Tuesday, 3 April 2012

When Life Kicks You In The Teeth.

For all of our martial arts training, there really is no defense against those times when life chooses to kick you in the teeth!

We've had one of those moments around here lately. Sadly my Mum passed away suddenly on 14th February. She went from being in reasonably good health to not being with us any more in the space of around 36 hours. It was quite the rollercoaster (one I definitely wouldn't pay to ride again!) and completely knocked me for six.

As well as dealing with the loss of Mum on an emotional level there have also been a lot of changes in terms of extra responsibilites coming my way -  dealing with issues regarding my younger brother who is profoundly disabled and still lives at home, assisting with financial organisation/ practical arrangements for my Dad etc.

In the beginning I did try to just maintain everything as it was. I was clearly kidding myself. I made the mistake of being imminently practical and not really allowing time for my own grief. I learnt that lesson the hard way and eventually ended up having a week off sick from work and from all other responsibilities (including karate training and assisting at classes).

When I finally felt my head was back together enough to go back to training I was struck down with THE most appalling back and neck problems. I haven't done any injury to my back, I suspect a lot of it has to do with maintaining a level of tension for so long (I tend to carry my anxiety in my neck, shoulders and back when I am dealing with stress.

So, in terms of training I'm pretty much feeling like I've taken about 4000 steps backwards. I've gotten to the point where I've been absent from it for so long that finding the motivation to go back becomes increasingly more difficult. I feel it's really difficult for me to make a commitment to the assisting side of things when I still don't know some days if I'll be able to get up and function for even the simplest of tasks.

I have already asked to lessen my teaching commitments to one class per week which I think will be a huge help in terms of balancing everything that's going on. I just need to muster up the motivation, and I suppose the courage, to get back on the metaphorical horse.

Classes are on a break over the Easter period so providing my back has improved I will be back to it on the Saturday after Easter. I just hope I haven't forgotten everything I've learnt! LOL



  1. Oh Marie, I'm so sorry to hear about your mum. To lose her so suddenly must be really hard. It sounds like you're having a tough time at present, especially as you seem to be shouldering the brunt of responsibilities that your mums's passing has brought.

    In one sense karate may just seem like another thing getting in the way of responsibilities but in another way it may be a bit of escapism for you - a place to forget outside troubles for a while, particularly if you are not shouldering teaching responsibilities as well.

    Remember that you matter too. You need space to grieve for your mum. Look after yourself as well as your family.

    Best wishes


  2. Marie, sorry to hear about your mom! Sending good thoughts and prayers your way!

    I fully agree with Sue in that karate can be a good as a distraction a stress reliever too! My family has been dealing with a lot of stress lately. My dad was diagnosed with a terminal disease (ALS/Lou Gehrig's) 2 years ago, and he's been in the hospital for over two months now battling pneumonia among other things. I fully believe that my Tae Kwon Do has kept me sane during all this. It's what keeps me going. The workout and being around my martial arts family lets me relax and set down that weight on my shoulders for a while. Plus, hitting things helps!

  3. Marie,

    Come back soon as you are missed at class (I don't know why though. LOL) Finn and Grace keep asking why you have left and I find it hard telling them that you are really really lazy. I was just joking about the power lifting.

    See you soon and have a lovely easter.



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Maira Gall