Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Off to Battle!!

I want a battle cry. Not something simple like "charge" but something that will inspire me to be strong and  unafraid of whatever I'm facing, procrastinating or generally not enjoying at the moment. You know those times in your life, facing a difficult conversation, situation or generally being stuck in that proverbial rock and a hard place that you need to claw out of?

I seem to be a magnet for such things. I had an evening recently where I would have given my left pinkie finger to be ANYWHERE else on the planet. I've had conversations with my ex-husband that I would have rather listened to nails on a chalkboard. I've sat through elementary school orchestra concerts for God's sake!!

There are moments in my self-defense training when I panic internally regarding a technique. I've looked at my instructor and actually declined to do things with the battle cry of Lethal Weapon, "I'm too old for this sh..."(I'm not proud). He tells me to do it anyway and of course I do.

As a rider I've not only ridden some crazy horses but also jumped some insane things. It can require deep breathing and pep talks. A battle cry would have been better.

Recently I did the Warrior Dash with some amazing people and the battle cry was "shark fin." Long story but it worked for us. I can't claim it as my own though.

I was thinking of other battle cry examples I could recall:
The Klingons: "Today is a good day to die."
Braveheart: "Freedom!"
King Leonidas, king of the Spartans: "This is where we fight! This is where they die!"
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: "Cowabunga!"
And my favorite...."Wonder Twins powers activate!"

If I had a wonder twin and powers I'd go with that one. Unfortunately my super power consists of multitasking in a single bound and owning the stupidest dog on the planet.

My favorite superhero is Wonder Woman. I never missed the show as a kid. I always wished I had bullet deflecting bracelets, a boomerang crown, a lasso of truth (that would be really handy with my children), and of course an invisible jet. I'm not even much for accessories. But she didn't have a battle cry and I certainly will never pass for an amazon.

My kids think my battle cry should be "Bazinga" (Big Bang Theory) but that would indicate my cry was sarcastic. That doesn't work. I need a serious cry that gives me the feeling of Hulk muscles and disregard for my own personal safety. I don't think "Hulk smash" fits me either.

So I'll keep trying some out from time to time until I find what works. At the moment I'm thinking something silly like chili pepper, Excaliber, or bibbidi-bobbidi-boo.

Obviously I'm open for any suggestions. What's your warrior cry?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Not so Secret Identity

My daughter was adopted from China.

She will never know her birth mother.

What started me to think about this was a commercial for a movie. A young woman sets out to find her birth mother because it’s the only way she’ll know her “identity.” I find this strange. Does blood relation equal identity?

In China the rule of one child per family combined with the ancient custom of boys taking care of their elderly parents while girls are married off and caring for in-laws make baby girls in Chinese history undesirable. Even today the orphanages are packed with baby girls waiting for adoption. Yet parents are not legally allowed to give up a child so pregnancies are hidden and babies are left to be found, often in a public market or busy area of town. My daughter was left on the steps of the orphanage.

So what about this story is her identity? She identifies with her best friend who was adopted from Korea. She identifies that she is clearly Asian. But has any of that affected who she is? She actually pulls away from her heritage. She has had the opportunity to learn Chinese but refuses. She really wants to be an all American girl. Maybe someday her feelings will change. If that happens, how will that change her identity?

She loves fashion, art and gymnastic. None of which her father or I am especially into. Doesn’t that mean it’s purely her? Neither of my biological boys love horses, running or a great book.

One of my favorite movies is The Princess Bride. I love when Wesley is telling Buttercup about how he became The Dread Pirate Roberts. After being taken captive Roberts would work Wesley during the day and every night say, “Good night Wesley. Sleep well. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.” But eventually he was told how the real Dread Pirate had retired long ago and man after man had taken over the role until they could retire and pass on the name.

“Then he explained the name was the important thing for inspiring the necessary fear. You see, no one would surrender to the Dread Pirate Wesley.”

Once Wesley knew how, he could fall into that identity and shed it once he was done. A mask, a sword and a name can create a lucrative pirating career. Sounds a bit like the witness protection program.

Maybe for us it’s not so extreme. We change clothing style, hairstyle or color; even alter our beliefs on occasion.  We can shed weight, gain weight, gain or lose confidence, and all of those changes affect how we identify ourselves. Those complete self transformations are a bit more rare in a lifetime.

My daughter is strong, beautiful, funny and loved and being my daughter is where she belongs.

As for myself, I need to know my strengths, weaknesses, and where I’m loved to know who I am. Now my secret identity….that’s another blog.

Inigo Montoya: Who are you?
Man in Black: No one of consequence.
Inigo Montoya: I must know...
Man in Black: Get used to disappointment.
Inigo Montoya: 'kay.