Chaos Attraction

Meditation and Self-Defense

2009-08-16, 9:55 p.m.

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So apparently the notifylist stopped working and nobody said anything about it to me and I can't find anything about it. Grrr. Have now replaced with TinyLetter.

Last year, I took a RAD self-defense class. It did not go well. And for the record, I never heard a darn thing about the self-defense club, so I never got any practice in all year either.

When the signups came out for the summer class again, I knew I had to enroll again. Though obviously, I was pretty wigged about simulation again since I had fairly epic fail the first time. Short of injuring yourself or the guys, it probably doesn't get worse than how I did, you know?

This year it was different instructors (the lead one from last year is on maternity leave), one of whom was a guy (one of the aggressors from last year). I was a little wigged at first, but on the other hand, it's good to be able to practice on someone who's of actual attacker size rather than always beating on 5'2 other girls. And the third person helping in the class turned out to be the president of the self-defense club. Yes, one got started, even though I never heard about it. They plan on having weekly meetings, though they didn't know when yet. I did get to sign up for the mailing list, so hopefully that betters my odds of being able to go to meetings sometime. I just hope they don't end up on Thursdays, because I want to be able to practice and actually get this stuff ingrained in my brain in the event of emergency.

Btw, this year's instructor had actually been attacked twice and she had some very amusing/awesome stories about it, especially the time when a guy jumped on her while she had pneumonia and was totally drugged up...and she dislocated his elbow. "It makes a very interesting sound..."

I wasn't looking forward to the second day, though. I kept thinking, "Oh crap, I bombed last year, what's there to stop me from bombing this year?" The items I could come up with for that were:
(a) I approximately know how they are going to do it in the first place, rather than it being 100% surprise.
(b) I do meditation these days (Saturday was the last day of the 100-day "adopt a habit and do it for 100 days" challenge thing they had going at work).

So I went out and meditated during lunch for the usual 10 minutes, and then made sure I took as many deep breaths as I could manage (in between learning ground defense) during the hour or so before simulation time. This turned out to be an excellent idea, because by the time I went up, I was actually calm and rational and pretty much remembered what was going on. And I beat the guys up spectacularly. Apparently I yell "woo!" a lot while kicking guys in the crotch. I did fall down after beating on the last guy and they blew the whistle on me and asked if I wanted to try again, but this time I knew I would have been able to get up and run away if I had to, so I declined. Huzzah! Buffy powers activate!

Technically speaking, I have been doing meditation since kindergarten (my school was weird). I generally find it pretty difficult to do, despite the off-and-on trying of it for forever, taking classes in it twice a year for the last few years, etc. The ten minutes a day thing works for me pretty well because that's the point where my brain stops whining about resistance and goes "Eh, it's only ten minutes." Sometimes it's just me deep breathing and trying not to think of the usual crap wandering through my head, and I don't tend to "get there" to that mental place very much, but at the very least the deep breathing thing has helped a lot with the work craziness. I noticed after a month of doing it that I wasn't flipping out as much every time work went all OMG OMG FEARMONGERING AHOY, and now there's this as an even better example of how it works. Go figure.


Tonight, I was supposed to be hosting an event at my house, teaching how to make paper beads. I had a feeling from the getgo that it was going to be a cockup, and it pretty much was, to the point where I was planning on sending an e-mail out Friday saying, "Well, no one said they were coming, so it's canceled, byee!" Eventually about four people RSVP'd (more than half of folks invited didn't really say anything to me at all or one way or the other, figures), and then at the last minute, one of them got called into work, one's car died, and a third got sick.

So one person showed up, which was already more than I was expecting...on the other hand, she wasn't terribly into anything I had planned for the evening. And wanted to leave before it got dark. So, um...yeah, that was over in a hurry.

Eh, all things considered, it could have been worse. I did clean somewhat for the event and bought a few things that I wouldn't have spent money on otherwise just in case suddenly everyone showed up, but I got some alone time with the television, and that's nice. It's more annoying than anything else. On the other hand, I think this will probably be a good argument that I shouldn't have to host anything at my house again. Heh.


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