didn’t have the time. And I’ve felt terrible since then. So bad, in fact, that I’ve been on a serious fruit and juice fast, trying to jolt my system back into ‘better’. If this were my physical health, if this were the MS I was trying to recover from, it wouldn’t be so easy, although it might be slightly less painful.
I need to stop doing that. I need to stop missing the things I can’t have anymore. I need to go back to being 100%. As Jose said so many years ago, ‘Do it 1,000% or don’t do it at all’. I need to get back to that point. It’s going to be some work, but now’s the perfect time to do it: I HAVE to move slow. I HAVE to train different things if I can’t be training what the others are. I HAVE to eat better.
I’m making a promise to myself to stop making excuses. I need to refocus. I think now’s the time to do that. I’ve been good for five days with the food, I’m off to a great start. I just need to get back to accepting my condition and being nicer to myself at the dojo, as well. I have to get back to MY 1,000%, which happens to be different from everyone else’s.