“Seeing Goucher take off spurs Captain Reese. ‘Two minutes!’ he shouts. Reese appoints Berkshire and Valenti as the designated ‘time-in-betweeners.’ Wetmore then offers them some final counsel: ‘Hey now, listen. Let’s go! It’s time to get in debt. I want you vomiting after this. Hey, actually, I want you to vomit after three.’ He then turns to Smith, who looks petrified. ‘Sean, you don’t have to vomit, you can just dry-retch.’ ”

Running With the Buffaloes – Chris Lear

Kyuki-do class tonight. We did a funky drill where we pair up by twos, “like the ark” someone said. The first person in line picks a technique and repeats it all the way along one side of the room, then turns at the corner and starts a new technique along the other side of the room. Repeat as necessary. The teams behind have to do whatever the first person does, and the people behind them repeat them, etc. It’s one of my favorite drills, you get to do a lot of different techniques and you have to pay attention because no one is shouting out telling you what to do.

The last half of class we did some judo. I was paired with a younger girl who is terrified of breakfalling (actually, she’s a red belt so she should really be figuring it out by now). Anyway, we were doing Osoto Gari and after I threw her the first time I could tell she was hurting a little. I asked her three times after that if she wanted to stop and she said “No!” every time. I was careful to throw her slowly and gently and I held her up every time. I don’t know if she really got hurt or if she just got scared. Good thing one of the big guys didn’t get a hold of her. After about ten throws she ended up in tears with her back against the wall.

I admit I was absolutely perplexed about what to do. Comforting people is not my strong point. I was raised to hide emotion and pain at all costs — suck it up and get on with it. One of the other ladies in class came over and rubbed her shoulder and talked her out of it, after which she did Kosoto Gari and two sets of black belt forms with me. Like my grandpa used to say, “It’s a long ways from your heart.”

She actually patted my shoulder and asked me not to hurt her before we started, too. Oh, pile the guilt on why don’t you? In fact, I don’t think I feel bad about “hurting” her, I feel bad about not being able to comfort her.


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