Divorce is a scary word for most people. I will spare you the details but things didn’t work out. While my marriage had ended, I felt I had an opportunity for a new beginning. I wasn’t happy with where I was physically, emotionally, financially, and pretty much every other aspect of my life. There I was, on my way to becoming a single mom of a toddler and I had no idea where to go from there. After spending my previous 26+ years being an athlete, I was devastated over the way I had allowed myself to deteriorate physically. Was it as bad as I thought? Probably not. But as a newly single woman with a child, I was terrified that I would never be looked at the same way.
I had been visiting the gym as much as I could but I didn’t feel like I had any direction in my workouts. And lets be honest; I was bored. A friend invited me to join a kickboxing class that was held there one evening a week. They had child care available and it wasn’t too late at night so it was a win-win for my schedule. I showed up, got my ass kicked by a vibrant mother of two who was about 10 years older than me and I was hooked.
The emotional value in these kickboxing sessions was the real life changer. I had suitcases full of baggage and I didn’t know what to do with it. You can only burden your friends and your loved ones so much before you feel like you have no one left to talk to. There were times where I had to turn my head from the other people on my bag to hide my tears. My life had changed and even though I was the one that initiated, I was not prepared for for the challenges that would plague me for the next year.
Having a safe place to express the anger and frustration I was feeling was crucial. Have you ever been so mad you felt like you could punch something? In kickboxing, YOU GET TO DO THAT! It was satisfying to be able to connect glove to bag and release the tension I felt day in and out. That class became my church. It gave me a place to socialize, a place to let loose and a place to be just a woman. Not a student, not a friend, not someone people depended on, not a mom and especially not a single mom.
Getting divorced is a lonely battle. People don’t really know what you are going through. And truth is, you don’t really want them to. It is scary, embarrassing, frustrating, and emotionally devastating. There were days that I felt I could only express myself through a physical interaction with that bag. I was transferring my struggle down my arm, through my glove and to the bag. And it took it willingly.