The gold hoops failed me.
Remember these bad boys (or should I call them good girls?) that I swapped in for my diamond studs, thinking they’d be “safer” for my first Jiu Jitsu class?
They were not.
In the first class, the backs did indeed get shoved against my head–not really a big deal. Second class, same thing, which elicited a weak “Ow,” from me. Still not a deal breaker.
But in the third class, during a guillotine head lock, I said, “Stop!”
[Brief sidebar: You don’t say “stop” in Jiu Jitsu. You tap, usually your partner, or, as I found out when putting my instructor in a choke hold, you can also tap yourself. “It’s a good thing I heard you,” I said after releasing him. Fortunately, slapping a rash guard is loud. Since I wear a gi, I’ll be sure to always tap my partner before I pass out, to be safe.]
Now let me back up.
On my second class, there were three male students, as in the first, but three entirely new men. “This is going to make it tougher for me to win them all over,” I thought. “I still want that drink.” 😉
One guy announced that he had just turned twenty-eight, was boisterous and talking jovially and familiarly with the other men. He readily introduced himself and shook my hand, which struck me as weird, since this seemed to be a strictly fist bump establishment. This guy was so 2019!
The second guy was maybe thirty and paid me no attention.
I kept a sharp eye on the door for Surfer Dude, but no luck. Instead I was partnered with the third man, “Lopez.” Saying he was merely twice my size would be flattering to him. I may have gulped a little when Lopez faced me.
I need not have feared. Lopez had a patient, teacher’s heart and was kind and accommodating with my knowledge limitations. Toward the end, I made a point to look him in the eye and thank him by name.
When I arrived at my third class, I was the only student, but was actually jazzed by that prospect. One-on-one personal attention! The door stayed open, and the studio front is all glass. Each time movement outside caught my eye, it was an old woman passing. I haven’t checked out the other businesses in the strip, but I’m guessing a hair salon is one of them. I idly wondered what would cross the woman’s mind should she glance inside.
But before too long, another student arrived, the man from the second class who pretended I wasn’t there.
We did as instructed, administering the guillotine a couple of times back and forth. On the third choke is when I called a halt.
I felt a tear.
When the man released me, and I touched my ear, my fingertips were smeared with blood. I’m grateful there was only one other student–fewer people to be annoyed by class being stopped by this girl and her impractical jewelry.
I apologized. Indifferent Man said, “It’s okay. My daughter just got her ears pierced.”
“I hope I didn’t get blood on your shiny new gi.”
“Nah,” it’s fine.
The instructor grabbed me some paper towel from the bathroom and asked if it was okay to continue. I watched from the side, holding my ear, grateful the earring was still in place.
When the bleeding stopped, I threw the paper towel to the side and got back in it. I did remember to pick it up before I left. I wonder if the instructor was nervous that I was littering bloody paper in his studio.
If you’re not keen on the sight of blood, cover the screen as you scroll. The back side of my ear looked pretty gnarly too.
I figure I’ll chalk the incident up as a fluke for now, but if it happens again, I’ll need to come up with something different to wear or risk removing them entirely for an hour and hope the holes don’t close.
[Another sidebar: This is also gross, but to help you with the cast of characters moving forward… Indifferent Man could also be called Sweaty Man. He wore that new white gi proudly, and I so wish he had simply worn a t-shirt. Instructor had offered me a gi top, but I declined. Those shirts are HEAVY. Thick and hot. No thanks. But Sweaty Man’s face was literally dripping, and his hair was leaving wet spots all over the mat. So gross. Worse was my shirt sleeve soaking it up from his head whenever I’d trap it next to me in the move innocently called “Punch Box 1.”]
Instructor was feeling generous after class and let me join in Reflex Development. He did this with the three guys in the previous class, but I was welcome to leave at that point. (I stayed and watched a bit anyway.) Today I was a part of it! This meant he put the gloves on.
Literally. Blue boxing gloves. Then he put us through the paces in a less controlled, quicker manner. He tried to punch me. I defended.
It was awesome.
Until I punched myself.
I wasn’t defending my face properly, in that, I didn’t have my palms right up against my face, so when he (weakly. It was still practice, after all) punched the back of my hand, I smacked myself in the eye.
I didn’t react and it didn’t hurt much, but I did sort of hope I’d get a bruise or, better yet, a black eye because it would make for an awesome story. No such “luck.”
So there you go. Three classes down. How many more to go, I have no idea. But I’m still having fun.
Any suggestions for an earring solution? Still think I’m crazy for doing this? Think I’m crazy for something entirely unrelated? Do share in the comments below.
A note to my BBBs (Beloved Blog Buddies), I know I’m woefully behind in reading your blogs. Thank you for still reading this despite that. I hope to get back to you all soon!