Thursday, May 29, 2008

SAVATE, A LOVE STORY - 5 MONTHS IN PARIS

I NEVER feel like going to my Savate class. Unless I am in an extreme state of agitation/anger and want to break things and put my fist through stuff, like a FACE. Then I can't WAIT. But ever since I quit my day job, became a hippie and moved to France to be a musician and cook real good, I am unfortunately no longer in a borderline rage most of the time.

This reluctancy to just GO....it makes no sense whatsoever because I am in LOVE with my Savate school and thoroughly enjoy every moment of training there. I'm not sure if it's just my usual hyperventilating "oh my god, I am walking out my front door into FRAAANCE" nerve flare-ups but every morning I think of about 250 reasons why I should NOT go to class. My stomach hurts, I'm tired...I deserve a break.. you know, I need to reLAX more and anyway I have to go grocery shopping...I should write more...being a shut-in is like, WAY more fun...I can always go tomorrow...I don't have a clean shirt...I just can't deal today...I'd rather play piano...it's better if I just sit and eat some more...I need to watch the finale of Top Chef...I HAVE to vacuum the rug for the 1600th time......blah blah BLAH. Nothing new really, I never once felt like going to Kung Fu in New York either. My mind just seems to fight my body. Oh well.

Eh, just walk it off and go. I have never once regretted it and every time have walked out of class feeling like I can truly conquer the world. Today I strolled my way to class where I am now getting used the routine. Usually four to six guy students (some young, some old) my teacher and me. Almost same exact warm up and I am starting to understand "kjdghkjhgfjdh on your back dkcuieurtb sndkjbjkrfgfjk vertical legs djvoixufrenbfnjd reverse direction coivurbngjkd....it's like little poppies in white noise that get through somehow. Each one leaves me with a small smile of understanding and one step closer to communicating. I feel rusty parts of my brain pushing to work and naturally string some order together from the jumble of sounds that are backwards and unfamiliar. I talk very little and just listen which is so beyond the norm for me. To be in a group of people and NOT speak is just, well...unSPEAKABLE! ARGH!

Occasionally, I know they are talking about me. I know enough French now to understand the subjects of conversations (well, most of the time...whatevs). I heard "anglais" mentioned several times. Most surprising to me (but not really) is how you can tell so much from a persons physical actions. I just smile and give my look that I have perfected here. "I'm smiling at you in my knowing way and you are not too sure if I understood but I am looking at you so you just don't REALLY know how much I understand...maybe I understand nothing.....but maybe not ;) The fact I am forced to not rely on any language communication but instead read purely physical actions has taught me to shut up and just SEE someone. Somehow I think this is a skill that will serve me well here.

Today in warm up my teacher asked me if I was staying past the warm up to do the fight class. There are a few women who come just for the thirty minute warm up but don't stay for the actual Savate class. This is incomprehensible to me so it came as a surprise when he asked me if I was tired and not staying. Suddenly understanding the question, I blurted out "MOI?! FATIGUE? JAMAIS!!" (NEVER!) Then I burst into my larger than life laughter at the absurdness of my outburst. He smiled and seemed taken aback and a few of the guys in class looked at me funny. Not being able to stop, I added "J'ADORE DES COUP DES PIEDS!". I had WANTED to say "I love to kick things!" but instead it came out as "I ADORE SOME KICKS!" which made me laugh even HARDER because I suddenly got a third eye view of myself as the silent foreign girl who only speaks to yell out to a group of people that I do, indeed, love me some kicks. And now I am also in the corner hysterically laughing at my own joke.

My teacher is excellent and precise. The last two classes I have dropped the nerves and just gone for it kicking. He works with me solo and as I figure out the new kicks and nail some golden bullseyes, he smiles and says my progress is fast. Today I learned an over the head fake-out followed by a side thrust kick. As my leg sailed above my head and followed up with a BAM!! Chassé THAT!!, I smiled wide and full. My teacher patted me on the back and said in French "you worked hard this week", as I grinned. Then he totally surprised me by saying in perfect English "It's good."

Yeah, just walk it off and GO.
France is yours.

5 comments:

Jimmy Legs said...

... so if i quit my job i won't want to smash things and kill people on the subway anymore? hmmm...

Lauren said...

I just read your ENTIRE blog this evening! I laughed, I cried, I snacked, I laughed some more.

xo, Lauren

jessica said...

ok, i just shed a tear. seriously.

TTrentDarby said...

i wanna see some videos of you kicking stuff.

Gabriel Pangalangan said...

Where is your gym? I just got to Paris and if want to try savate out!