Monday, January 26, 2015

A slow gentle fall


North and South (BBC-2004) has been one of my favorite miniseries that evokes a time and place long gone, where people fell in love in a slower, gentler, more modest and profound way.  

Friday, January 16, 2015

Much Needed R&R

Mom's normally have luxury time.... Luxury time is when you get to do whatever you want. This weekend I get to have luxury time. No responsibilities. No task list. No shopping or errands list. NOTHING! Just me and whatever my little heart desires.

So what is my desire this weekend?  Well, what I really want I'can't have. That's something for a post on another blog. for this blog... is just being able to be 1 with nature so I'll definitely take long quiet walks on the beach. Hopefully one in the morning and one at night. If it's not too windy then I'll sit on the sand for awhile. I hear its going to be in the teens so I'll bring a down throw with me to keep me warm. Then I'll meditate while sitting there and visualize what I want to have or experience in my life this year. And to heat things up when I'm bored I've brought 50 Shades of Grey with me.

The rest of the time I'll hang with the girls and catch up. Should be fun.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I'm choosing my pain

This is how I felt after tonight's 90 min MMA training session. Towards the end I got distracted by the beeps on my phone alerting me to text messages from a VIP.  My sparring partner, who was practicing a take down skill seized on my distraction and well, I wound up in a heap on the floor. Now I'm laying here icing my knee with a possible PCL injury.

Of course, if I had a choice between this pain and the pain inflicted by my attacker 14 days ago I would choose my MMA pain every time.

So the lesson learned here is: turn the phone completely off until you're done with training. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Say Hello To My Big Friend

This free-standing heavy weight bag is 6.5' feet tall and weighs 300 lbs. Today this Wave Master Bag became my recovery buddy.  Veterans use the term recovery buddy for the person who is helping them with their recovery work from PTSD. .

My recovery buddy till now was Doc. That was until lunch time today, when I reached Phase 2 of the PTSD Recovery cycle (the seething anger/frustration phase), and found the need for a new buddy. Say hello to my big friend - Big Wave.

Today I chose my pain, my attacker didn't.  Since the attack, I've been recovering from injuries and a great deal of their related pain. At my first self defense class I was taught a number of punches and kicks to help defend myself. Today, I chose to put on gloves and step into an octogon with my friend here standing center stage. The octogon is located in the rear of a 2nd level sub-basement of a gym.

Big Wave took the place of my attacker and I was so angry when I approached the bag, that every person in the area left within 15 min of me beginning to punching/kicking TKO routine.  Even though I was still sore and had some residual pain from the attack before the workout I went ahead with it.  The difference being that I was choosing to intensely work out and be sore and in pain of my from my workout instead of being in physical pain from the attack.

I hit that heavy bag so hard from every angle that twice gym staff came over to see what was going on. I can tell they were surprised to see a short middle-aged woman pounding the bag.  \after watching me throw a series of punches and grapple the bag to ground, on gym staffer said, "Wow, you throw hard punches for a girl."

I responded by inviting him to step in front of the bag so I could show him how an angry woman throws a punch so he would know the difference between that and a girl. He turned around and walked away.  45 min later my seething anger had subsided, but the overall pain in my body had increased 10 fold.

I don't mind this pain... its of my own making and choosing.  I chose it, so I own it,  Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to put on some Ben-gay cream on my shoulders, elbows and knees.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2 GREAT Workout Music Playlists!

One of my high school coaches once told me that training is 80% mental and 20% physical skill/endurance. Music has always helped me work out more effectively and consistently than on my own or with my coaches pep-talks. So I knew I needed to find new music to work out by so that when things get tough I remain focused and inspired. 

I'm sharing my playlists for anyone who might need inspiration. One playlist is for the MMA training that I just started. The other is to listen to at the gym while on the elliptical. I've already listened to both at least once and I'm ready for my 7 am Elliptical Party. 

MMA Training Music vol. 2:

Best Music Playlist for Workouts

One thing I love about the Workout Playlist is the fact that its mostly instrumental, that way I can work on my visualizations as I workout.  When I was in high school my coach would have us do visualizations during our pre-competition workouts and I always wound up blowing the competition away during track meets and blasting my own personal best records.  

