Dear Dads of Girls: Beware of Posturing

February 7, 2016 by Rieshy

 Over the years I've often heard dads speak of gleefully eviscerating any male foolish enough to mess with their daughter.

Do it.  I'm all in, eviscerate away, just don't talk about it in the hearing of your young daughter because I promise you one thing- if you love her that much, she will love you right back.  Loving you right back will mean she won't tell you anything about anyone who messes with her.

Why?  Why would a daughter who knows her dad loves her and wants to protect her not go to him for help?

Because she will be too busy protecting you from: 

  1. Prison.
  2. From feeling like a failure as a father. 
  3. Because she will feel somehow less- and not want you (her hero) to know. 
  4. She'll be afraid that you will freak out and take all her freedom away.

Instead, teach her to defend herself.  Teach her how to use judgement about her surroundings and her friends.  Teach her that she is valuable and that nothing that happens to her can ever change that.  Teach her to be a good friend and to stand up and protect others.

Spend time with her and listen.  Don't cast her as a princess that has to be saved, that needs a man for meaning or purpose. When she hears you talking about her, talk about how smart and tough she is.  Not how tough you are.

Then try to keep her safe anyway.


Farewell My Sweets

December 23, 2015 by Rieshy

January 1st looms large.
It looms, equal to an echoey Norse hall minus the mead.

A house of mine?  Minus cinnamon baked love?
A house of mine?  Minus stashes of jalapeƱo sweetness?

January 1st looms large.
A library without books.
Santa without the sack.
A lover without a kiss.
A runner without tights.

January 1st looms large.
It looms quietly, absent the crinkly sound of joy unwrapped:
That inoculator against stress,
That magical deliverer of caffeine,
Portable bliss,
Transporter of mothers.

To precious Chocolate,  
               Farewell my Sweets.

Sniff.  Sob.
Pity my children and curse my Sensei.


Not To Mention Luck

December 19, 2015 by Rieshy

Dreamers living intentionally?
Savorers remembering to save?

Between building barns or sucking the marrow.

Go with the flow thinks  uptight.
Planners think  disorganized.

Glass half empty, glass half full;
buy new glasses.

Dogs to walk, babies to shoe.

List writers, chaotic accomplishers,
filling calendars or losing them?

Goal setter along for the ride?
Choosing paths or defaulting to them?

Even visionaries need clean socks.

Self disciplined or experientially slammed;
all of the above.... or just confused?


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Quantifying Kinematics

December 6, 2015 by Rieshy

I don't love you Sparring.   I know I used to, you didn't do anything wrong; No, really it's not you, it's me.

I've fallen for Rolling.  We get along better, Rolling makes more sense to me.  I feel less awkward around Rolling.

Can we still be friends?

Our dojo has a fun, healthy attitude toward sparring- great people to spar with and wonderful Sensei.  It's not the setting it's not the support, so I've been asking myself why I don't love to spar.  I love to grapple, I love the Judo I've been exposed to even if it almost entirely consists of me learning ways in which I can be pitched through the air.  But sparring? I'd rather wall kicks any evening.

During sparring or stand up self-defense I often am transported to the middle school dances I chaperone where the main move is simply trying to catch up with the beat without looking too stupid.  Not to mention, sparring is startling, I'm bad at seeing things coming. While sparring I frequently see what just happened and what I just did wrong or what opportunity I just missed instead of seeing in real time.  During stand up self-defense I often start the exercise feeling defeated, just waiting to get flustered and girly and feeling out of control.

Rolling?  It's a challenge but it has a significant difference- you have a hold of your opponent.  You can feel them shift their weight, and fists and feet aren't randomly flying from outside of your peripheral vision.  Even just one hand on my opponent makes me feel more confident and less like I'm about to die.  Afterwards, I replay the roll in my head and still see what I should have done and opportunities that I missed, but they make sense and it's exhilarating; no matter how many times I tap out, grappling makes me feel strong.

My husband joked that if I had spent more time as a kid imagining trajectories of toy rockets and the geometric planes of cars jumping jumps it would have helped my sparring.  If I had, perhaps the visual of a collar bone shifting from its natural horizontal to 30 degrees might mean something to my blocking arm before I get bopped in the head. Too late now; so how to remediate?

I'm going to try something new.  A mind game to trick myself into not being startled sparring.  A mind game envisioning connections before physical contact is made.  Think invisible strings that form the edges of the geometric planes connecting feet, elbow, fists and knees.  Invisible strings that I can plan on using and pretend to have contact with.  I don't know if I can see quickly enough during sparring to manage it- but with the slower practice speed of stand up self-defense maybe it will form the beginning of the end of my super-ability to psych myself out.


Some Things You Never Want To Learn About

December 3, 2015 by Rieshy

I've never had to google adenocarcinoma before.  I've never tried to learn about the different stages of cancer.

I don't know.

Sometimes you get bad news and your brain has to pause in order to give your heart some time and you depend upon the Holy Spirit to do the praying for you.  My oldest sister went to the doctor with fall allergies and came home with lung cancer.  

She doesn't smoke, she's not around smokers.  She's as fit a woman as you could meet.  She has a family, a job, plans, a big smile and a big laugh.

Now that she also has lung cancer; she still has a family, a job, plans, a big smile and a big laugh.

I don't know anything, except I look forward to hearing that laugh often and for a long time.

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Imaginary Schedules

November 27, 2015 by Rieshy

I adore notebooks and pens and calendars and writing up schedules and plans and lists.  It's always better dreaming about how perfect you are going to be and act as opposed to getting off the sofa and actually doing something.  This time I have an excuse, a carte blanche for my dreamering; my training at MMA this year requires me to have a personal training plan written up.

The problem is, will I obey my plan?  Will it be so amazing that it stifles and depresses me?  Will it be so easy that I despise it?  and more importantly when the heck am I going to fit it in?

A plan that doesn't actually conform to the realities of time and space usually doesn't work... I know because I've written a lot of non-confomist plans before.  They are my specialty.  But oh, how I shine in my mind in those plans.  Shine and speak a half dozen foreign languages, do daily science experiments in my homeschool, grow all my own food, and benchpress twice my body weight, all while my family rises up and calls me blessed.  My stretch marks even disappear with adherence to those plans.

Crash.  Reality.

I need a 3 day a week plan for strength.  I need to be going over katas on my own.  I need to run- because running is what keeps me sane, relatively speaking.  I need to be drilling jujitsu moves and Thai-combos because my brain is like cheese cloth and info keeps draining away.

How long can I sit here drinking coffee looking through sites of workout plans?  I really should get up and do something or at least stretch.  But maybe I need new, more motivating stationary to write my plan upon.  Or an app.

That will solve everything.  I just have to spend more time looking...


November 25, 2015 by Rieshy

"How did this happen?!?"

"Who did this?!?"

"Why were you even touching this?!?"

"What is that?!?"

I might as well make these sentences into permanent signs, affixed to foam core,  ready to flash at my younger children as the need arises.  But then I would need to take pictures of blank faces to flash back at myself.

However, as I searched for a non-scavenged package of chocolate chips to bake into cookies I came across this:

Aha, the red stains on my bathmat, in front of the laundry room door and on the driveway make sense.  

In a vague and infuriating sort of way.