The first rule of Fight Club…


I’ve mentioned that I teach middle and high school girls self defense after school once a week. My Partner in Crime (PiC) teaches the boys. We’ve been doing this in a classroom, pushing the desks and chairs off the to side, and laying mats on the floor. The teacher of that room often comes in, carefully skirting the mats (we have a strict no shoes on the mat rule) to get something from his desk.

It’s also the classroom where teacher meetings are usually held. One afternoon the principal got on the intercom to announce a teacher meeting. Just before he could say which room to meet in, this particular teacher rushed into the principal’s office and said, “Not the 8th grade! They’re doing Fight Club in there!”

I was so glad someone witnessed this and told me about it later.

Before weather was less permissive, we stretched the mats out on the grass in the courtyard. Frequently teachers, sometimes parents, would walk by, staring. It undoubtedly looked weird. I’d wave to them from the ground as I had their child or student locked up in Punch Box Stage 1, for instance.

“Nothing to see here. Just teaching your sweet girl how to hurt people.” (Didn’t actually say that. But it was implied.)

Recently a girl showed up late so one of my students got her up to speed. “Come here. Let me show you. First you do this, this, then this, this,” etc.

I stood there watching, hands clasped to my chest, fighting back tears (just kidding), but I was so very very proud.


Because I brought Neighbor to class, Instructor offered me a free t-shirt with the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu logo and the name of our local gym. He didn’t have an adult small, so he offered me a child’s large.

The child’s large was too big for me.

I relayed this story to PiC. He said, “You need to eat more.”

Ya think?

So he prescribed me this “diet:”

I shared the t-shirt story with another friend and told him of PiC’s prescribed milkshake routine to bulk up. He said, “Well, yeah,” and pointed at my arm.

So I punched him in his biceps.

He rubbed it. “That was a good hit.”

Because he knows I do Jiu-Jitsu, I told him, “That was my Taekwondo training. And if it bruises, I want to see it.”

I texted this story to my sensei because I realized afterward that I had proper form without having to think about it. I thought he’d be proud. Instead:

I also told him about my other friend and the milkshake diet. He responded:

It’s great that both my martial arts instructors are funny.

So I’ve been trying to eat more and drink my milkshakes, which are quite yummy. Too bad they are meant to be in addition to other meals, but they usually wind up being the meal.

Then, of course, because nothing can go my way for long, this happened:

The little black teeth that enable the blender blades to move broke off. Because of course they did. Now the blender doesn’t work, but I’ve ordered a replacement part. It’s back ordered. Because of course it is. Also, doesn’t this picture remind you of Oreos? Mmmm… Oreos…

In other news, my only recent injuries were a couple of rug, I mean mat, burns on my feet. I covered them with band-aids so I could put socks on without irritating the raw skin more.

Aren’t I just a delicate flower?

I never showed you guys this one.

My bruised, scraped raw shoulder.

Months ago, before settling on Instructor’s place, I had tried out another. First thing I thought when I walked in was, “These mats are hard.” I didn’t discover that both shoulders and an elbow were bruised and rubbed raw until later. But I had already decided not to go with this place because they didn’t have beginner’s classes during the day.

How’s that working out for me?

So I’ve been scripting my own workout routine, but it’s rather haphazard and irregular. In other words, I don’t know what I’m doing. Any of you a super workout buff? Want to tell me what to do? I can tell you one thing, though: doing bicycle crunches with five-pound weights strapped to each ankle is no joke. I feel like I should get slapped by Bernie Sanders because I:

Cover of a blank notebook on Amazon, ‘case anyone is interested.

But for reals, anyone want to suggest a workout routine and then yell at me if I don’t follow it? I could use an outside force to keep me motivated.

Happy Sunday, everyone! I’ve been posting a ridiculous amount lately. Thanks for staying with me. Now I need to catch up on what’s happening on your blogs!


83 responses »

  1. I feel your pain on the blender. Once a group of my friends and I were out white water rafting (class 5, stuff, none of that wimpy, touristy class 3 stuff) and we’d brought a blender. We were staying in a cabin that had electricity (yeah, we did dangerous stuff on the river but enjoy our comforts at night).

    Turns out you can burn out a blender motor making margaritas. Takes a lot of margaritas to burn out a motor and honestly, we don’t really remember exactly when we went from margaritas to straight tequila. We do remember how loud the guide banged on our door the next morning.

