"I'm going to rinse off..." he says.


Maybe that's what we do with 2017.
Rinse it off.
And start 2018 naked.

Be more naked. 
Be naked more.
Be naked.

Some of you might take that in a way I've not intended. I'll leave that responsibility to you.

So much of my life, I've felt this undercover neediness to explain things. 

I sometimes grow tired of such neediness.

I found myself meeting that familiar neediness yesterday talking with one of the parents at my son's judo practice. 

He has two kids in the class, they're naturals at the sport. My son, not so much. He tries his best, but often falls short and in last place for much of the partner work, speed tests, agility,  coordination, and adaptability. He still mixes up his left from his right. The dude is 6.

He tries really hard and even his best does not afford a win.

So, naturally, many practices include frustration and tears. There hasn't been a single practice where one of the kids hasn't cried (And you know what?! I think crying is really fucking good for us. Hello, release! Kids are really great at this release -- if we let them).

My son wants to win. I should mention he is such a rule-follower too. Which kind of terrifies me...because he calculates before he moves. 

That calculation breeds hesitation. It reminds me of...me. I was such a rule-follower growing up. The oldest of 5, the one with the most expectations, that had to lead, and help take care of others. Built-in babysitter, second mom yada, yada.

So much damn responsibility comes with that sort of neediness. I can still hear my parents saying, "You're the oldest, set the example, Steph. We expect...blah, blah, blah."

You cannot afford yourself any risk when you live to uphold expectations and duty. 

Hesitation will slow you down. I still find myself moving really slow at times.

Yesterday, my son was crying at judo, upset because he got pinned. He had to sit out. Cry it out. The dad of the two naturals walks over to me and asks:

"Is this your son's first sport?"
"Yes, first go, 6 months in."
"Have you ever thought about putting him in something that agrees with him? Say, like gymnastics? Something more like a solo sport?" 

I felt my cheeks flush red with fire. 

While the dad was well-intentioned, I'm sure. I could feel steam puffing out of my ears. Partially, because of my own neediness to explain. I took a breath.

I promise I was polite in my response and left him with something to the tune of this: "It's good for us to not be good at things. It's good for us to cry and get upset. It's good for us to not get our way or have things go our way. We've got to know how to shake things off and get back up again."

Here's the thing. My child LOVES judo. Even if/when he cries at least once 98% of the time. B* counts down the days between the two practices he gets a week. He LOVES his Sensei. He loves moving and tumbling. He loves throwing and pinning. Most of the time, he doesn't mind getting thrown or pinned. 

*We call him "B" on the inter webs to keep his name private. Part of me wants to explain that to you, but I'm not going to give into that neediness.

Here's the thing, I can't be there to save my child. Believe me, I want to but I know deep-down, it won't be good for either of us. The answer is not what that dad suggested. Taking him out of a sport because he has a moment of frustration? If B decided that he doesn't love it, that's a different conversation. And even then, we'd have to dive into that why.

So many people quit when it becomes hard or rearing week 3 in January. It happens in classes all the time. I don't write this to call people out. I'm a quitter myself too.
Some people will say to me after my classes: "I hate you and love you." I think I know what they mean.

I don't take it personally, not those kinds of comments anyway. Because it's not about me. I'm not going to twist anyone's arm (I will never twist your arm, literally and figuratively) or guilt someone into coming to class. I want people to show up because they want to be there, even if there are moments they don't like during class.

We are conditioned to like things and be liked.

Hence, comfort. 

Why is it that we want to make ourselves so comfortable? Or make sure our children are comfortable? The only thing I need to be comfortable is my own bed. Or crossing my fingers I get the window seat on an overnight flight. And even then, my life hasn't been ruined the time's I've sat in an isle seat and spent the flight head bobbling like Bernie. 

Here's the thing, you don't have to like every second of something to enjoy it or learn from it. In fact, we need to lose. We need to disagree. We need upsets. We need to be challenged. We need to be uncomfortable. We need nakedness.

We need more risk-taking.
And to move from our guts.
We need to be naked more.
That is basic instinct.

Here's to taking it off, shaking it off and getting up again. And not always liking every damn thing. 

With love and guts,