Thursday, September 3, 2015

Backwards and in High Heels

This saying always makes me smile because it is relevant to women on so many levels.  For those of you who don't know the saying and may be too young to know who Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were; they were amazing dancers in old Hollywood films.  Fred Astaire would constantly be praised for his dancing.  Finally, it was brought up that Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did except backwards and in high heels.  Why weren't we praising the woman who was equally as mesmerizing?  It's just how it goes sometimes.

I don't mean this in a bitter way.  I actually find it amusing and accept it on some levels.  Am I an angry feminist?  Sometimes.  But in reality, I just want everyone to be treated equally.  I guess I am an angry humanist.

I was talking with a famous MMA fighter recently and we bonded over how difficult it can be to train with our periods.  She said she would get overly emotional and not be able to control it.  I would get fatigue so badly, I would walk into punches and my sparring partners would ask if I was hungover.  I try not to spar during that time of the month because not a lot of good will come of it.  There might be a day or two before, when the hormonal anger can push me further, but for the most part, I get dizzy and tired and weak pretty quickly which frustrates me.  I start telling myself that I am too old or not good enough and will never be able to compete again.  Perhaps I won't, but these feelings pass and eventually I get back into the groove.  It's a constant struggle not to believe the negative thoughts during these times.

Fortunately, even though my last two fights were about a week before my period, I didn't experience the symptoms as badly.  I think it could be the adrenaline in my body knowing that it had to be prepared to fight.  Or maybe I was lucky.  Either way, I realized that not many people talk about this because it is hard enough to be a female fighter, without whining about your period.  We just try to tough it out.  Let the sparring sessions suck and the new moves we are trying to learn not stick.  We hope the next week it gets better and it usually does.

My recent cycle knocked me for a loop.  In sparring, it was as if I thought my head was supposed to aim for the glove. I had to convince the guys in my group that I wasn't drinking whiskey the night before.  They were all men so I don't know if they completely understand this feeling.  When I told them I had my period, they were grossed out.  Sorry, it's just the truth!

Anyway guys, please remember we are doing everything you are doing, except backwards and in high heels!