Judge Me By My Size, Do You?

, , , , , | Learning | January 5, 2020

When I was in the third year in high school, a Muay Thai group gave a special presentation on our sport orientation day. Along with two other guys from my school, I found them exciting and cheap enough to try and join. This group was mostly made up of legal adults, soldiers, and police, in fact, but they were accommodating enough. All three of us could join from next week. 

The club had training thrice a week, two hours. The other two from my school guys were a year older than me, and a lot bigger; the difference was mostly made up of fat, but it was still enough that they could bully me.

We started training; the first two lessons, despite the other two pestering me, were good. Then, the third time came.

This was the first time a girl came into the studio. She was tiny, maybe 90 pounds, and five feet tall. She looked like she was around our age, with spiky short hair and a suit and boots. I thought it was strange, but the group behaved as if they knew her, so I didn’t dare to say anything. The other two guys from my school started catcalling her, though, which got ignored. The girl simply changed into training clothes, and we started the lesson.

My schoolmates were pestering her, the only girl in the class, giving her advice on basics and telling her this was a manly sport; she never answered, just concentrated on breathing. She took a break twice, in fact, prompted by the coach, once using an inhaler. Then, at the body touch exercise, those other two guys crossed a line; they were quite blatant about trying to grope the girl. She mostly just evaded, and as she never said anything, just like any of the guys, my schoolmates started to get braver and braver, harassing the girl.

Then came the fighting part. The coach said, “Okay, [Boy #1], [Boy #2], [My Name], get into the ring with [Girl]. She is a beginner just like you. One by one matches, two minutes, everyone goes a round against [Girl]. Keep to the rules.”

The boys started leering, and I started to get a bad feeling. I let the other guys go before me, and the coach went over the hits with me… I don’t exactly know what happened, but only maybe half a minute passed with the sound of hits, then a loud bam! I looked up, and the bigger bully was on his back, gasping for breath, the girl apologising with a grin. She had somehow knocked out the guy twice her size in half a minute!

The second bully only lasted the same time against the girl before he fled the ring. I was the last, and I went down even faster. I was trembling the whole time! It was surreal! I could barely believe how easily she’d knocked those two out! The tiny girl was not even so tiny; she was well over 110 pounds, it turned out, merely thin.

The other two guys didn’t come next week. I did, and I lasted until I left for university.

And that is how I met the woman who inspired me to get into disaster management. She was actually well over thirty, and started Muay Thai training a year before. She had some kind of lung damage from the job, but it turned out not to diminish her fighting prowess. While she couldn’t keep up against the coaches or the prizefighters training there, she could sure kick the a**es of three newbies!

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Time Is Slowing Down

, , , , | Right | December 31, 2019

(I work at a gym. I’m working with a customer who needs a key for a separate workout area from the main building.)

Customer: “So, when can I check out the key?”

Me: “You can only hold the key for six hours.”

Customer: “So, when can I check out the key?”

Me: “Six hours before your reservation.”

Customer: “My reservation is at 3:00 pm; when can I check out the key?”

Me: “About six hours before that.”

Customer: “Which time is that?”

Me: “Well, three hours would be 12:00 pm, minus another three from that, so 9:00 am is the earliest you can come and get it.”

Customer: “So, I can’t check it out now?”

(It’s 5:00 am.)

Me: *rubs eyelids*

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The Greetings Are Bland But The Cookies Are Delicious!

, , , , , , | Friendly | December 25, 2019

(One year, I’m giving cookies to my coaches around Christmas time and get this gem from one of my — usually sarcastic — favorites:)

Me: “Here you go! Merry Christmas or happy holidays or whatev–”

Coach: “Yes, yes, and a bland holiday greeting to you, too.”

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The Greetings Are Bland, The Cookies Are Not

, , , , , , | Friendly | December 23, 2019

(I am on a competitive rock climbing team for several years in high school and, being at least a few years older than most of the kids, become friends with the coaches. One December, I make cookies for my teachers and decide to bring some to my coaches, too.)

Me: *to [Coach #1], who I know is Christian* “Merry Christmas!”

Coach #1: “Thanks, [My Name]!”

Me: *to [Coach #2], who is very sarcastic* “Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah or whatev—”

Coach #2: “Yes, yes, and a bland holiday greeting to you, too.”

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Krav Ma-Gahd Will You Shut Up!

, , , , , , | Learning | November 28, 2019

I’ve started taking krav maga to get in shape, and before my fourth or fifth lesson, I go in an hour early for open mat time to practice. During this time, one of the instructors and I talk about our personal lives. It’s a Friday and his day job is as a substitute teacher, so he jokes about how he’s happy not to have to deal with any more kids for the weekend.

Almost immediately after he says this, a boy between the ages of 13 and 14 walks in, no parents in sight. I already know this isn’t going to end well, as the gym has special youth classes that he should be enrolled in instead of attending an adult class, but I try to cut him some slack since the time and class he’s in are likely his parents’ choice, not his.

At the start of class, everyone is curious as to whether or not we’ll practice disarming people with the “weapons” — weighted replicas — due to a prominent shooting the day before, and our instructor tells us we won’t. Despite this, the kid continuously asks the instructor questions about the weapons and if we’ll be using them throughout the class, and of course, the instructor tells him no each time.

In addition, he doesn’t pay attention to the instructor in favor of hitting the punching bags with random punches and kicks that don’t match anything we’ve learned. At one point, he starts complaining of his wrist hurting, which is a surprise to exactly no one. The instructor has to spend most of his time keeping an eye on this kid and his partner to make sure he doesn’t kill himself or anyone else instead of correcting form on anyone else, even when people ask him for help or what they’re doing wrong.

Eventually, I’m the unlucky one partnered with him for a type of kick I’m just learning for the first time that day, and I make sure to go slow to ensure I’m following the proper form, as our instructor told us to do. Despite this, my kicks easily make this kid, who’s holding a pad, stumble back each time. Then, the kid starts trying to give me (primarily incorrect) instructions, which is honestly testing my patience.

I don’t want to lose it and start yelling at the kid, so I focus on my breathing and stance and pretty much tune him out. However, at one point, he bends over while I’m mid-kick, resulting in me jamming my toe. Thankfully, as stated, I was going relatively slowly and without much power behind it, so it’s not too bad, but I’m officially miffed. When he tries to tell me for the millionth time to put my full power behind the kick — note that I’ve told him repeatedly that I want to focus on my form, not on power — I finally give in and do so.

The kid falls onto his back, air knocked out of him, and I hear the other students trying not to laugh. I help the kid up and we get back to practicing, but he finally stops talking and lets me work on my form without interruption.

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