Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Jungle or the Cliff?

I had this moment this morning, a thought that kept me smiling through my whole commute.

I feel good today.

And I thought about my state of mind and being last week, last month; when I was struggling to just survive. I had no goals, long or short term; wasn't looking forward to anything; and everything felt horribly pointless. It felt like I had been dragging myself through a jungle full of paralyzing objects, when suddenly I found that the jungle ended in a cliff. I could either go forward off the cliff, or turn around and go back through the jungle and HOPE that maybe things would get better some day. And lemme tell ya, after that jungle, continuing off the cliff didn't seem like that bad of an idea. Almost a relief. But I couldn't decide what I wanted to do. So I stayed at that point, in between the cliff and the poisonous jungle, desperately trying to figure out which way to go.

As you might imagine, it's really difficult to do anything worthwhile with your life when you've been seriously considering ending it for any length of time. I had to decide which way to go - and I had to be totally committed if I was going to trudge back through that jungle. Because I had no idea how long I would be in there as I tried to find a way out. If I turned away from the cliff, I had to be determined that I wasn't going to go back that way again.

I can't say for sure at what point I decided to turn back into the jungle. All I know was that I did it without hope of anything getting better for me. I figured that if it was meant to be, life itself would find it's own way of pushing me off the cliff. I didn't need to give it any help. So I kept going, almost in a daze, in no particular direction except away from that cliff.

And I watched the movie 'Warrior' for some reason. I hadn't seen it in years and all of a sudden I HAD to watch it.

Naturally, I started thinking about the few years I spent training in MMA.  Muay Tai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specifically.  And how I stopped because of my divorce. Most of all, I remembered how I felt when I was training: Confident, self assured, beautiful, and mentally and physically strong.

And suddenly a rush of great memories popped up. And I mean great memories. When I was training in MMA I was going through hell. Working 90 hour weeks, my marriage was falling apart, and I fantasized about sleeping more than 6 hours a night.  But when I was training, none of that mattered. I trained hard and was proud of what I was doing. I was considered one of the guys and treated with respect by all of my teammates. My Sensei took pride in training me. And I met one of my best friends on those mats who to this day is an inspiration to me.

And I wanted back in. Desperately. I decided that I have to start treating myself better if I ever wanted to get that comradery again.  I put together a modest workout schedule and forced myself to make healthy decisions.  It's been less than a week since, and already I am a thousand times better.

And I'm so fucking grateful, because at the moment, even if it's only for a short while, I'm out of the jungle, and also not at the edge of a cliff.  I'm in some sort of weird place that makes me happy.  And that's something to celebrate.

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