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Fighting fire with fire: My 72-hour fitness breakthrough!

Like I said before, I was devastated, physically, mentally and emotionally with the events that lead up to the decision to end my marriage, and I knew the extremely intense emotions and mental stress I was experiencing at that particular time could and would be very detrimental to not only myself, but more importantly, to my daughter.  I knew I had to find an immediate and healthy <PHYSICAL> outlet for these intense emotions and thoughts before they developed into something more severe. I had to find the way to physically “work out my problems”……the question of “How?” was still unanswered, and that’s when I began to think….A LOT….that thought process lasted for 3 days.

January 10, 2014 – Size 18/16, 5′ 0″, 220+lbs 

     — DAY ONE! aka Ground Zero!

— I was pacing back and forth in my kitchen, an “L” shape walk-through space, not very big, and I was playing random songs that were in my mind, relatable to my current state-of-mind/situation. When life kicked my ass, I always turned to music to help. It did help take the edge off my emotional pain, but that core intensity was still there. Knowing the famous saying, “history repeats itself” I began looking back in my own history, and I could honestly say that it had been over a decade since I experienced this level of intense NEGATIVE emotions.

Before, it was in high school fighting bullies and the town’s school board for stricter punishments for students who assault other students. –The two situations/circumstances between then and now were different on the surface, but I realized that the intensity levels of the emotional/mental distress were the exact same.  Only back in high school, I HAD a physical outlet. I was a highly recognized and respected competitive fighter in Taekwondo. I took out all of my anger/frustration/despair out on my sparring competitors, and I did very well for the years I competed. It gave me an incredible sense of empowerment and “painful pride” knowing “I survived” all the lengthy training sessions and opponents I had to get through in order to win a competition.

My physical successes in competitive sparring NEARLY diminished ALL of the emotional pain I would experience on a daily basis from bullies and the injustice from the school district. My martial art successes balanced out the extreme negative (abuse/bullies) with an extreme positive (65+ trophies and awards in both; sparring and forms). –This was the first of many “ah ha!” moments I had within the first 72 hours of creating what was to become the basic foundation of “Polykinetics” and The S.E.L.F Method.

Now 2014……this time around, there was one very important and pint-sized component that I didn’t have to think about back in high school. This time around, I was a mom! I had a whole other life that depended on me 100% in every way, and I knew much of my confidence and general anxiety was tied into my performance as a parent and my deep seeded desire to become a “positive living example” for my daughter.  I couldn’t stand the idea of people looking at me and thinking, “Wow, she is so big, how does she properly take care and keep up with her daughter”, or, “She’s just a lazy mother”.  That fueled my fear, but also fueled my determination to stop that negative thoughts/fears and find THE solution to my life-killing weight related problems. I spent the rest of that day listening to song after song, and spending hour after hour digging into my own brain because I knew the answer was already there. I KNEW IT!  I just had to start making the connections!

January 11, 2014 — DAY 2

— Woke up, immediately grabbed my headphones and playlist, got my daughter up, dressed and fed; then set her up with her beloved “ABC” lessons, and I retreated to the kitchen.  I stood there, listening to my music and…..still NOTHING!!!  I WAS SO FAT…..that I physically couldn’t do much at all, really!  Sitting was uncomfortable, standing made my knees ache and my ankles would buckle if I even so much did a fast-paced walk.  I felt big (no pun!) restrictions against me, but again, I kept reflecting back to my martial art days, and I thought, “What was it about martial arts that I found so incredibly challenging?” The forms or katas, was the part that stuck out to me the most, even more so than sparring. It was more of a highly structured and skilled aesthetic demonstrations that is generally low-impact, yet, required a high degree of: balance, flexibility, muscle control and strength, agility, mobility, focus, proper posture and move execution. Visually, TKD forms were always “easier than they looked”, but to anyone that has ever done one of these forms, they’re very challenging to do both physically and mentally. This thought lead me to another “ah ha!” moment!

My next thought: “If I could endure the physical pain that I did while I was training 6 days a week for competitions at THAT size (about the same size I was at currently) and at THAT age, then I should be more than able to do SOMETHING……my mind was still blank on what that was.  Again, I had my list of excuses right next to me that I was dying to use, but I kept prying my mind for the solution to all of my “I hate working out but want to get fit” issues. All I knew at this point was that my solution would be without a doubt, a physical one.  Not a pill, not a fad-diet, not surgery, not a therapy session……I was heading full-force straight into the physical realm of fitness, an area I had spent my life hating and avoiding! I literally threw my arms up in the air, and said, “Fuck it, ok we’re about to get physical!”.

I started branching out at other forms of physical activities that I found to be equally challenging on the 3 levels as martial arts was. –Ironically, dance was the only other activity that came to mind that required the same general aspects of physical and mental skills as martial arts, only it was from a different perspective, but again, the core basic skills were the same.

Still thinking…..I hated to workout, but I did have a secret love for dance.  I never took classes or anything, but always found dance to be a creative, physical form of self-expression. If I was angry, I danced angry, if I was hyper, I was jumping all over the place…it was used solely as an emotional to physical outlet that ultimately made me feel awesome in the end even though I would be hot, sweaty, stinky, sore, and a tragic mess with my makeup falling all over my face….regardless of all that, I loved how dance made me FEEL, regardless of how badly I sucked at it. I didn’t care, I just let my guards down and allowed the music move me. <—- “Ah ha” moment #3!

January 12, 2014 — Day 3

— Again, just like the day before, got up, grabbed my headphones, music, daughter, breakfast,, back to the kitchen! The emotions were still vibrant, alive and well, only now, the sadness had somehow turned to pure anger.  I knew the anger was on the border of becoming explosive, which was a great concern of mine. So all I could do was blast my headphones to a song I strongly enjoyed and just literally began to “bounce”. So silly, but it was literally, all I could physically do anymore with all of my problems/challenges/situations.

However, something incredible was about to happen…..

After mere seconds from “bouncing”….the pain began to gradually set in. My legs began to burn, I could feel the pressure increasing on my chest, my arms were tiring out, but I was completely perplexed! I was “barely moving”.  I was doing a standard TKD middle stance and simple rhythmic coordination. One of the most basic stances that I would teach my martial arts students, plus the simplest skill you can do in the world of dance…stay on beat! It was combining the two simplicities from these two different physical worlds that made me yell out loud, “OMG, I got it!”  I had realized at that moment it wasn’t “this” way and wasn’t “that” way, it was the combination of many different ways, with the core focus staying on being “simplistic”.  This “bouncing” would later become what is now known within Polykinetics as the “base” move.

On the surface, it seemed almost “too simplistic to be true”, but I absolutely couldn’t deny the very physical pain that I was experiencing while doing this “bouncing”  in this middle-stance position. It didn’t require any extreme skills…… BUT it WAS very difficult to do for long periods of time.  The longer I did this “bounce” drill, the harder it actually got. BINGO! This was where the Polykinetics theory began to take shape, and I began testing my fitness method on who I felt was the most perfectly imperfect test monkey…….ME!

My question: Could a physical fitness method really be effective; yet be physically simplistic at the same time?”

This is a question that would propel me into aspects of fitness in ways I never imagined…..this was offically the beginning of ending a cycle that I had been stuck in for over 20 years.

The next 21 days would completely DEMOLISH every excuse I was soooo fond of using, and completely change my entire perspective of fitness once and for all!


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