Hope you blast the competition too! Enjoy.

1 Love

Voicemail: "Hi Michele, its Doc Martin calling. Can you please stop by my office this afternoon. I need you to pick up something I have for you. Also, I hope you're not doing anything tonight because my wife and I would like to take you out to dinner in Astoria. We'll talk more when you stop by the office."

Scene at Doctor's Office: Doc Martin hands me a large black duffel bag closed with a security zip tie and says: "This bag is for you. Don't open it. Bring it with you to this address at 7:45pm sharp tonight. I'll explain everything when you get there. Remember, no peeking!"

And with that he turned on his heel and walked back to his examination room. I was  left standing there filled with questions while holding a large duffel bag and a slip of paper with an address. The mystery of the duffel occupied my mind most of the day. 

As night began to fall so did my spirits with them. Its now been a week since my attack and my attacker still hasn't been caught, even with the help of a friend from MIT trying to catch the guy via my stolen cell phone. My most immediate need in getting him apprehended is I want to feel safe.

I want to be able to not have to look over my shoulder whenever I hear a sound behind me as I walk down the street. I want to walk down the street without fear. Had it not been because I was in so much physical pain that I needed my 90 min acupuncture session, I would have stayed home.
Afterwards, I debated whether or not to go to the address but couldn't come up a with a good enough reason not to, so I went. There I found Doc waiting for me with a similar large black duffel bag,  outside what seemed to be a dance studio.

Turns out the dance studio also doubles as a Martial Arts studio in the evenings. Doc broke the zip tie of my duffel bag and pointed to the modern gee or uniform I was to change into and the special gloves I was to wear to protect my hands. I took a deep breath as I looked up at his kind generous face. Part of me just wanted to be home sitting on the couch numbing myself out with the tv. I'm sure Doc had a million things he could be doing but instead he was here, coaxing me slowly back to choosing life.  Just then his wife walked in and taking the bag said: "come on, I'll show where you can change."

After changing I walked back to the dance space and found Doc in similar gear, barefoot and stretching. I stopped at the edge of the floor and lingered before bowing. A flood of memories came rushing back as the familiar scent in the room of sweat, effort and dedication transported me back to when I was teenager and stood on a similar threshold. The difference today was that I knew that the inner pain and fear caused by the trauma would eventually go away if I chose to take a step forward. Then I heard my old Sensei's speak to me:  "When you allow yourself to train fully, you become stronger than my pain."

And with that I bowed, saluting Doc and all the teachers that came before in an old familiar greeting indicating this student was ready to begin anew her training. With that decision came a choice to no longer be a victim.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Come As You Are, Mes Chers Amis

Mes Chers Amis,   [translation below]

Mon coeur va à vous dans l'amour et l'amitié. Votre vie ne sera jamais le même. Vous avez été touché par la violence d'une manière qui restera à jamais éclater votre innocence, sentiment de sécurité et la confiance en soi pour les années à venir. Dans cette nouvelle ère, vous serez obligé de se interroger et de redéfinir beaucoup de choses, y compris vos positions sur les libertés civiles et la vie. La route sera incertain, encore rempli de tristesse , la colère et la dépression . Ce ne est pas une étape , vous pouvez éviter. Ce est une partie nécessaire de la guérison.

Se il vous plaît savez que vous allez finir par être en mesure de ramasser les éclats brisés de votre monde pour composer une mosaïque de votre nouveau monde d'une manière qui vous aidera à aller de l'avant et finalement vous guérir. Je dis cela par expérience car je sais le voyage que vous allez prendre. Au cours des prochains jours, je vais poster des informations sur les façons dont vous pouvez gérer le choc et la douleur de cette expérience , afin de faire face aux événements qui se sont produits dans votre pays hier.

Je prierai pour votre paix et la guérison, car je ai connu ce que la colère et la vengeance peut faire pour la vie d'une personne. Reste avec moi au cours des prochains jours et nous allons marcher sur ce chemin de la guérison ainsi que de chacun de nos attaques brutales. Pour aujourd'hui, vous permettre de ressentir la profondeur de vos sentiments. Soyez en colère si vous devez être. Pleurer si vous avez besoin, il est préférable que de l'enfouir à l'intérieur, parce que la douleur est supprimé plus dangereux. Pour aujourd'hui, permettent juste vous sentir et vous pouvez éventuellement guérir. Je vais vous laisser avec une chanson que je espère, le confort de votre esprit.

