Zen Martial Arts Center

Sacramento Martial Arts and Karate

This first week of any new adventure is very critical. It is the time to establish habits, discover challenges, and learn how to have fun on the new journey. That is why I decided to journal daily for the first 7 days. It is the freshest, most inspired time for reflection. Today's reflection is on hydration, or rather dehydration.

An unlimited month long pass at a hot yoga studio was an early Christmas gift from my mother, with a matching one in her stocking from Santa. It has been incorporated into my UBBT as a jumpstart towards finding my personal weight loss goal and as a means for tye personal goal of building a better relationship with my mom. Logic state a new activity equals neutral ground equals opportunity. So far so good. The classes require us to communicate more, about safer subjects like schedule or first impressions. No squabbling or one-upping. Plain, friendly dialogue.

But as it is new, I haven't yet developed the habit of drinking enough water throughout the day in preparation for the sauna sessions. Today's session was brutal! I had to exit the room from the combination of nausea, hot flashing, and dizziness. Despite the symptoms, it was just what I needed. It relaxed those tired UBBT muscles, cleared my lungs of cough-inducing phelgm, pleasantly connected with mom, taught me more about my body's interconnectedness, showed me what stretches NOT to do, ...and more.

My body was not as refreshed as my mind and spirit when leaving the studio though. It took a 1L bottle of water, 6 cups of water, and a cup of honeyed green tea for my dehydration headache to abate and thirst to slacken. Lesson learned: actually drink the bottle of water I have started to carry with me since beginning the UBBT.

Goal: next time be hydrated for class so as to finish without leaving the room or experiencing a headache afterwards.

A second observation from today's experiences is safety.

When leaving the yoga studio for our car, a man fell in line behind my mother and I. He was not from our class... Something about how he was following didn't feel right. I took note of my mom by peripheral only to see her oblivious and chatting away. Looking at my surroundings, I noticed the path widened in our next couple steps. Quick decision and I stepped to the side. My mom followed my lead by stepping aside and falling silent. Thank you Mr. Oliver for your advice of looking someone directly in the eye. When I stepped aside, I turned my body sideways (purse away from him), eyes on his, and feet in a strong neutral stance. The stranger seemed thrown off, broke eye contact and swiftly passed by to go off in a new direction.

He might have been nobody, minding his own business, confused by a sudden direct gaze. He may have had nefarious plans. Either way, the eye contact safety check didn't hurt. My mom and I arrived at the car safely, unassaulted, exhausted.

This encounter was fresh on my mind tonight as I left a friend's birthday party. I was alone, leaving early, and walking a long way to my car in parking lot full of cars to hide behind. Shoulders up. Eyes scanning in all directions. Hands free, resting at my sides unrestricted. Keys sitting in my pocket at the ready. There were no strange men that time. Phew. But I'll be a little more careful from now on.

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