Sunday, January 13, 2013

I hate climbing on the backs of strangers

Friday was supposed to be either cross training or a rest day for me. I woke up at 5:15, got dressed, and was out the door by 5:30 for spin class, only to discover the YMCA had no power. Upsetting, but I regrouped, set up my bike on my trainer, and created my own spin class at home.

No, I told myself I should be upset but really rejoiced and rushed back to my bed for a glorious extra two hours of sleep. Obviously, it was a sign that Friday was supposed to be a rest day.

Saturday was jam packed, especially for a lazy introvert like me. The big 2-0 was on the running schedule, and the first one is always a bit daunting. Lily came and joined me for the first 10 miles, and I finished up the second 10 listening to the third book in the Maze Runner series. It was slow (10:05 pace), but the plan didn't call for any speedy intervals thrown in this week and it was humid as hell (92% in January, WTF).

I came home from the run, changed clothes, slammed a cup of coffee, and then Eric and I were off on quite an adventure: Krav Maga self defense training. Krav Maga, according to the website, "the official self defense system of the Israeli Defense Forces" and my understanding is that its basically street fighting designed to only use your own body for self defense in real life situations. Eric and I did an intro class a long time ago and it was pretty cool.

In response to the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, the Krav Maga studio offered a free class to teachers that specifically focused on protecting your students from an active gunman. This is a serious topic, and in real life I treat it as such, as evidenced in that I choose to spend my Saturday afternoon doing what little I can to be prepared. However, on my blog, I'm going to be discussing it in my usual light hearted manner.

The class was really helpful but tough. There were over 100 teachers, and we did a short cardio warm up and then the instructors would demo a basic move and we'd practice it with a partner holding a punching bag. After trying to hold the bag and withstand Eric's hammerfists to my chest, I demanded a new partner, but there didn't seem to be any other married couples who wanted to be split up, so I was stuck with him. He was all "you don't know who could attack you, they could be my size, you need to prepare", but I didn't notice anyone else in the class battling someone a foot taller and over a hundred pounds bigger.

After that, we split up into groups to practice disarming gunmen with various types of guns and using things in our classroom as weapons. Each person had to run at a huge guy around Eric's size (covered in pads), knock him down from behind (onto a mat), and climb on his back and start punching his head. I hate being the center of attention AND climbing on strange men's backs (sober) AND punching people in the head so that was particularly nerve wracking for me.

It's my belief that in life there are Katnisses and there are Foxfaces, and I absolutely share Foxface's red hair and aversion to conflict. (If anyone STILL hasn't read the Hunger Games, if I hear a scary noise in the middle of the night I'm going to hide under the covers, not fashion an impromptu weapon.) I don't even like violence in movies, so trying to perfect my stomp to someone's head or knee to the groin is pretty foreign to me. I was forced to channel my inner Katniss and pretend to be fighting for my life in the arena, and that seemed to do the trick.

Overall, I'm so glad we went to the class, if only so I feel a little more empowered and there was a lot of good information about aspects of that situation that I'd never thought about. On the down side, I don't typically spend hours punching things, practice disarming gunmen, or beat giant punching bags with sticks so my neck and shoulders feel like this one time I was rear ended at a stoplight by a guy going 40mph.

Our wild day didn't end there. We were able to take quick showers at the Krav Maga studio and then grab some food and more importantly, again, coffee, and rush downtown for one of my favorite running partner's 30th birthday!

Yeah not the greatest picture, but our focus was dancing.
 Shockingly enough, I was once again highly invested in the Ravens game and couldn't take my eyes off the TV when we first got to the bar to see the outcome. It's like I don't even know me anymore, but I swear it's improving our marriage.

Orange crush bone
I actually only had a few sips of that giant drink because I had a feeling I'd be in pain the next day and didn't need to add on ahangover, and I was right. So I offered to DD, but luckily for me I can dance and act like a drunken fool with or without alcohol.

The joke was on me, because I still woke up feeling horrible today. Maybe it's dehydration, because coffee seemed to make it worse, which is unprecedented. I may not be hungover but I still went with the classic hangover cures. 

A nice, balanced lunch and dinner.

Are you a Katniss or a Foxface?

If you go out dancing, is alcohol a necessity?


  1. My friend Craig teaches Krav Maga at the police academy (among other self defense methods) and he keeps telling me I should learn from him....probably right too. All I remember from the class in high school was that I should go for the eyes and slam my elbows into their elbows when in a choke hold. That's all I've got!

    The fact that you ran 20 miles, took a self defense class, and THEN went out for the night blows my mind. No wonder you feel like hell today! That's like three days worth of activities! :)

  2. I'll say it again, you are nuts and I like it.

    I can't say that I've ever been put in a situation to find out if I'm a Katniss or a Foxface, but I am pretty aggressive, so I'm thinking probably Katniss...or maybe Tris (to switch books on you).

    I definitely don't need alcohol to dance!

  3. I know from helping teach self defense and my years of sparring that I am NOT a Foxface haha. I really enjoy a good groin kick.

    Having a baby will be simple and relaxing for you if this is how you spend your weekends now.

  4. I can't believe you did much of anything after a long run; I basically shut it down the rest of the day, and my wife is lucky if I do some laundry.

  5. I can't believe you did all that stuff AFTER RUNNING 20 F'ING MILES. Badass.

  6. How were you able to stay awake through all of this? I probably would have fallen asleep during the Packers-49ers game because that wasn't nearly as exciting as the Ravens game! I took an entire semester of self defense my freshman year of college and I will say it was pretty fun to kick cops in the groin and punch them repeatedly.

  7. Seriously, I would have fallen asleep mid-KravMaga class and never made it to the bar! I'm just impressed you stayed awake for all of it!

    I like to think I'm a Katniss, but the truth is I'd probably just run and hide. Plus I'm pretty ineffective in a physical odds increase dramatically if I just sprint away.

    What's a crab pretzel?

  8. Watching football not only improves your marriage, it improves our sisterhood. Even when the Ravens beat the Colts.

    I totally want to take a Krav Maga class now! I am alone in the apartment way too much for my own good, and always think an intruder is going to break in when I'm in the shower.

  9. Wow. Suddenly, I feel like a wimp.

    But, I'm totally the grab for a weapon in the middle of the night gal, so at least I have that.


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