    I think one could argue that wreaking a blender on a health is far more worthy cause than a blender dying to while creating the worlds worst hang over.

    Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andrew! White water rafting has been on my list for decades. How cool that you are/were hardcore about it! (Is there a wimpy, touristy class 1 for me?) Margaritas are the best. That sounds like the perfect way to blow out a blender. Sorry about the awful hangover, though. :/ Fun story!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, yes there is a class 1. It is calm, slow moving water or what we river rats call, “A float trip.” On one of those, you won’t even spill your beer or get your hat wet.

        But as a person willing to face the terrors of teen-ages in a classroom fighting each other, I would have thought that you’d be interested in at least class two where you’d actually get your feet wet.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Class 3, the lowest with “white water.” You’ll get wet, have fun and be alive for beer in the evening. There are a number of places in California that run the rivers in the Sierra.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Mat burn on the shoulder? That sounds painful, but so does everything you do πŸ˜‰
    How in the world did the teeth break off your blender?
    Lol on your imaginary friends! Funny guy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t notice the shoulder pain until I’d gotten home, changed clothes, and then wondered my shoulders hurt every time the shirt fabric moved over them.

      Not sure on the blender. Maybe it’s just old? Yes, the imaginary friends line was superb!


  3. The blender totally reminded me of an Oreo. In fact, that’s what I thought it was before I read down far enough. If you mix it by hand, will it be an even more effective workout?? πŸ™‚

    Love he text exchanges. Hilarious!

    Liked by 1 person

      • And I love the “fight club.” Good for you for passing on what you are learning! I’m sure more than one young woman feels more confident because of it!


      • Yes, I hope so. I know I’m sometimes a lousy teacher, since it’s new to me too, but some stuff I’ve done enough times that I know it well. That’s the stuff they’re picking up more easily. And, yes, I hope you’re right. πŸ™‚


    • Lol, Jacqui! I did not expect that last line. I think Hubby is used to it. When he was reading this post, he looked at me and said, “You didn’t tell me about the mat burns.” I was like, “That was nothing.” I basically forgot about it the second I put the bandaids on. He knows I’m not bothered by physical pain. I’m more annoyed than anything. What my mom thinks, I don’t know. But she’s knows I’m a big girl. πŸ™‚


  4. Betsy, not that you have puny arms, but I will remember not to ever comment on such. You do pack a punch. Take care of the bruises and scrapes. Did you ever see the movie “Atomic Blonde” with Charlize Theron as a very physical spy? Her character would take an ice bath to reduce the swelling of her bruises from all the fighting she had to do. I thought of that as I saw your bruises. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ouch and ouch, Betsy. For a woman with puny arms who wears kid’s clothes, you are one tough cookie. I love the idea of you teaching Fight Club. That’s so empowering for those girls. Yay. No workout ideas for you, since everything I do is strictly old-lady stuff. Lol. And you rock.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Peach! Since posting this, I checked the tag on my β€œThis is how I roll” shirt featured in my previous post and it’s an adult small. It fits just fine. I think these gym shirts just run large. Sadly, he didn’t have a medium and so I’d have to wait until her gets more. But I think I’ll ask him for the large anyway and hope it shrinks in the wash. I’m eager to wear the shirt around town and advertise for him. It’s such a fun sport more people should do, especially kids. The kids program is called β€œBullyproof.” πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I bet those bruises and scraped skin you don’t know about start shouting at you in the shower.
    Oreo cookie confirmation!
    Can others see your friends πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
    I like seeing the passion for your martial arts. It is very evident.
    I kept a DAILY log of my workouts. For years and years. When we moved to a much smaller place (cabin πŸ™‚ ) I had to throw them out. There were THAT many of them and they were THAT large. Get a notebook. Mark days on it for the next month. Write what you do each day (or leave it blank 😏). See what routine/time/workouts you like. THEN create a schedule that INCLUDES the workouts you don’t like.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re amazing, CM. I knew you would have something for me! I was thinking of you as I wrote the workout question.
      And yes on the shower. Those shoulders were killer, now that you mention it.
      I shall find a suitable workout notebook! I have no doubt the sight of it will mock me into action.

      So I’ll hide it behind the toilet. JK! πŸ˜‰


      • πŸ˜‚ but you will KNOW it’s behind the toilet.

