Saturday, January 24, 2015

Age is Catching Up With Shark Girl!

I am feeling old. It’s not my high cholesterol or failing eyesight. It’s not my kidneyberg and all that’s put me through. It’s not that even now, two years after my LCL tear, every once in a while my knee tweaks and I have to take a break from jiu jitsu. It’s not the milestone birthday—45—precipitously approaching. It’s not even my training partner at the gym calling me “Old Bag.” Nope. None of those things. Dear Reader, what has pushed me over the edge of realization this past six months is . . . fat knees.
 
Why don't mine look this cute?
Yes, you read right. Shark Girl has fat knees. Not phat knees. That would be okay, welcome, actually. No, fat-with-an-eff knees.

This is where you all go, “Shark Girl. You are crazy. I’ve seen your profile pic and you are about as fat as Meghan Trainor is ‘All About That Bass.’”
At least she's got all the right junk in all the right places!
If you look at me—or my profile pic—it is hard to miss that I am small. Tiny. Minuscule, really. So tiny that third graders feel compelled to comment on my stature.
“Your mom is really small!” A friend of my 8-Year-Old Son commented to him. Great. I thought that when I left elementary school I would stop getting picked on by elementary school children. Apparently that was not in the cards for me.

But however small I may be, the other day when I was in downward dog, I noticed some skin draping gently down from my thigh and cascading over my kneecap. It was like my knee had a muffin top. I touched it. It was jiggly. It felt like whale blubber. I lifted it up. It fell back down. What the fuck! 

I’ve always had meaty thighs. It’s part of the Mediterranean childbearing curse. But my thighs are strong and muscular and nothing has ever drooped on them before. Now, apparently, they have mud flaps.
“Honey,” I lamented to Husband.
“What is it now?” He replied.
<sigh> “I’ve got fat knees.”
“No, you don’t”
“Yes I do.”
“Show me.”
“Here.” And I pointed to my little puffs of flesh.
“Hmmmpff,” he commented, putting on his reading glasses to get a better look.
“See?”
“That’s nothing,” he replied, putting his glasses away.
“And look at this cellulite!” I added, because clearly he wasn’t giving me the reaction I wanted. (Does he know better, or has he learned from experience?)
“Honey, that’s always been there.” (Nope. Nothing learned from 18 years together.)
“Well, what the hell am I going to do about my fat knees?”

I don’t think there is anything non-surgical I can do about my fat knees, and that is why I feel old. I am not fat. I am not out of shape. I am old. My skin is stretching and sagging and forming new shapes. I am not sure what this means for my bikini bod, but it can’t be good news. Thankfully, gis cover the knees.



Sunday, January 11, 2015

Where Have All the Small Dudes Gone?

My gym has had an influx of new people coming in to try out BJJ. This is always an exciting time—new people to test our skills!

It’s not that I don’t like the old, regulars, but as my skills improve, so do theirs and sometimes it feels like I am standing still. You know, like when you are driving alongside another car that is going the same speed and if you look out quickly and don’t see the trees whizzing by, it looks like no one is moving at all. It’s like that.

So when the fresh meat comes in, I get excited. ‘Cept for one thing. I swear, every person to walk through my gym’s doors in the past month or two has been HUGE. I mean MONSTROUS. GARGANTUAN. Like, picture that skyscraper in Dubai:
now add some girth, maybe to equal the width of , oh, I don’t know, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? 


Strap a gi on him and he looks just like our new guys!
                                 
Shark Girl is petite. Think of the smallest person you know. Now shrink that person down about half size, and add extra-large calf muscles and some child-bearing hips, and, if I’ve been neglectful in my waxing, a little Mediterranean fuzz on my upper lip. Now, close your eyes and put the two images of me and The New Guy side by side. *sigh* Here we go again.

I love new people. I just wish some of them were smaller, so I could actually practice a damn sweep. Or roll with them and not worry about cracking a rib or breaking something important. Big Dudes take so goddamned long to train, and it’s not a given that I will ever be able to train safely with them, to trust myself to them as a training partner. And if I do train them well (‘cause it’s usually my responsibility) then I always wonder, What am I really capable of? Am I getting an unfair advantage? I know it is silly, but if you read my last post about being a zealot, you understand that it is not enough for Shark Girl to be a bad-ass jitser (which I am definitely not, but I can dream, can’t I?), but I have to be bad-ass against the biggest, toughest, most fearsome foes that walk the mat, and not get hurt. See? I may not have the typical female issues, but mine are almost as impossible as looking like those girls in the magazines with their airbrushed facial lines and their plumped up, oiled body parts and their digitally-whittled waists. 
Wait 'til Paper Magazine gets a load of my sick Jiu Jitsu moves! Imagine the centerfold they will do of Shark Girl!
I was sparring with a man on the larger side the other day. Someone who has been working hard to train well with me and I am grateful for that. He had a worrisome look on his face.
     “Hey, what’s up?” I said.
     “Not much,” he replied.
      (Tap of Friendship)
      He sighed, looking me up and down, not sure where to start.
     “You know,” he said, “you are the hardest person here.”

For those big guys who really try to spar well with us little people, I understand it is difficult to suppress their God-given muscle and strength. And I want all you big guys who try to know that I, Shark Girl, appreciate your efforts immensely. Thank you, Big Dudes who really try to roll well with the wee folk, thank you.

However, I still hope when I see a new car in the parking lot, it’s owner will be under 175 pounds. And I am looking forward to the return of some good (small) friends who left the gym a few months ago for financial reasons and have promised to return in the new year.






Shark Girl Faces a Change

It is a turning point for Shark Girl. I haven’t written in a while. When I was a white belt, everything was new and curious. And being ...