“It doesn’t hurt anymore,” I told him. “If I’m ever proud of anything at this point, that’s got to be it.”
In the beginning, it felt like banging against an immovable wall. I was not strong – I did not have it in me then. Everything hurt. Everyday hurt.
But now, not only does it not hurt, I also feel nothing. The strain is still there, but more important, the pain is gone. It no longer hurts.
I am referring to my hands and legs btw, how they have gone numb from regular and continuous striking, as I was telling my coach yesterday. I am not saying I have miraculously transformed into a badass kickboxer in record time, because I’m still at level what-the-fuck-am-I-doing-here, but what I mean is that the Muay Thai drills do not hurt me as much as it was like I’m getting hit by an asteroid during the start.
You get used to the pain. As with anything, you get used to it.
This bit of progress on my physical strength is actually my inspiration in improving my insides. If physical pain eventually disappears, it is the hope I latch onto, that maybe the time will come, when the pain on my insides will eventually be gone, too.
Truthfully, it is every bit symbolic. When I started Muay Thai, it was a tough time. On the toughest day, I bought my gear with my friend Don from Dojo Drifter. (I will never admit it to him, but he has helped me so much, in more ways than I know he is aware of, and I’m very grateful.)
We met a bit after lunch to go to a popular MMA shop in Ortigas, but before driving off, he asked, hesitantly, “What happened to your eyes? Have you seen them? They are swollen.”
“Yes, my friend. Because I am in a tremendous amount of pain that I did not have a choice but spend all morning crying like a pathetic wimp until I got dehydrated.”
Well, no, I did not actually say that. But what I knew for sure was that one breakdown was enough. I would not be in tears over the same thing again. If any water drops out of me, it is from sweating inside the gym.
I do not need a comforting hug. What I needed is a heavy bag to hit over and over and over. So here we are.
In front of the heavy bags, mitts, and Thai pads, I control the pain. When I feel it on my hands and legs, I try to hit even harder. I do not fear this physical pain. I choose it and I know I’m getting something good out of it. Inside the gym, I am strong. Whatever negative emotion remains, it is significantly watered down. I am too exhausted from training to even bother thinking of it. Unfortunately, this other pain is not quite gone, but I am working on it. If all pain are equal, then this too shall leave me, eventually. Like with Muay Thai drills, you get used to it. The day will come, I know for sure, I will say in this regard, “It doesn’t hurt anymore.” That is not today, but I will get there.
So I guess this gets me further on the weirder end of the spectrum, doesn’t it? While normal girls seek a heartbreak kit filled with tissues, a pint of ice cream, and a warm blanket, I stuffed mine with boxing gloves, hand wraps, and a Muay Thai gym membership…
Oh, alright, maybe I had some ice cream, too.