Monday, September 03, 2018

Natural Order

I colored my hair this morning--nothing drastic, just a slightly red-tinged brunette by Garnier to hide those first few pesky grays and to even out my naturally ashy roots with the richer tones of the rest of my hair.

There is nothing remarkable about coloring my hair...except that I bought the box in June and am only now getting around to doing it.

June threw everything off the tracks, and it occurred to me just now that I'm only starting to get the train up and running again.

Grief is strange.

At any rate, my hair looks good.

Sunday, September 02, 2018


A few weeks after Mom died, I finally signed up for kickboxing classes, which I'd been mulling over for a while.

Four or five years ago, I took some classes through a Groupon deal, but never committed to a membership. It's expensive, etc. etc. But now I'm quite a bit more financially stable, so after my five intro classes, I bit the bullet and signed up for a one-year membership. It's spendy, but I love it.

I'm going to the Roseville iLoveKickboxing gym. If you want to be a trained fighter, this isn't what you're looking for. This is pure workout, and pure fun, at that. You do get taught proper form, but the whole point here is to work out, which is exactly what I want. I need--pardon the pun, which is very much intended--a kick in the butt with my workouts. My running has completely fallen by the wayside, thanks to a hot, fire-ridden California summer in which even just going for a long walk was unhealthy. I have enough weight equipment at home to do some pretty awesome workouts, but I also have a very comfy couch. A few days a week, I can make myself lift...but I also need something that gets me out of the house, and something that is directed by someone else.

 Every workout is an hour long. The first fifteen minutes are warm-up...though "warm-up" might be a bit to soft-sounding. We run laps around the mat, do Burpees, squats and squat jumps, lunges, V-ups, planks, push-up holds, Mountain Climbers, push-ups, and more. So much more. It is fifteen minutes of pure hell. Within a minute or so, I'm dripping sweat. (Let it also be mentioned that they happily help people find any modifications so that each individual gets a good workout without doing something their body is ready for--for example, I'm not able to do full Burpees right now, and no one bats an eye when I modify them or just do some heavy-duty squats instead.)

After a quick break for water and to mop up our faces (never, ever leave the towel at home, because you WILL need it), we do some stretching for a couple minutes, and then it's time to strap on the gloves.

Then it's six fast-paced, three-minute rounds of punching and kicking. Twenty minutes of kicking and punching the snot out of your bag, and feeling all of the stress and angst leave your body.

Let's face it, I've got a lot of that these days.

The thing is, I'm okay. I really am. I get through days at work with nary a tear. I function just fine. But I'm tired. Every day, I'm exhausted, and I know it's the grief and shock of losing Mom. It seems like it's been so long, but in reality, it's just approaching ten weeks. Two-and-a-half months. And the month leading up to her death was stressful enough to give all of us some shock.

So the jab-cross and the left hooks and the roundhouse kicks go a long way to letting some of that exhaustion and tension leave my body. I can almost visualize it leaving me and making the bag rock and teeter while I sweat and grunt my way through each round. I get so much satisfaction in feeling my muscles working, in feeling the sweat drip down my face and neck. The people who lead the classes shout encouragement and give boxing-glove high-fives. The environment is completely supportive and helpful. If I need help, I get it, with a smile.

I've been aiming for twice a week (and the occasional weekend visit if I have the time/energy), and it's been a great thing. The gym is about 15-20 minutes from my home, so after stopping in to feed my dudes, I'm able to dash over there, get my workout, and come home to shower, eat dinner, and collapse on the sofa for the rest of the evening.

Kickboxing makes me feel strong, and fierce. It's the perfect antidote for my grief right now.