I'm at the point in a new habit where I have been most fragile. The 3-4 week mark is where I get a little self-defeatist, lose the spark and get distracted by something new and shiny. I've done it before with parkour when I tried starting last year. I made excuses for myself to quit, I wasn't strong enough, I wasn't making friends, I was afraid I would ruin my knees, etc. I saw all of the guys doing things I couldn't, vaults, jumps, rolls... I felt inadequate and weak so conveniently other things started coming up and I couldn't make it to training days any more. I'm not sure why this time feels so different. A good chunk of it is probably because I got in the habit of going to the gym for something I could do right away. When I started taking Krav Maga at Fight or Flight Academy in mid-December last year, I was able to catch on quickly and everyone in the class was welcoming. I started making friends on the first day. The community of a hobby is generally what draws me in and keeps my attention the longest. Seeing people do amazing things makes me happy and gives me hope that I can overcome my own limitations. I needed that to get my foot in the door and after training in Krav 1-3 times a week for 4 months, I feel more confident.
Earlier this month, I saw that the owners of the gym were offering a women's parkour class. It kind of felt like they were meeting me half-way; they offered a more comfortable environment for me to start training in, I just had to show up and show that it had value. After three weeks, I can say that the classes are still humbling, but I'm not comparing myself to guys that already have the upper body strength to do practically anything they want. I'm to the point where I actually kind of want to start going to the normal Beginner Parkour and Freerunning classes to get more training time in. I don't think I'm much farther along in my ability to overcome the physical obstacles, but some of the mental blocks are more manageable than they were before.
Last week I officially made myself an Unlimited Member at FOFA, which means instead of only being able to take 8 classes a month, I can take whatever I want, whenever I want. Two months ago I was struggling to make it to the 8 classes a month and feeling like I was throwing money down the drain, but this month I was having trouble choosing between classes I should take without going over my limit. I took away that barrier and now I'm just running with it.
As a nice bonus, I'm starting to see and feel results. My weight has remained pretty constant, but I'm feeling more toned, which is a bigger win in my book anyway. More importantly though, my knees are slowly getting used to the idea that their vacation is over. After years of telling myself "I can't do that, I have crappy knees", I've silenced the excuses and decided that if I never try, I'll never be able to do anything. With the number of knee replacements and severe joint pain in my family, I'm realizing that if I don't do anything now there could come a day when I can't do anything at all. Over the past month or so my range of motion has improved greatly. I feel myself actually wanting to crouch down, making my knees do more of the work than my back and arms. I still feel a little grindy pain, just not as much. I'm not entirely sure if it's the classes or if it was a mental block the whole time and I'm just giving myself permission to move now. Crazy how things work.
I'm going to wrap this up now, but I want to leave you with a video that really drove some of these things home for me. Rooster didn't let Cerebral Palsy stop him from doing what he wanted to do. Major props to his mom and his training-mates that encouraged him instead of holding him back.