Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Last night started with the Gorgeous Bastard, level 3/4. Sparring. Translation: me getting hit. I KNOW I should warm up before class, because I'm completely useless for the first 20-30 minutes if I don't, but somehow I always manage to chat with my friends instead of warming up. Then I get hit in the face. Gotta address that. Also I was SO sore from Monday's Bataan Death March - I mean Crossfit - that I could barely get my butt off the floor to kick my attacker during the Get Your Butt Off The Floor & Kick Your Attacker exercise. We also worked with knife attacks, but the absolutely coolest thing that happened was when Miss C, my partner for the evening, advanced & gave me a hard vertical front kick to the center of my chest. This very petite woman literally lifted me COMPLETELY off the floor & sent me flying backward like I was Wylie Coyote & landed me flat on my ass. I mean I was completely airborne. It was freaking awesome! We will now start to replace Chuck Norris with Miss C, as in...Superman has pictures of Miss C on his pajamas...Miss C isn't afraid of the dark, the dark is afraid of Miss C...Jesus may be able to walk on water, but Miss C can swim through land...Miss C puts the laughter in manslaughter.

Thank God for yoga to calm me down! We did loooooong stretches & it was soooooo nice. As usual, someone attacked Spike & beat the poo out of him. You can set your watch by that event.

Lastly was MMA with the Professor. Coolest thing: my partner for focus mitt combos was this big guy who was supposed to say, "shoot!" & I would shoot in & pick him up as if to dump him. He said we wouldn't do that because he weighs 215 pounds & I wouldn't be able to pick him up. Sounds like a challenge! But of course I picked him up! When I do pushups I don't push myself up, I push the earth down! So I liked that I could pick him up. That dude better not have been hopping.

Best of luck to: Bam Bam, who has the gnarliest leg wound I've ever had the misfortune to see. I thought about amputating it with my pocketknife to help her out, but she got away.

And Beastie, who literally beat the stuffing out of a heavy bag before my very eyes. I think he'll be doing the same to an opponent in the ring in the very near future.

And The Gentleman, our brilliant star, who is off to his Phase B test this weekend. I feel sorry for the other people there trying to measure up to you!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Left Behind

Well, I wanted to go to Dallas for the John Pascal seminar, but nooooooooo! Parker's not a real instructor yet & gets kicked to the curb! You may have eluded me this time, Pascal, but its not over yet! I'll get you, my pretty!

Kinda worked out though, because I got a chance to teach with the General, which I haven't done in a long time. The General will NOT give me a break, and I'm not kidding. He nails me for everything and anything that's out of order, so I wanted to see what he'd say since its been, I don't know...a couple of months since we've been together? Anyway, he let me teach a lot of level 1, then a lot of the intro class, then we went to lunch with his kids. And he actually said I was good! Woo hoo! I kept waiting for the long list of my screw-ups, but it just never came. He said my dynamic demonstrations should be a little more aggressive, though the knees were good...well, he said I did do one goofy thing. I kneed the hell out of him during the demonstration, then I stepped back & said, "knees!" with a tiny flourish, like a precious little princess with pink unicorn posters in her bedroom. He said he couldn't even look at me because he wanted to laugh. If that's the worst thing he's got to tell me, I've come a long way. I'm feeling very happy right now!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Last night my mother-in-law came with my stepdaughter to watch the level 3/4 class, taught by the Gorgeous Bastard. She'd never seen krav before & wanted to see with her own eyes what I won't shut up about. It was a great class, & she really enjoyed it. My stepdaughter made fun of how my hair was messed up from the head butts & of the funny faces I make when I exert myself. Some things never change. I got to work with Miss C, a rare opportunity for me nowadays, but was surprised to find myself insanely jealous that a new female guest was working with the Gentleman & doing everything very well. New chicks aren't supposed to come into my class & do everything right, especially with my favorite training partners! To make it worse, she was a nice person, and quite lovely. How miserable!

Next was yoga, this class is always full now, and there are always new faces, which is nice. We did balancing poses & handstands. I have been very paranoid about handstands, as its handstand pushups that caused my shoulder injury & forced me out of training for 2 months, but it was easy & I think I'm not scared any more. I made that handstand my bitch & sent it home cryin'.

