Broken toes and gender roles

bjj30
If your nose is held to the grindstone rough
And you hold it down there long enough
Soon you’ll say there’s no such thing
As brooks that babble and birds that sing.
Three things will all your world compose-
Just you, the grindstone, and your darned old nose.
-Julia Cameron
Thursday BJJ in Kirkland. Several basic guard passes, all of which I have done enough at this point to be able to focus on detail, speed and the Stupid Side.
Several spars, all of which I took the rough side of (with the exception of a new white belt woman)
Friday BJJ in Bellevue. Several guard passes, including a couple of the ones from yesterday.
One spar, in which I let a new white belt woman work upas on me, and ended up breaking my big right toe. She felt *really* bad, even though I assured her it wasn’t anything she did (and it wasn’t; it was just one of those things). After I rolled around whimpering for a few minutes, I got back up and said, “Let’s go again,” Partly to reassure both myself and her that this too would pass; and partly because I knew from experience how this would go. I would be able to do a little more (painful) sparring, before the injury swelled/stiffened/became more mechanically debilitating. This is useful triaging skill. I know that if I am on the path to Mordor and I break a toe, I should just press on those last fifteen miles instead of saying, “Let’s make camp and let it rest up a bit, and continue in the morning,”  In this case, it’s more of “Okay, I’m going to be on the bench for a while, so  I better get one or two more rolls in first,”  White belt looked at me very doubtfully (probably because I was kneeling with my right foot held up off the mat), but it was fine. Then I had to try to walk to the locker room and then out to the car without looking like I was limping too badly, because I didn’t want her to feel worse than she already did.
PSG- despite arranging for walking buddies ahead of time, *no* exercise happened outside of required work and two concerts with Eric (one of which I only lasted through half of). It was over 100 degrees every day, and the nights did not cool off much. I just do not do very well in those conditions. I spent way too much time parked on my arse at Herald Camp, hugging frozen gel neck wraps. Unfortunately, when you are at Herald Camp, you get fed (too much). We also happened to land right beside the Happy Hippies Food Truck. All in all, it was not a good setup for fitness and self improvement. The tuna packets worked out well, though. I have found a new appreciation for tuna and the things you can mix it up with. I will be incorporating more of this healthy item into my routine diet.
I did get those two concerts (Extreme Contact Improv For Martial Artists), which is one more than we usually get, so that was good. I did not get any face time with the guy who has been circling me for the last four years in a row with rather impressive doggedness…. which is just as well, as I have still not decided what to do about him.
The U-haul trailer as camper worked very well. Of course, having gone to all that expense and hassle, this was the second year out of twenty-something that resulted in *NO* rain, so I didn’t get to see how it performed. There was a notice on the inside warning that the trailer is “rain-resistant” and not “rain-proof”- bummer- but I still think that with the addition of a tarp on top, it should do better than a tent. I shall try this again next year. The 5×8 was the perfect size (I had asked for a smaller one, which they didn’t have). Next time I would like to try clothespinning some foil thermal blankets on top of my shade shelter. As it was, my camp was unbearable during the day. I was relieved to see that the trailer did not RETAIN heat- it wasn’t any hotter in there than it was anywhere else, with the exception of a layer of superheated air right at the top that would bake your brain if you stood upright. Sitting down- or lying on the metal floor- was not any hotter than anywhere else. Going to have to sacrifice some privacy for some trees next year, though. This site is like Wisteria in that there are precious few trees placed where you can put your camp- and I am limited in where I am allowed to park a trailer- but I’m going to have to try to get some shade next year so that I don’t die.
Ticks- my first shower resulted in removal of fourteen ticks. After that, I checked every few hours. I removed dozens. I also spent a great deal of time picking ticks out of other people’s hair and ass cracks. I actually went to the med tent (which I never do!) several times to get my itchy tick bites re-sprayed, re-bandaided, and also my poison ivy re-creamed. The Hunt space in particular was lousy with both ticks and poison ivy. I knew there was no help for it; I was just resigned to bathing in both, and so I did. I actually went to the doctor when I got home, though (again! I never do this!). That was just a hell of a lot of tick bites, and I was skeeved about it. She found one last hitch hiker hiding in my back tat. It was too late to get shots. I just have to watch for symptoms.
The new Hunt space is actually outside the camp gate- which did not thrill me, but Dru was even less happy. I’ve never been that stuck on the physical space as a strong factor in how the Hunt’s going to go, but it is definitely a minus in my eyes to be far enough away that the community can’t hear the Hunt. Other than that, no problem. I left Finn out there till the bitter end, and I would have left him out there another forty minutes if I could have. I also howled and barked in the woods to try to get the Hunters vocalizing…. it seems like once someone starts, the others feel freer to do it as well.
Michael (who did very well as Dru’s drum backup this year) brought up a point that I’m paying attention to, because I respect him. He said that it’s important for the community- especially the young women of the community- to see me as a role model in this venue. Honestly I had not looked at it that way, as my perspective was that Bo needed a backup to help with the work as well as to be able to step in and lead if he became unable. I’m perfectly content being a lieutenant. I don’t enjoy standing up in meetings and making announcements. What usually happens is that the Hunt coordinating team stands up there with Bo and he does the talking. I feel uncomfortable standing up there unless I have something pertinent to say (and sometimes I do…. if Dru’s not at the meeting, I make any needed announcements for the drum aspect of things). But usually I just stay in the crowd and Bo makes a point of waving at me at the beginning of the week and announcing that I’m part of the team. But Michael’s opinion- along with the fact that more than one person mentioned in the post mortem that they had noticed that the coordinating team was perfectly gender balanced this year, and how important that was- makes me feel as if I need to purposefully make myself more visible and audible in this role. As a female, specifically. Not very happy about this idea. It seems like egoist posturing, and all I truly care about is making sure the rit runs well. Also, as I become more and more sensitive to society’s outdated and restrictive gender-role pigeonholing and how much it annoys me, I become ever more resistant to being defined by my urinary plumbing before being defined as more important things. But hearing that message from multiple people….
When the Hunt began, the coordinating team was very Y-chromosome-heavy. This led to (among other issues) persistant rumors in the community that women were relegated to certain roles in the rit or not present/welcome in the rit at all. Those types of rumors have dispelled over the years but I think there’s still a bit of that lurking. Secondly, there’s a wealth of “fluffy-bunny-white-light” ritual. There’s nothing wrong with FBWL, but that’s not all there is…. and it’s important that *women* feel like they can move out of the Fluffy Bunny arena should they choose. Also, though it’s less of a problem in this community than in others, I do feel that women have still not reclaimed quite enough of their power/equality yet to feel comfortable moving beyond that into a place where it honestly doesn’t matter what urinary plumbing the ritual coordinators have. (It makes me sad and frustrated to think that we won’t get to this place in my lifetime.) I think I have been trying to occupy that place in my leadership roles without accepting that everyone else is not really ready for that stage yet. Feels like a slide backwards for me personally, but leadership in the Hunt is about serving the community- if they need me to do the “I Am Woman Hear Me Roar” thing, I should at least consider doing that service.
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