First, work happened. December 30 was my first day off in 3 weeks (perks of working two jobs that both have endless hours) and I have been exhausted and miserable to be around. (Sorry boyfriend, and roommates, and friends).
Anyway, I don't really have much by way of a topic today. I've been out of touch on everything - Twitter, Facebook, blogs, podcasts, etc - which I'm trying to catch up on now. I'm also trying to be better about making time to read instead of watching television. I have to put that Kindle I got for Christmas to work.
I have been getting my classes in at Shogun Martial Arts pretty religiously lately. Which makes me feel awesome. So that brings me to a solid topic - talking about what being a woman in a male-dominated sport can be like.
Usually Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and other full contact sports go hand-in-hand with talking about the male athletes who participate in those sports. Don't get me wrong. The dudes I workout with and learn from are awesome athletes and friends.
The ladies don't get enough love, and I'm going to do something about that.
Coming up as a woman in a really male dominated sport can be awful sometimes. The questions, criticism and awe you get from people outside the sport is just...well, bizarre sometimes.
I remember once being told that I was "too pretty to get punched in the face". Most people would take that as a compliment. I know that the person who said it meant well, but what are those words really saying?
They're saying that as a woman, I should be more concerned about my looks than participating in the sport that I really enjoy. Why? Why should I be more concerned with how I look instead of how training makes me feel?
The other general reaction I get is shock. At this point, I've learned to laugh at that reaction and just purposely make people react like that. The astonishment is just entertaining at this point, because why shouldn't I do something that people are astonished by? Why does it shock people that a woman would do these things?
The women I train with are some of the fiercest, most driven and wonderful people I get to spend my mat time with. They are not only funny and kind, but they are tough as nails. They will beat the snot out of you and then tell you how well you did afterward.
They are great teachers. They smile at you the whole class and make you laugh, but put you through your paces at the same time. (We don't call it "Kru Ann's house of pain" for nothing.)
That's Kru Ann. She looks sweet and all, but she's scary.
The whole point of this praise-shower/rant fest is to say that it shouldn't be weird for women to be Muay Thai fighters, or welders, or whatever else they want to do just because it's a male-dominated thing.
I do have to praise the guys I train with - never have they ever made me feel lesser because I'm female, never have they just gone harder or easier on me because I'm female. They spar with me and train with me based on skill level, nothing else.
The only difference between us is our rank and skill-level, as it should be.
Some crazy chicks I let kick my ass.