There’s something that’s been nagging at me the last couple of weeks. I haven’t had the desire to write and I really can’t tell you why. Today, when I woke up it hit me. My creative brain is hibernating. Why, I am not fully certain, but one thing I’ve learned over this past year is to accept that there will be cycles in life. They happen if we are aware of them or completely blind to the patterns. Fighting these natural cycles is futile. So, I’ll allow my spirit this time of rest, reflection and renewal. I trust that in 2017 new words will come to me.

My creative side may be hibernating, but my body has not been resting. I’ve been super-motivated to wake early every morning and workout. Most of this training has been to support my goal of passing my level 1 test in Krav Maga. Well, I’ve some exciting news. Just yesterday I earned my yellow belt in Krav Maga. You may recall I wrote about this sport in my Spring-time post “the flying kick”. I honestly cannot believe that less than 9 months ago I suffered an injury that left me briefly unable to walk! The body has incredible healing powers. As I prepared for the examination one of the instructors asked how my leg was doing and I really had to dig back and remember the day I tore my calf muscle in class. I’m happy to say that yesterday I was of sound mind and body and solidly passed my exam.

And I’ve got to tell you it feels great! I’m a bit surprised at how proud I am of earning my yellow belt. Training in Krav Maga is my first foray into any sort of fighting sport. I enjoy the challenge of remembering the sequence of moves. It’s a bit like dancing. I savor the soreness in my muscles in the days following a particularly intense session. Strangely, I am glad to be aware of the vulnerabilities of the human body – this knowledge makes me grateful that I wake up every day in spite of having experienced some serious injuries in life. Mentally, I also approach life differently. When I enter into in a crowded space I scan for escape routes and pay more attention to my surroundings. Not in a way that makes me nervous or anxious, I’m simply more conscious of what’s happening around me. Also, I admit to feeling a bit indestructible and capable of tackling any challenge. 90 minute training sessions with an instructor that regularly commands to go faster and chants the mantra: “pain is weakness leaving the body” does eventually influence the way one thinks about challenging situations. All of these are valuable skills, plus I have the added bonus of now being in demand as my friend’s Body Guard.

Some of my friends wanted to know what I’ll do next now that I earned my yellow belt. I thought about this even before I went in for the test. Because I have learned one thing about myself and that is that once I accomplish a goal, I don’t pause for long before I’m right on to the next one. For now, I look forward to returning to regular training with more time for free-fighting at the end of sessions. I also want more push-ups and jumping sessions. The level 1 training was a lot of slow and steady working, perfecting technique. It was a little low on the cardio spectrum for my taste. As I think about this now, it’s also a good life lesson. There is a time to be slow and deliberate in order to be correct. Like my motorcycle instructor told me “practice does make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect”. I put in my slow and steady time to be perfect and now I look forward to begin 2017 pushing my heart rate and throwing some strong swift punches and elbows.

As I wind down the weekend, I prepare to begin my last full work week of the year. After which the rest of me will join my creative spirit in hibernation. I have learned that after a period of quiet, something amazing will emerge. Even though it is difficult at times, I’ll be patient and give myself a break. Cheers to a holiday season filled with rest and renewal!