Envoi d'étreintes d'amour à vous tous!

My Dear Friends,

My heart goes out to you in love and friendship. Your lives will never be the same. You have been touched by violence in a way that will forever shatter your innocence, sense of safety and self-confidence for years to come. In this new age, you will be forced to question and redefine many things, including your stances on civil liberties and personal privacy. The road ahead will be uncertain and filled with sadness and anger. It is not a stage you can avoid. It is a necessary part of healing.

Please know that you will eventually be able to pick up the shattered slivers of your world to compose a mosaic of your new world in a way that will help you move forward and eventually heal you. I say this from experience for I know the journey you will take. Over the next few days I will post information on ways you can manage the shock and pain of this experience, in order to cope with the events that happened in your country yesterday.

I will pray for your peace and healing, for I have known what anger and revenge can do to a person's life. Stay with me over the next few days and we will walk this journey of healing together from each of our brutal attacks. For today, allow yourself to feel the depth of your feelings. Be Angry if you need to be. Cry if you need to. It is better than burying them inside, because pain suppressed is more dangerous. For today, just allow yourself to feel so you can eventually heal. I will leave you with a song that I hope Will comfort your spirit.

Sending many hugs of love to all of you!

Mon Cher...

Mes Amis en France, mon cœur souffre pour vous aujourd'hui. Se il vous plaît être forte au cours de votre douleur. Nous vous aimons et vous soutenons. 

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Returning to the scene of my crime

Today I accompanied Detectives to the scene where I was attacked to go over what happened, retracing my steps to the beginning and then back again. I had to relive the event blow by blow.  We started out at the crime scene in broad daylight to see if there were any cameras etc. that captured the attack. When they methodically retraced my steps to where it all began. Where I first was made aware of that I was the attacker's target and prey.

In spite of all the support I've been getting, visiting the place where I was brutally beaten, was not easy. But showing the police step by step what happened, including the blow by blow description of the attack was worse. I kept thinking to myself what could have I done differently. The little training I remembered was never for an attacker that was 7-9 ft away.

I just hope the flashbacks and nightmares don't return or at least as intensely as they did at the start. At the beginning every time I closed my eyes I would see the attacker's face and my mind would immediately fast forward to the attack causing me to startled and jump. Its gotten a bit better over the last few days. I'm not jumping out of my skin every time I start to doze off.

This morning I was finally able to get a few hours of un-interupted sleep after my doctor picked me up and went with me to the gym just so that I could walk-off the anxiety, fear and stress out of my body.  He was right and it worked, because I got 3 hrs of sleep. As we slowly walked on the treadmill side by side, we talked about music and politics and raising kids. All of it meant to distract the mind long enough to interupt the PTSD brain-loop pattern. He's a former active-duty veteran, so he knows what works and this is working well for me.

He knew that even though I've improved, I'm still in full PTSD mode. His objective is to get me better as soon as possible so I can go back to work. I'm hoping that with the daily acupuncture treatments for the pain, taking long walks, and receiving continued support (like I've been getting) that I will be able to have the symptoms reduced enough for me to return to work monday.  Today was my first train ride with the Detectives and I was relieved they were with as I rode the subway.

So in order to create a mind-shift of my own, I think I'll take an inventory of the positives:
- I have less body pain than I did yesterday.
- I was able to sleep for at least a few hours.
- My Dr. helped me get some exercise and told me he had arranged for me to receive free self-defense classes for when my body is healed.  
- My Acupuncturist gave me an extra 30 minutes treatment to help alleviate the pain.
- People from the Temple stopped by to bring me food (so I wouldn't have to make dinner and gave me a spiritual book to keep my mind occupied.
- My downstairs neighbors stopped by to visit to offer to drop off and pick-up laundry or go grocery shopping for me.
- My next door neighbor made some really delicious Thai food for my son (I'm a vegetarian).

In the end I do feel grateful and blessed. 
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