After that I did a few rounds on the pads in the Professor's MMA class, but had to go home early, as it was my mother-in-law's last night in Austin. Then, as I was leaving I met up with Le Roi by accident & since I never see him I took the opportunity to interview him for the website. Its a shame I never get to work with him, he seems like he is really on the ball. He also gave me some weightlifting moves to do to increase my strength. I'm not sure how to integrate it into my workout week, though...if it should temporarily take the place of crossfit, or if I should do it in the afternoon on the day of a morning crossfit? On what would have been an off day? I don't want to do anything that will make to too wrecked for krav, but I suppose I could take a handful of Advil & get through it that way. Especially if I bitch a lot about how sore I am, that always helps. I'll ask around, since I work with a bajillion workout experts, I could close my eyes at the studio & throw a rock & it would hit someone who could give me a good answer.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Tourist In My Hometown

Every year my husband rides the MS150 from Houston to Austin, and I work the event as a volunteer. Jackie's uncle David (Jackie is my husband) has multiple sclerosis and so this is a very personal issue for our family. We came down to Houston several days early so Jackie could see some clients, and I took the opportunity to find some krav classes.

Krav Maga Houston had a level 1/2 class on Thursday night, so I jumped in, looking forward to seeing instruction from somebody I'd never seen before, and to finding some fresh ideas to steal! Everybody at the school was very gracious and welcoming to me & my parents, who've never seen a krav class & were curious to watch one. The room was small & the class was huge, which always ramps up the energy in a room. I was chatting with some long-time students who said that since KMH has moved to this location enrollment has skyrocketed. My teacher could have been very scary looking - big muscles, bald head, beautiful 1/4 sleeve tattoos - but he had a big smile for everyone and was very approachable, very nice. We started off with a brief warmup & moved right into focus mitt work. My partner told me it was her first time, but said she takes fitness classes there. I guess they use the focus mitts in those classes, because she knew all the punching combinations & the basics of stance, movement, etc. Actually, she was by far the best first timer I've ever worked with. She was pooped from punching, but she was a tiger anyway, and that's always a fun partner. My mom said you could hear me yelling out combo numbers over the whole class. Surprise, surprise, Parker's mouth strikes again. After we worked various combos we moved on to a basic jab-cross-slip move, then made it jab-cross-slip-cross-hook. A very smooth & natural feeling combination. We worked that for the whole rest of the hour and then did about 45 seconds of non-stop 100% knees each, just to squeeze out that last bit of juice.

I'd like to thank the staff & students at Krav Maga Houston for their very warm welcome, and I very much look forward to training there again as soon as I can. And as for the idea I'll be stealing....we did these wicked little hops in the warmup, I don't remember what they were called so I'll give them an evil name. You squat down like you're in sumo squat with your elbows on your knees & using just your feet & calves you hop up & down in place, maintaining your squat the whole time. Ouch. Get ready, Austin!

If you'd like to visit Krav Maga Houston, check out their website, for all the info you'll need.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I Beat You Up Now

Haven't been posting much lately. Just been, you know, living my life. But I can't stop thinking about this great MMA class I had last Thursday. We often roll at the end of class, not for timed rounds, just endlessly until someone finally burns out.

Usually, I tend to pause a lot while we roll, trying to think about what I'm supposed to be doing, asking a lot of questions. Then the other day I watched the Gentleman roll with the Professor. Now, the Gentleman is quite a prodigy in krav, but he doesn't really know what he's doing in MMA. At all. But he didn't let that stop him! He just fought like a demon with a belly full of tequila and a score to settle. He went hard & never stopped thrashing around and trying to get position, even though he didn't know what on earth he'd do with it if he got it. I liked that. I'm sticking my toe in the baby pool and he's doing cannon balls in the deep end. So I thought I'd give that a shot.

So on Thursday the Professor asked if I wanted to roll with him & I said, "Sure!" And off we went. I didn't think about anything or really try to get any submission (as if I could, against the Professor!). I just fought like a wolverine. It was sooooo much more fun that way! Until the Professor took my back & started squeeeezing my waist between his thighs making me scream like I was convinced I was being ripped apart (I was). The more I howled the more he'd giggle & squeeze me again. Villain. Then I rolled with Mudslide & then the Gentleman. Of course they all beat me, I don't know what the hell I'm doing, but it was the most fun I've ever had in MMA. A few things I learned: #1 - I can go a lot longer & harder than I thought I could, which is nice. #2 - When I go hard I howl like I'm giving birth to a walrus. The whole time. #3 - Turning your brain off & letting your body go crazy is good in every which way. I keep having to learn this one over & over, my brain won't shut up. Some day it'll stick, if I don't give up. That's what I keep telling myself, anyway!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Crafty Boy

Relentless again. He has the sleight of hand thing going on. In teacher training yesterday he had me work choke from the front with a 2 handed pluck over & over, insisting that I say it & perform it just right. Then he was on to the Gentleman & I was completely off his radar...or so he led me to believe.

