I’m taking a self defense class this weekend and next. I cannot begin to describe the intensity of this class.
The class is hands-on, meaning we practice the techniques we learn full-force with our adrenaline pumping. The “assailant” is a gentle man who shares a name with one of my boys, and I’m amazed at his commitment to end violence against women. So committed he’s willing to dress in a padded suit and receive our blows.
I expected the class to be intense. In fact, I slept little this past week and consumed more than my share of snickers bars in an effort to quell my anxiety.
The biggest surprise yesterday? How hard it was to yell. In fact, I found it easier to kick the tar out the pseudo attacker than to use my voice to yell, “Back off now!” or “Get out of here!”
The yelling feels unnatural. Wrong, even. In the midst of a simulated attack, I have a hard time finding my voice.
I need to find my voice. And as I learn this lesson myself, I’m aware that I’ve never given the noisy boys permission to be loud. “That’s inappropriate,” I tell them. “Use your inside voice.”
But they need to know that sometimes being loud IS appropriate. They need permission to use their voices.