This morning, I did 20 push-ups, and I was able to get my nose to the ground for 19 of them. Granted, I was doing the knee variation* but I was stoked nonetheless.
I started Kempo training in December 2016. I have never called myself sporty. I’ve never called myself in shape. At the time, what I called myself was sick of being scared. Sick of worrying every time I had an unfamiliar male client when I was the only person in the office (sometimes, the building). I was sick of not knowing what to do if I got into a compromising situation.
After two and a half years, I still don’t consider myself sporty or in shape. But I have made progress:
- I can get my nose to the floor when doing knee push-ups. I can get about halfway down from my toes. When I first started, I barely got halfway down from my knees, and I couldn’t do any push ups from my toes.
- My punches have increased exponentially in strength, and I have a mean wave palm and back edge fist.
- I can run a mile without stopping. I can run two miles with walking breaks. When I started, going around the dojo twice had me completely out of breath.
- Forward rolls and backward rolls. Haven’t done them since I was six and they were called somersaults. I can do them now. Mostly.
- Crab walks. Remember doing this across the gym? I’m doing these across the dojo. Poorly, but I’m doing them.
- I am standing up for myself more.
- I am taking more risks.
- I walk taller and with more confidence, because if I need to I can defend myself from someone grabbing me from behind, or grabbing my arm, or even pulling a knife or bat on me. Although, I’d prefer to not test my skill there.
- I am willing to put myself in a place of absolute discomfort and quite possibly pain and injury to meet my goals (this would be my brown belt test).
I am not the person I was two and a half years ago. That’s a good thing! We should grow and change as we experience new things.
I am proud of all that I have accomplished. Running, and cardio in general, will never be easy for me. My holey heart and shot lungs have seen to that. But, despite that I am making progress. I’ve come so far. And there are so many more goals to meet.
I may be slower than the average brown belt (or green belt, or any belt), but I get there eventually. And it’s the most awesome feeling ever when I do.
*We’ll take a moment here to point out that these historically have been called “girl’s push-ups” because they were “easier.” I’m here to claim sexist bullshit. Push-ups from the knee are an appropriate and valid option for anyone who has injuries or is working on developing their upper body strength. Just as there are multiple variations on burpees**, so too are there for push-ups. Calling them “girl push-ups” indicates they’re worth less than they are, and that’s NOT OKAY. /End rant.
**We’ll take a moment here to point out how much burpees suck donkey balls and they are quite possibly the only thing I hate more than push-ups. I will never end this rant, but I will refrain from ranting around people who can make me do way more of them than I want to. coughallthesenseiscough.