The scribe has mentioned to me that sometimes he's nervous to come to class & I was feeling that way going in to the Gorgeous Bastard's level 3/4 for some reason, so I offered to help out in Relentless' level 1 - well, it was a huge class with loads of new people, so there. Relentless waved me off saying, no, no, this is your night to train, go train. Okay.

About 15 minutes before the end of class he walked into my class looking a bit flustered & said he needed my help after all, the class was just too big. Okay, I'm happy to help. I walked around & made a few corrections & was making light conversation with Relentless by the stereo when he turned his face quickly right into mine & staring daggers into my eyes said, "Choke from the front with a 2 handed pluck teach it right now, NOW!" And he quickly turned off the music & yelled for everyone to take a knee. EEEEEK!

I should have known this was coming. In fact, I did. After last Saturday I told my husband, "Okay, I've taught well twice in a row, Relentless is going to throw me a curve ball & see how I do." I swear to God I said that! And yet I walked straight into the fire like I'd never heard of heat.

And yipee! It went really well. I hit all the teaching points without blabbering endlessly & didn't sound like Little Bo Peep. Cuz I'm teh Big Bad Wolf, baby!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Welcome Wyatt

I got a surprise when I went to the hospital today to meet my new friend. I was excited for Mami K and Big Daddy J, and happy to meet Wyatt, but I am not really a baby person, generally. I never know what to discuss with them.

Not taking into account that it was fairly early on a Sunday, I expected to find other friends there, cutting up & making plans for Wyatt's fight training. We are a raucous group, always laughing and rushing on to the next thing. Instead I found a quiet, tranquil room. The only light filtered gently from the curtained window. Mami K was alone with her son, nursing him. I wasn't sure if I should enter. She let me in.

Wyatt was tightly swaddled and wearing a tiny little hat. Mami K & I chatted a bit. Perhaps in this intimate moment I should have left them to themselves, but somehow I couldn't. I was completely mesmerized. I absolutely couldn't take my eyes off them, even when Big Daddy J came in the room. Like most members of my generation, I can distance myself from just about anything with a clever, smart aleck remark, and often do. But I found myself transfixed because right in front of me I was witnessing something you just don't see every day. Inexhaustible love. I was extremely moved, and unmasked. Now I'm kind of excited to see him again.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday morning

Relentless has been incredibly generous about giving me teaching time in his classroom. So today I taught straight punches to the focus mitts, which I prefer tremendously to striking a tombstone. We also worked advancing punches & low advancing punches, front kicks & choke from the front with a 2 handed pluck.

Let me give you a piece of advice. If you make Relentless mad & you think he's about to hit you, quickly run far away from him. Or fall down and play dead. Or pick up a brick and start bashing yourself in the head with it, because that will be less of a beat down than Relentless will give you. In my naivete I agreed to demonstrate an absorption drill with him striking me with the mitts until it was time for my straight punches. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. That boy beat me like maybe if he just hit me hard enough he was gonna cure cancer. Sometimes when people hit me hard I get the urge to hit them back. When Relentless hits me I get the urge to go tell my mom!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sweet Redemption

Yes, I agree, its revenge that is truly sweet, but redemption is nice, too. I had a little talkie with myself about my performance & my attitude. I reminded myself again that if I'm not enjoying myself in krav there's no point in doing it & basically gave myself permission to not be such a serious sourpuss. So I went in today & assisted Relentless & just said, "Damn the torpedoes, I'm jumping in with both feet". So I did. And it was fun! And I did much, much better. Fancy that.

We also had teacher training today, with the Gorgeous Bastard, which is always fun, except he made me stand there expressionless again, without moving, to get my review of my performance. I would take more pleasure in having my head shaved & being plunged into ice water. Asking me to not be animated is like asking me not to eat ice cream. There is just no realistic way to achieve that.

Next hour was MMA with Mudslide. I partnered with the Gentleman. I tell you, if I could spar or roll with the Gentleman while eating ice cream, the world would be a perfect place. We shrimped to get out of mount & did reversals, then rolled. I also got to roll with the Professor, which was just the bow on the package. Having MMA at the end of the night is like having your favorite dessert at the end of a good meal. Perfection. Can you tell I'm hungry?