Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Intent To Push The Car

"Fear comes from uncertainty. When we are absolutely certain, whether of our worth or our worthlessness, we are almost impervious to fear." --Bruce Lee

It never occurred to me that I wouldn't be able to push a car.

Even while driving to find an empty lot, my children asking why and who's pushing what, I didn't question the act much, except once to wonder if it all might be over in a matter of moments, me unable to push the car, everybody getting back in.

Of course I could push the car, farther when the 172 pounds of my children finally got out, farther still when they helped. We all took turns, and doggone if it wasn't fun. Conveniently, a cemetery was located behind the lot, and we jogged there after to look for frogs in their pond.

Science backs the idea that intent in exercise might be just as effective as accomplishment, i.e., I tried to push the car, and that is enough. Indeed, when the whole family was in it, I worked awfully hard to move it a foot or two, only gaining a couple inches past the natural give of the wheels. But that counts for something, as do all those times I tried to bench 130 pounds and failed (minus the once I didn't).

That's nice to know. What I know for sure is that a few minutes of this activity was intense enough to fry my shoulders and back and almost make me throw up.

The act would have completed my week's worth of strange physical ailments brought on by even stranger activity. On Monday, I took my kids to something called a "jumping pillow." Picture a bouncy house without the roof and walls; now picture a sizzling egg in a pan. See, the sun had heated up the pillow, which then burned our toes. So not only did our calves ache from all the jumping, we couldn't walk for the blisters on our feet. I have one that's about an inch and a half and maroon red. To boot, walking funny for a few days does nothing for old knees, let me tell you.

A few days later, I wanted some weights for shadowboxing, so I grabbed the small ones designed to wrap around ankles. In my concentration, I did not notice that on each return of the fist to the face, the velcro scratched my cheeks, over and over again.

Finally, yesterday: all was well until I decided to hold a handstand pose, aided by Greg. Apparently I held it long enough to break a few blood vessels, as next time I looked in the mirror, there were red lines and splotches under both eyes. Pretty.

The effects of pushing a car remain to be seen. But this idea of the importance of intent is staying with me; effort is rewarded! After the jumping/burning pillow disaster, I had lamented to my kids that I had driven them there because I knew how much they enjoyed it the first time we tried it (in fall, with socks on). I wanted the time to be special; I wanted to make their day.

Somehow, despite the fact that Simon and I were in real pain (Theo was okay; I gave him my socks right away, as a diabetic's skin and feet need special care), the intent was enough. "I tried, I really did," I kept saying, and the kids were mature enough to understand. It even became a joke, us hobbling around in our bandages and aloe vera.

I've written before that boxing has taught me great humility, and though there was a time when intent would not satisfy me, now it does. I can live without reward and resolution, for the most part. I can thrive in process, mostly.

Because until we're in that cemetery near the pond, intent is what moves us, inch by inch, to where we need to be.



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