When I wrote the blog post about crying on the mat and bringing your full self to the gym, I meant it from the bottom of my heart. What I didn’t realize was that I meant it from a student perspective. When I am learning, when I am training, I have found that one of my biggest releases of frustration is crying. But what I also learned is that when I’m in the position of authority - whether as a gym owner or instructor - I fall back into those same patterns of anxiety and control.
I struggle with depression and have since I was a teenager. I’ve come to understand the things that trigger it, the ways that I can or can’t get out of it, and what my body does or doesn’t need in those times. But very rarely have I found myself in tears when I’m the person in power in the room and that can be a jarring experience.
It can really suck when you realize that you aren’t living up to your own words and I’ve felt that as I cower behind our gym desk crying because I don’t want my students to see me crying out of frustration that I took a hit. I’ve hid from a group of instructors while I was having a panic attack. I didn’t want them to see me as less than because I’ve worked so hard to get to the place that I am and I don’t want their pity.
But here’s the thing: those are all conditions that I’ve put on myself and it doesn’t model the type of behavior I want our gym to be known for. My tears as an instructor make it safe for the tears of my students. My actions will always speak louder than what I write in a blog post.
I’m still not great at it. There are moments where my first reaction is to step off the mat and hide behind my desk. But slowly, I’m trying to live up to the words that I tell my students so that they know they aren’t alone when they leave their hearts on our mat.
If we say that exercise helps our mental health, we can't disconnect our feelings from it. This is why owner and instructor Danae Hudson cries on the mat during Krav Maga.
The body keeps the score when it comes to trauma. Krav Maga and self-defense has helped our instructor Danae when it comes to anxiety.
Krav Maga near me? There is! If you're looking for a Krav Maga class near you, Valley Self-Defense is a proud member of the International Krav Maga Federation with schools located across the United States. To find a school near you, visit the IKMF USA website.