Martial arts and fear

Postaday – Back of the Queue

Martial arts – that’s what I have always wanted to do, or specifically, Ju-Jitsu.  Why? Probably the association with self-protection, strength and for a young girl to be that – I got such a mental kick out of it.  The feminist ‘me’ also reveled in the fantasy.

So I went to class (in my early teens) only to discover that my romantic idea of being a martial  arts practitioner hurts literally, and it required lots of hard work.  I crawled out of my second session and never went back.

What’s keeping me away?  Fear of pain… I know it’s probably not as bad as my memory suggests, and I am an adult that could handle it better.  But… what if I don’t and I turn out looking like a fool? A total unfit older woman … looking like a fool.

Perhaps I should try tai-chi instead, it’s a form of martial arts but without the physical contact? Or Qigong…   That’s why I’m practising Yoga – does this sound oh so serious, ‘practising yoga’?  I go through a series of poses using the proper breathing – that’s it.  Candidly speaking, I do not enjoy aerobic exercises, and yoga is probably the most I’ll ever get to in terms of “huffing and puffing” my way through life. Fear of pain – same deal!  And no amount of motivation (the fact that I could look like a super model, maybe) is likely to get me past it… but never say never.

And even if I should have a bucket list, this is so not getting on it because there is a high probability it will be unfulfilled. 🙂


Day 17 Fear and my personality

Fear…I am not sure I have one that can be categorized as such. In my mind, ‘fear’ is something that would keep me awake all night, unable to leave the house, unwilling to speak, and the like. Born into a middle-class family at a time of peace, I never knew what it meant to live in a war zone, to go without food and shelter, etc. so what I do not know, I cannot fear. I can imagine, but my mind cannot access it fully. Yes I know, there is irrational fear – hope this exercise is not referring to them.

So I guess my worst fear-like ‘thing’ would be to leave this world unnoticed, no footprint.

Let me explain. I do not seek fame and fortune nor validation from the world at large. What I fear is that I have failed to create a positive change that benefits other people. It does not necessarily need be earth-shattering – again Nobel Prize isn’t what I had in mind. It need not be global, just a positive difference to perhaps one person’s life in the short time that I am in her life. This brought to mind Mitch Albom’s book “Five People You Meet in Heaven”. In the book, the protagonist, Eddie, discovered the impact and meaning of his life on others – people whom he hardly knows.

So perhaps my anxiety is existential in that I’d probably not find out if I have made a positive impact …till I’m dead and gone. Perhaps I might look down (yes, going to heaven 😉 ) as the eulogy progresses. So the tension is to sit with this fear and desire, and not-knowing and hope; and the knowledge that I can only be who I am and what will be, will be.

And perhaps it is so with children that, should we get it right, they will take a part of us with them, be our footprint in the world.