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In which I whine some - Tactical Ninja

Mar. 5th, 2014

09:23 am - In which I whine some

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So last night for the warmup for training, we played Stuck In The Mud. You know that game where one person is 'it' and they have to tag other people, who then have to stand still until someone else crawls between their legs to free them? Yeah, that game. Only, we didn't really play it, because of me.

I got picked first up to be 'it' because apparently I was looking cold and miserable. Yes, Wellington has spectacularly turned on autumn by rolling in a southerly storm for us. Last night I got wet going home, it was like 10 degrees, and I was cold, if not miserable. So the coach, in his infinite wisdom, decided it'd do me good to run around being 'it'.


Then two things happened in quick succession. First, there's a guy in the class who's a bit of a Trevor. What I mean by that is that he seems to have inflated ideas of himself (here I admit freely I don't know him well and this could just be my kiwiness shining through - he's American), and on a couple of occasions I've noticed him saying things that seem designed to put down other people. And he started dancing around in front of me going "You can't catch me!"

He was right, I couldn't. He's quicker than me and I know it. So I refused to chase him.

And then I realised that I didn't actually want to chase anyone. As a long term shepherd, I know that chasing is the most ineffective way to catch your sheep, and that if they are already running when you grab them you're likely to get dragged face first through the mud. I have learned through bitter experience that in a catching situation, you're better off to wait until everything's settled, nobody's moving and they've all bunched up, then suddenly grab the one that's most restricted without warning.

This is not an effective tactic for Stuck In The Mud, but it's what I instinctively do.

These two things combined meant that I totally ruined the game through not being willing to play. Sorry guys, chasey isn't really my thing, and especially chasey where I know I won't be achieving any catchey. It just feels like an exercise in futile humiliation.

Also, I don't like being singled out, and unfortunately something that happened last week has centralised this issue for me. This also happened during the warmup. We were doing handstandy things, and our trainer decided that correcting my form in front of the class was the order of the day. Normally I'm ok with my form being corrected, but on this occasion there were a couple of things that made it not ideal for anyone concerned.

1. I was trying to favour my elbow which is not handling handstands at all. I've only just started doing this and haven't had a chance to learn to compensate for it.
2. It was the warm up - I thought our focus was trying to warm up, not do the perfect handstand, so I wasn't really trying.
3. He singled me out. In front of everyone.

As you can imagine, this did not go well. He started by telling me everything I was doing wrong, and I tried to explain about favouring my elbow and how I could tell that was affecting me, but he talked over the top of me and then it turned into something where everyone was looking because they'd finished and he was still telling me stuff I already knew but couldn't fix right then and there and I felt humiliated and stupid. Which made me feel angry. And then he got sarcastic, and Trevor Guy put his spoke in, and it wasn't.fun.

Thing is, I enjoy adagio. Mostly it's fun. I feel like my partner and I have been doing it long enough so we're getting some stuff together that works. I work hard in class and take it a lot more seriously than my general demeanour would suggest - I deflect a lot by joking around and being self-effacing about it, but the fact is I REALLY REALLY want to do well at it, and consequently feeling as if I'm not doing well is .. difficult. Being told I'm not doing well in front of a bunch of other people? Yeah, my attitude takes a turn for the Oh God No Tats. I know this. It's been like that all my life, and while I'm better than I used to be and can snap out of it once it's over, I still don't deal well with being singled out for public criticism.

I suppose one approach to that is to tell me to put on my big girl panties and deal with it. Another would be to actually listen when I say I dislike being singled out and just not do it. I'm not sure which is best.

This isn't enough to stop me going to training, but it is enough to make me now approach the warm up section of class with trepidation. The actual training part is not a problem - trying things repeatedly and having my technique criticised is what I signed up for. But during the warmup, I'm trying to get into a training headspace from a completely different one, and the things that have happened the last couple of weeks have been not conducive to a smooth transition. I am trying to work out ways to avoid this type of thing happening every week - all I want is to be left alone to get on with my warmup so that I can focus on the important part, which is the training itself. But I get the feeling that's not how this coach operates, and he certainly hasn't worked that out about me yet, despite this being the 5th or 6th class I've done with him.

I don't want it to become a thing. I like adagio too much to let it stop me. But it is kind of hard to be enthusiastic about class when the warmup feels like an ordeal I have to get through before I can do the fun stuff, eh?


tl;dr - Oh get over yourself Tats.

Meanwhile, today is a historic day. Today, the New York Times published an article outlining the result of the first study of therapeutic LSD since it was banned in the 1960s. In the study, terminal patients were administered two guided doses of LSD, two weeks apart (in conjunction with ongoing therapy sessions), as a treatment for end-of-life anxiety. The results have been very promising. While not conclusive, this study could pave the way for more comprehensive work - as one of the researchers says, it's kind of like proof of concept.

And people everywhere who've used LSD go "Well duh." Such a shame the mythology around LSD has prevented its study for so long. So great that taboo is finally being broken.

Comments:

From:clashfan
Date:March 4th, 2014 09:17 pm (UTC)
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Can you tell the instructor that you don't care to be approached during warm-ups, and certainly not singled out? I mean, you're paying him money, right? This seems like a reasonable request that should be taken seriously. You don't even need to give any backstory, or reason.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 4th, 2014 09:19 pm (UTC)
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I kind of did, but it was in the heat of the moment and possibly discarded as being argumentative. Maybe I should try again.
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From:clashfan
Date:March 4th, 2014 09:21 pm (UTC)
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I think it's worth a try, maybe right before you head into warmups? Or in an email/text the day of class, but a couple hours earlier?
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From:danjite
Date:March 6th, 2014 10:06 am (UTC)
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Agreeing with Dear Clashfan here.