        Can you talk to my kids? About that thing about me being amazing?

        And also, I’m glad if I am offering up anything that really does help you. It’s truly about finding what works for you. What keeps you going, motivated, and pursuing. You’ll find it. I think you already ‘have’ it. It’s about making it all work together with a busy family life.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I could sing your praises in my sleep, CM. Tell your kids that. And tell them to just take my word for it, because no one wants to hear me sing. Hubby complains about me singing in my sleep all the time. He’s had to wear noise-canceling headphones to bed. They are very uncomfortable. His sleep quality has diminished. As a result, he has become very crabby and wishes I would stop reading the things you write so that I will stop singing your praises in my sleep. πŸ˜‰

        I was about to say that I need more hours in the day, but as soon as I do, you’ll reply: “Wake up early! See the sun rise! Mornings are great!” πŸ˜›

        Liked by 1 person

      • πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Now what am I supposed to say? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ You already know what I would have said. But I can follow up with you’re my favorite again today!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I think you have a kick-butt workout routine. When I was younger, I used to do P90X. Now I’m hunched over like Quasimodo when I get out of bed in the mornings, and have to be satisfied with stretching, walking, and light jogs.

    That blender part does remind me of an Oreo, LOL. At first that’s what I thought I was looking at.

    I love my Ninja for smoothies. In the P90X days, I made protein shakes. But…you know…. age. 😏

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ah, good ole mat burn. Good times.

    Regarding fitness, weight, etc.: this really boils down to your goals around TKD, BJJ and life. For the question of “bulking up”, it begs the question of whether you “need to” or “want to” and how much lbs do you want to gain?

    I could offer some suggestions, but it really boils down to how you want to approach it.

    For example:

    I’m currently trying to cut lbs down over the next six months for a larger tournament in September and then my wedding in November. So, I’m using a couple tools to help me understand various biometrics via WHOOP (rest quality, calories actually burned during various activities, heart rate, respiratory rate, etc.) as well as rest days and calories consumed via My Fitness Pal.

    For exercise in general (especially considering martial arts & strength and fitness) I love the classic Kettlebell Swing and Turkish Get Up. You’d be surprised at what can happen when these are done properly!

    For cardio, I prefer air bikes like the classic Assault Air Bike and rowers like the Concept 2 rower over classic “road work” running. Though the bike and rower are popular in a lot of CrossFit gyms (never done it) I like them because they incorporate the entire body and I can create a good breathing rhythm while exerting myself. I focus a lot on nasal breathing, a good thing especially in Jiu Jitsu.

    Yoga is another great tool to help, especially with TKD and JJ. There is a great program you can do at home, specifically designed by Jiu-jitsu practitioners who happen to be highly proficient at yoga called “Yoga for BJJ”, it’s got everything from beginner to advanced. From 10min flows to much longer flows for advanced people. I don’t hit this as often as I want to right now.

    I hope this helped, but in the end it really all revolves around you, your goals and how you want to perform in martial arts and in life.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Well my idea of motivation would probably not suit you, but I’ll tell you anyhow. I suggest you avoid all physical activity for a few months, let your bruises heal, get a new blender and make a few slushy drinks like a Pina colada or a Hop Skip and Go Naked. Then kick back, drink your libations, and see how you enjoy a good buzz– before you commit to more marital arts training. 🍹

    Liked by 1 person

      • When I was a kid I was very thin and with my red hair I was pale. People kept telling my mother I was anemia so she took me for a complete physical. Doctor said only thing wrong with me was I was a redhead and would always be pale. While I remain pale, sadly I did not always remain thin. HAHA

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha! My mom is a pale redhead. I got her pale skin but not her red hair, so I look like I have no excuse for my paleness. I got my thinness from my dad who is still a rail. So, you get some good, some bad: my dad’s physique and my mom’s paleness without the fun hair color. Oh well.

        You were undoubtedly an adorable little red haired girl, Barb. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve just thought of another possible name for a blog: Betsy’s Bruises (or has that one been proposed already!)

    I love your Fight Club! and that your students are already becoming teachers … the learning just continues! I, too, feel so proud & moved on your behalf! and such a valuable skill and perspective you are imparting – you are empowering, Betsy!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: April Blogger Spotlight | BosssyBabe

Share what you think of this story, or share one of your own!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.