Monday, December 17, 2012

Survival of the fittest

Survival of the fittest

I really want to talk about my divorce and the domestic violence case, but the prosecutor's office and my attorney have told me to keep quiet. Anything I write, whether email, text or even this blog, can be subpoenaed for the trial. Even though I would only write the truth, it's best if I keep quiet. Someday I'll talk about it, after the criminal case trial is over, but right now, I have to remained silent on this topic.

Instead, I'll talk about my new health! For the last several weeks, during all the drama in my personal life, I've tried to eat healthy, but I've failed miserably. I haven't had any binges, but I haven't tracked my food or been very careful about what I was eating. I've only gone to the gym once in the past several weeks (and I thought I was going to die!).

My logic was that I was going through a very traumatic experience and it wasn't the right time to worry about my weight.

All I can say about that logic, s-t-u-p-i-d!

What really woke me up was the class I went to on Thursday. In addition to my gun training and my weekly shooting range practice, I also wanted to take self-defense classes. A guy at work told me I should try Krav Maga. I mentioned it in a previous blog. It's the Israeli Army and Special Forces self-defense training. It's basically street fighting. Krav Maga is Hebrew for hand-to-hand combat. There are several centers that offer this training. The dojo I went to also has Crossfit, Taekwondo and Zhumba classes.

A girlfriend and I went to the trial class. I was worried I wouldn't be fit enough for the class. After we signed up for our free class, we were sent to one of the rooms to wait for the instructor. I looked around the room and noticed mostly women, several of them were very overweight (at least as heavy as me or even heavier). There was fun music playing and I felt okay, I won't have any problem. If these women can do this, I'll be fine.

My relief was short-lived. The Krav Maga assistant instructor that was assigned to help us came into the room and said we were in the wrong place, this was the Zhumba class!

He took us down the hall to another large room. I knew immediately I was in big trouble. Everyone was very physically fit, all were height and weight proportionate and muscular.  I was by far the fattest person in the room. In fact, I was the only fat person in the room. My girlfriend that was with me is 5' 6" and weighs 145. She walks every day at lunch for one hour (rain or shine). I walk with her sometimes (and she walks fast). I'll be walking with her every day from here on out. Especially after what I went through in this class.

OH-MY-GOD! That was the hardest, most difficult, most physically challenging class I've ever taken in my life. I was really into high-impact step aerobics in the 70's and 80's. Ha! That was baby exercise compared to Krav Maga.

I literally thought I was going to die. I wanted to die. It's very fast moving. In between the different moves they teach they have you do things like running, push ups, stomach crunches. All the things I really hate.

The moves they focused on in our class was punching, foot work when punching someone, how to throw a punch, and how to fend off a knife attack.

The punching was really hard. They taught us how to stand with our feet to give us the best balance, and how to throw our entire weight into the punch. We were in pairs, and one person would hold a padded board against their chest while the other person punched it. I punched it so hard that by the end of the class my knuckles were raw, with the skin peeled off (I'm getting some gloves or at least the wrap thing the instructor was using).

Before the knife attack training the instructor showed us a surveillance video on youtube of a real knife attack that happened this year in China. It was in a public area in broad daylight. A 24-year old man attacked a 28-year old woman, trying to steal her purse. There were people standing by, but they didn't help her. He stabbed her over 50 times and killed her.

After the video, which was very disturbing, we were taught how to fend off a knife attack, using fake knives. That hurt even more than the punching. We used our forearms to knock the knife out of the assailants hand. The force of the forearm against forearm was very painful. The instructor assured us we'd get use to it and we wouldn't break any bones.

The thing about this class is that you don't play gentle. When you smack your assailant's arms, you smack it like you really mean it. When you punch the padded board your partner is holding, you hit it as if you were in a real fight for your life. You play for real. The idea is if you get into a situation where you need to protect yourself, you'll know what to do.

The instructor even gave me a couple one-on-one lessons. I told him what had happened to me and how helpless I felt. He showed me some moves I would never have thought about on my own. Even if you're pinned down on the floor with someones full body weight on you, you still have options on how to escape.

My girlfriend and I are going to sign up for the classes. I'm going with the one-year option. It's a bit pricey, but by committing to a year, there's quite a bit of savings. It's for unlimited classes.

Probably the most difficult thing, besides the running and push ups, was the instructor telling us that we needed to be light on our feet. You need to be able to move quickly when you're being attacked. At 217 pounds moving quickly is almost impossible for me.

Which brings me to my latest weight loss plan. Weight Watchers. I signed up last night online, and this morning I'm back to the meetings. After Weight Watchers, I'm going to the gym. Then home to mow the lawn.

This is really about survival. It's about being able to get away from danger if I need to. If I can't get away, then it's about being able to fight back. It's put a completely different spin on why I need to lose weight and be healthy. It's no longer just being concerned about having a heart attack or getting some horrible illness because I'm fat. It's not about wearing cute clothes. It's really about being strong and being able to defend myself. Who knew it would literally take a gun to my head to get serious about losing weight?

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