Monthly Archives: January 2014

“You Can Kick A Man’s Ass”


Today I attended a 3-hour Krav Maga self-defense for runners seminar.  It was fast-paced, hardcore, and realistic.  This is a world class training facility and I am so glad they offered this seminar.  The techniques we learned and the knowledge I gained are invaluable.  I have become kind of obsessed with learning how to protect myself from an attack ever since the murder of Lauren Bump(and a subsequent attack a few weeks later) on our local running trails.  I haven’t run out there alone since that day, and I don’t know if I ever will, but taking self-defense classes is becoming my new hobby.  I realized through all this that I was a naive fool before Lauren’s murder.  I was completely defenseless and blissfully unaware that bad guys are always lurking.  This seminar taught us that we need to be prepared to stand our ground and fight.


There were over 200 women there today, all with the same goal in mind – to gain knowledge and feel empowered.  We learned and practiced many techniques to escape realistic scenarios, such as:

  • An attacker grabbing you from behind (a “bear hug”)
  • An attacker grabbing you from behind and covering your mouth
  • An attacker with a knife
  • An attacker who takes you down to the ground


We did drills with a partner over and over and the instructor was extremely strict about proper technique.  Each pair of partners had realistic weapons.  It was disturbing to think through these scenarios, especially knowing Lauren Bump was stabbed to death from behind.  But it made for realistic practice.

The finale was almost unbearable.  He told us “You don’t have to do this, but if you don’t you’ve wasted your time here.”  They had set up a realistic scenario to resemble a dimly lit trail and we were to each run through, one by one, and an “attacker” was waiting behind trees and attacked us with a knife.  We had to use our skills to fight them off and escape.  Standing in line to do this drill felt like I was waiting to go into a haunted house.  I was so nervous.  My heart was racing as I ran through, was “attacked,” and fought him off successfully.  After going through that scenario, we went into another room where we had to fight off an attack from behind.  The trainers were wearing full pads and helmets, came from behind with full force, and we could unleash our fury on them without holding back.

The two self-defense classes I’ve taken so far have been slightly different, but the takeaway message of both has been this:

  • Avoid putting yourself in a dangerous situation
  • Be aware of your surroundings and put away the distractions
  • An attack will be fast; it will be a surprise; and it will be violent
  • Nobody thinks it will happen to them (until it does)
  • Learn and practice techniques to defend yourself, and hurt your attacker
  • Just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you have to be fearful and weak

Like our instructor said “Ladies, you can kick a man’s ass!”  And today we proved it.  My fear is subsiding but will never completely disappear – which I think is good.  At the same time I’m gaining confidence and skills I never thought I needed.  Hopefully I never will.

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Where Are My Tic Tacs!?

Where Are My Tic Tacs!?  

If you know where this line comes from without having to watch the clip, we can be friends.  I’m ashamed to admit I feel like Parker Posey in You’ve Got Mail quite frequently these days :/

Ever since I discontinued my medication for anxiety/depression this past summer, my anxiety has reared its ugly head more and more.  (Thankfully, the depression is a distant memory and I can only hope it won’t return, but I sometimes feel that’s only a matter of time).  I feel agitated frequently, and my temper can be very short.  This usually happens in moments of stress (obviously) and I’m trying to find ways to control it naturally.  For example:

  • I was on the phone with the doctor’s office about getting referred for a test, and they were insisting I had to come in for a visit. I flat-out refused, demanded that they schedule me for the test without a visit (and the huge copay and wasted time I was trying to avoid), asked to speak with the office manager (who wasn’t there that day), and then promptly hung up on them.
  • I still can’t bring myself to make phone calls to strangers – including the cable company and the bank.
  • Mornings are hard for me (I’ve NEVER been a morning person).  My kids and I have to get out the door very early and it’s stressful.  Those of you with young children can understand, I’m sure.  Even though I’ve picked out their clothes the night before and my husband packs the lunches so they’re ready to go, we just can’t all seem to get it together in time.  I end up losing my temper with them and immediately regretting the things I say.
  • I’m a cusser.  I’ve always been a cusser, but lately the cuss words seem to flow a little too easily.  I should probably try to control that.

But how?

  • I’ve tried journaling, but at the height of my anxiety it’s not practical to whip out a journal and scribble my thoughts – especially at my work.
  • I’ve tried self-talk, but I’ve run out of things to say.
  • My coworkers know about my anxiety and have been gracious enough to get me a calming battery-powered water fountain, and a mini Zen rock garden (how awesome are they!?).  I joke that they don’t want to see me rage, but I’m sure that’s partly true.

I wish I could predict when the anxiety was coming, and maybe I could pop a Xanax, but it sneaks up on me most of the time.  I feel like the Hulk is about to burst out of me sometimes.  I care enough about my job and my friends to not let that happen though, but I need to find ways to control this anxiety.

Any suggestions?  Or maybe just a story to share?

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