What is “the Happy Warrior?”

My nickname is “the Happy Warrior.” But it’s not because everything is always alright with me. It’s because I always manage to find some positive thing in every situation, and I try and focus on it, and forget the negative. I smile to cheer myself up, I smile when I’m sad, I smile when I’m mad to try and change it to humorous. I smile because it freaks the other person out, hahaha.

rox smiling

Today, sparring was excellent. I love the way the class is lead, and I loved working my technique. I had some goals that I met, some strikes that I landed, some positions that I did really well in. I’m very pleased with myself.

rox syndicate sign
On the other hand, I got beaten up, too. But that’s to be expected, right? But I almost got dropped by this guy, and he was moving so fast, that sometimes I couldn’t even see his combination. Then after he hit me hard, he apologized and asked if he should tone it down. I didn’t know what to say….yes but no. It was like a knife into my chest, in my pride. I wanted to block and return, but he was too good. He wasn’t even so much bigger than me. He was…. a man. And then he said, “Okay, I’ll just move around with you.”

And the most painful thing was that I felt him slow down and lighten up, to ‘my level,’ but it was necessary because he was just too strong for me. I HATE when people take it easy on me, but I hate it most of all when people HAVE to take it easy, and I KNOW they have to take it easy. I can barely stand it. I didn’t want him to have to be nice. I wanted to be just as strong, just as fast, just as powerful, and give him a good challenge. Basically, I KNOW that most pro fighter males in the gym won’t get AS GOOD a work out going against me as they would another guy. I know this. I don’t want to be sexist… we women have a right to train too, blah blah blah, but I’m just talking about how much more athletic they are than I am. 🙁

I had about five seconds to come up with some encouraging internal coaching to get my head together, and it was this: “I need people stronger, faster, and better than me.” I kept repeating that for the rest of our sparring session.

After it was over, I must have had some look on my face, because my teammate Sean came over and was like “What’s wrong?” I blurted out, “I wish I was a man!” and then went to cry in the bathroom.

Hahaha I bet he wasn’t expecting that one.

We chatted more later. Thanks, man. Even the Happy Warrior needs a pep-talk now and then.

rox breathing
I came outta there and made a bee-line for a Brazilian fellow who I like sparring, and went as hard as I could. I got kind of smushed once he got on top, but I accomplished a few things before that.

rox looking down
A lot of other stuff is weighing heavily on my mind.
But I can handle it. There’s no such thing as pitch black. I will find the light and celebrate it.

rox wrapping hands

All pics taken by Heather Clark, my friend, photographer, fighter. …