In my experience, the teachers are great performers and many are, er, undertrained as teachers. Good at the skills, but need support in becoming good at the instructing part. So, being the subtle Yank I am, I politely and discreetly (ish) tell them how they could more effectively support my learning experience.

YMMV.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 7th, 2014 01:07 am (UTC)
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I went as far as suggesting formal training for the teachers in my submission to the review they did last year. Partly because I have observed similar, and partly because my own previous education is in adult training so I guess I'm observing from a somewhat professional standpoint as well.
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From:helianthas
Date:March 6th, 2014 05:34 pm (UTC)
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I agree. Approach him with your concerns in a nice concise "When X happened I felt Y, could you please Z so that we can [have a better relationship, work better during actual training, etc].</p>

That American guy sounds like an ass. It is, however, in my experience, how a majority of American children play tag. Even the ones who are slow will say something in the same vein! (I hated gym as a kid even though I was fast for the competitive and nasty culture of it!)

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From:zhelana
Date:March 4th, 2014 09:21 pm (UTC)
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I don't think it's just "get over yourself" - sounds like you're dealing with a first class jerk! Sorry :(
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From:tatjna
Date:March 4th, 2014 09:29 pm (UTC)
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I don't think he's necessarily a jerk, perhaps just not well-versed in a variety of teaching styles?
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From:zhelana
Date:March 4th, 2014 09:31 pm (UTC)
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perhaps, but there's no teaching style where humiliating someone is okay.
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From:pombagira
Date:March 4th, 2014 09:43 pm (UTC)
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so maybe it is time to take the trainer aside, and explain or not even explain but just ask, can you please not do this to me during warmup.

because what i can see happening, is that because you are uncomfortable that this might happen, it is like sending out signals, and you become noticeable, others notice on one of those weird subconscious levels, and then react, some reactions better than others...

umm.. yeah..*ponders this*
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From:tatjna
Date:March 4th, 2014 09:45 pm (UTC)
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Pretty much. And because I'm hypersensitive to group dynamics most of the time anyway, it becomes the defining thing for the warmups instead of, you know, warming up.
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From:pombagira
Date:March 4th, 2014 10:24 pm (UTC)
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**loves**

you are teh awsome

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From:helianthas
Date:March 6th, 2014 05:35 pm (UTC)
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Agreed!!!! (Ps so are you pomb!)
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From:pombagira
Date:March 4th, 2014 09:44 pm (UTC)
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also

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From:khaybee
Date:March 4th, 2014 11:14 pm (UTC)
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I have been subjected to that warmup. I do not like it. I find it highly uncomfortable and somewhat humiliating. The correction stuff doesn't bother me, but I'm an American, too. I feel that I'm somewhat fortunate in being autistic, as it gives me a shortcut in explaining uncomfortable social situations (I'm not comfortable with that, I'm autistic) People don't tend to ask for further reasons why I should feel the way I do. I'm doing better with randomly-assigned paired stretches.

The hard part is never what they think it is!
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From:tatjna
Date:March 7th, 2014 01:05 am (UTC)
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I think there are probably quite a lot of people who don't enjoy being made 'it' in those kind of games. I know it was something we were warned about when I was doing training for at-risk young people - it's one of the fastest ways to lose someone's trust.
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From:pundigrion
Date:March 5th, 2014 05:14 am (UTC)
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I'm pretty used to military pt, and I must say even there they didn't yell much at us during the warm up!
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From:tatjna
Date:March 5th, 2014 05:23 am (UTC)
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That's good to hear - although I should mention that our trainer doesn't yell, so much as nitpick.

I always thought I wouldn't last very long in the military. I'd get an attitude on and spend the rest of my career scrubbing dunny floors with a toothbrush or something.
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From:pundigrion
Date:March 6th, 2014 08:28 pm (UTC)
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Heh, I use yell pretty loosely. Often it was just nitpicking with them too otherwise they'd be buying stock in throat lozenges I'm sure.

I did shockingly well as a hippie with non-authoritarian tendencies in the military, especially during boot camp. All I had to do was think of it as a game. Goal is to have them not know your name and to be forced to do as few push ups as possible. (I should mention, that is still more push ups than I can possibly recall, but I did not have to do any as a punishment specific to *me* only en mass.) When they are yelling or nitpicking, it isn't really about you. You see, they don't really want to be there (it is not actually a duty you choose, it just gets assigned to you!) and really it doesn't matter who is standing there, they would still be grumping away. You just happen to be the warm body in front of them at that moment.

This has helped a bunch when dealing with all manner of grumpy unreasonable jerk-offs actually! Knowing that it isn't you leaves you free to ponder just how much that vein in their temple is throbbing and predict when the colour of their face will change from red to purple as they flush more. Alas, it's no help at all when it really *is* you being picked on rather than them venting their spleen on whatever walks in front of them...
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From:meathiel
Date:March 5th, 2014 06:23 am (UTC)
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Oh great ... He obviously didn't have his greatest moment, right? Or he wouldn't have done that ... I'd talk to him before next class as well.
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From:goddessofchaos
Date:March 5th, 2014 09:13 am (UTC)
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I think having a private word with the trainer, as others have suggested, is a good idea. I would feel the same as you, and I don't think you need to just get over it - you're there because it's something you enjoy and the trainer should be helping you to enjoy it, not sucking the fun out of it.
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From:fbhjr
Date:March 6th, 2014 01:29 am (UTC)
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Hopefully the training thing will work out. Maybe a talk outside of class with them? That way there isn't an audience for it?
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From:adam_0oo
Date:March 8th, 2014 01:17 am (UTC)
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You have to chase people around and run through their legs? This sounds both silly and kind of...hard on older people? Like, I am 32 and I have no interest in crawling on my knees and I imagine my disinterest will only grow over time.
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