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But It Won’t Own You

From an article in today’s Seattle Times:

If you fear uncertainty, and give yourself over to the dread of the many possible negative outcomes, then you’ll be as stuck in them as surely as if they had occurred. Take the person whose greatest fear is that a mate is cheating. That whole relationship becomes about infidelity — watching for it, imposing restrictions to pre-empt it, interrogating and snooping to discover it — whether the mate is straying or not.

If instead you accept that you’re just as subject to surprises as anyone, and that your only recourse is to choose people well, love them fully and trust yourself to handle it if things don’t turn out as you’d hoped, then the possibility of cheating — or illness or job loss or whatever else can befall a family — may scare you when it crosses your mind, but it won’t own you.

I Gave Up My Handgun Today

I did it.  I put my handgun up for consignment and it will never be in the house again.  Lots of things led to a the decision.  Virginia Tech, SPU, Marysville, Newtown.  Statistics and probability.  Fear fatigue.  Worry about shooting at an unlikely home invader, missing, and it travelling through thin sheetrock walls and hitting someone unintended.  Concealed carry didn’t help me feel any braver, just made me worried about someone getting it away from me.  I did enjoy shooting at the range.  That I will miss.  I’m “downsizing” to pepper spray and a baseball bat.

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Giving Up For Reals This Time

I love my fuzzy alpaca slippers, but the toe I broke (last year?) kinda slips and twitches and feels odd in them – that toe seems to need to be pretty tightly bound most of the time now – held in place – with my trainers I need to mind my footfall to avoid that weird feeling, but I’m grateful that the hiking boots just work.

My lower right leg still hurts – randomly – most of the time it is fine, but about once a day a twitch of pain throbs up by the impact point below the knee, or randomly from the inside lower part of the leg near the ankle.  But it is getting better, I think, and the swelling from the bone bruise is nearly gone.

A blow to the left knee a few weeks ago isn’t hurting while walking any more, and now just hurts on contact.

It seems to take a long time for me to heal anymore.  I’m accumulating injuries now faster than I can heal from them.  I’m 44, so not entirely surprising.

I don’t sleep much after martial arts practice.  Those nights are always very intense, very unsettled.

And then there is the freezing problem…

I’m still terrified of confrontations.  I still seriously doubt that if given the chance to sit or to get up and intervene that I would make the right choice this time.  Lots and lots of exercise and sparring practice and forms hasn’t changed that.

Owning a bloody handgun hasn’t changed that.  But that’s another post for another day.  I’m going to get rid of it.

The trainers at the martial arts studio are the nicest people in the world, and very accomplished in what they do, and very good teachers…

But…

I can’t do it anymore.

I know I was close to Black Belt, but I’m tired of hurting.

And I know I’m disappointing many people, including my dear wife and kids and instructors, but I just can’t do it.  Anymore.

Walking and hiking I love.  And the leg injuries were cutting into that.  And I need to come up with something different for the freezing-under-pressure stuff.  So, I realize this wasn’t the first time I’ve quit martial arts, but it will be the last.

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