What Happens When A Theatre Major Studies Anatomy

A page of notes per page of text. More on that later--first, a picture of the last class I taught:

Jenny, a woman in her 60s, is performing forearm strikes on the heavy bag. These are a substitute for punches, which she can't do with her bad wrists. She also has ankle issues, and marched in place instead of jumping rope.

Others are hitting and sweating away at their own bags. Janet, who is shortening her punches and generally not hitting from her core, is complaining that the class isn't sufficiently wearing her out.

(The entire class, yes, was comprised of people whose names started with J. Including Jerry, who has stepped out into the hall. And Jenny, you remember her--she's peering out the window.)

"He's puking," she says.

I've got Janet who is not getting the workout she'd like, and I've got Jerry, who got more than he bargained for. Everybody else was smiling--except the staffer from the front desk who came to clean up.

This microcosm of my gym, or any gym, shows the range of abilities that walks through the door. It's my job to accomodate them all. Suggesting an MMA move to an older lady probably isn't in any book, but it's my job to know enough about everything so that I'm ready with ideas. Jerry, well, he needed to chill out. He overdid everything, and I tried to tell him. So even though I've been lauded for making someone throw up in my class, it really wasn't me--it was him. Because even when I do my job, these individuals are ultimately responsible for themselves, and I can only control so much.

I'm currently studying a heavy textbook to pass the certification exam. Not only have I not studied this hard for some time, I've not studied straight-up science hardly ever. My brain has a hard time with black and white facts. While I'm fascinated by the many components of the human body, I'm having trouble memorizing them.

Moreover, this is not a novel to be unpeeled, layer by layer, for deeper meaning. It's such straight highway that my brain has given up looking for that fun little jog on a country road.

Why do this, then? Because the practice of it requires much intuition and creativity. The class picture above demonstrates that in a real way, while also proving the validity of learning the textbook's content.

So it's a challenge, but a good one. When I'm certified, I'll work with a person who will never fit a textbook example. In fact, I know my first client; he's a man who encouraged me to finally get this done.

"I want you to kick my butt," he said.

I can do that. I think.


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