Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


Okay, it’s decided.

I hate Stamina Mondays.

Intellectually, I know that this means I need Stamina Mondays. If I find them difficult, they are pushing my body to limits that it doesn’t find comfortable. But if I keep subjecting my bod to Stamina Mondays, I will get better, stronger, faster.

That is what the intellect says. However, the rest of me has another thing to say: “This sucks!”

I was tempted to apologize to my kru on the way out. That’s how bad it was. It figures that, since I’m currently kicking butt in the writing arena, I would fail miserably at kickboxing. I’m not sure what was wrong. Maybe I was a little tired, but not that much. Maybe I didn’t have enough to eat. Whatever it was, I felt so pathetic that I wanted to crawl into a little hole for a while.

This has happened before. Muay Thai is one of those practices where no one ever reaches perfection, unless your name is Tony Jaa and you’ve been training since you were in the womb. Everyone has bad days. But knowing that doesn’t make it easier when it happens to you.

It doesn’t make easier when you’re assigned a simple exercise–a leg check followed by a fast kick, and can’t really remember how to do it right. After oh, about TWELVE YEARS of kickboxing, give or take a few. I felt like a lumbering rhinoceros, and let’s face it–even the rhino would have executed that move more gracefully. (For those not familiar with this move, the fellow on the left is doing a leg check. Now imagine him landing with the same leg behind him, and firing off a fast kick as soon as his toes touch the ground. That was the drill.)

Lately I’ve been very happy with how much strength has returned to my roundhouse kick. But yesterday? Instead of a superhero-like “POW! POW!”, I was only able to muster a “Plah! Plah!” sound. I blame the plyometrics, which routinely kick my butt. Which, yes, means I should be doing them all the time. Sigh….

And of course I had a new partner, so she didn’t even know that I don’t usually suck that badly. How embarrassing. She’s been taking kickboxing since December, but kindly pointed out that I “shouldn’t be so flat-footed”. Did I mention I’ve been doing this for TWELVE YEARS? Guess I was sleeping during all those leg check drills.

Don’t despair, dear readers. I’ll get back to the gym for more humiliation and exhilaration tomorrow. I just thought it was important to point out that setbacks are a part of life. And, should you feel you don’t have enough in your life to provide balance, why not take up kickboxing? I’ll save you a spot.

On the bright side, I managed to cram six pages of novel writing into my one-hour morning writing session again today! I’m now over the 90,700 word mark.

If any of my lovely readers would like to share a tale of a bad day, please do so. Misery loves company!

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  1. kungfusinger

    Yesterday was a HORRIBLE day. But since it has to do with personal interactions with one of my co-workers, this is not the right venue to discuss it in detail.

    To sum up: I was requested to do something which violated rules from environmental health and safety. I went to the co-worker’s supervisor to get guidance because the situation felt wrong, and I felt pushed, and I could not reach my supervisor. The co-worker is now mad at me for getting him in trouble.

    This is three days after a professor dressed me down for suggesting that he would consider doing something unethical (which he had actually made a request to do). I think he was more mad that I used the word “unethical.”

    Bad week. Bad week. Bad week. Boy am I ever glad I don’t post my real name on here.

  2. Story Teller

    Wow, kungfusinger, that *does* sound bad. Sorry to hear about your terrible day. And I think your secret is pretty safe. I doubt that anyone you know reads this blog (I’m not even sure that my cousin reads it!) Still, I understand the need for discretion.

    Work place politics are the absolute worst. So often, bad behavior is rewarded and those who do the right thing are punished.

  3. Wayne

    I am sure that you weren’t as bad as you thought, everyone has there bad days. When I do I know I am extremely hard on myself and I feel that no matter how I do something it is incorrect or just looks like a mess. Maybe tomorrow you will go in there and just kill it!

    For myself I know I am a little woried as well as anxious at getting back to the gym. I have been off for a couple weeks with an injury and I can’t wait to get back but I am a little worried with how sore I am going to be after I do get back.

  4. Story Teller

    Welcome, Wayne! Thanks for your kind comments. They mean a lot, especially coming from another KWester.

    I can completely understand your fear. I was nervous to go back after the broken wrist, but mostly, I just wanted to get back to it. I’m sure you will be fine. You’re on another level, with Joe and Scott, even on those days when you’re not feeling so great. It will be nice to see you back training again.

    One word of advice – avoid the plyometrics! 🙂

  5. Chris

    You’re not alone with the bad days. I’m living through a bad week right now, but then you know that already. I keep telling myself that “this, too, shall pass” but as Evita sings in the Lloyd Webber musical, “that’s no consolation, here and now.”

    Now that I’ve made your day even worse by singing, however virtually, I’ll mercifully end this missive.

  6. Story Teller

    Thanks, Chris. I do appreciate it. And if it’s any consolation, your bad day made me suck it up and be cheerful/supportive for you, so you probably didn’t even know my day sucked as much as it did. Other people’s problems are always easier to solve, it seems.

  7. Kim

    I did comment on this yesterday but for whatever reason it didn’t take… I think what I said in a nutshell was that sometimes you will have bad workout days because there is something else on your mind. In this case, maybe distracted by the exciting turns your writing has been taking as of late. But purely from a workout standpoint it could simply have just been an off day. There will always be those. But I know what you mean about particular workouts always hurting. I find I have the same psychological reaction to speed workouts in running (especially) but also biking). Very painful and I don’t want to do them. But they are what make you better at your sport. They are the only thing that make you better (well not the only but… they are a big chunk of it).

  8. Story Teller

    So true, Kim. Thanks for your comment!

  9. Anonymous

    I just had a bad class last night. I am so hard on myself and just mentally couldn’t do it. I also wanted to apologize to the Kru for not doing more and feeling mentally weak. I am trying to give myself a break but it is so hard.

    Thank you for writing about your experiences. Isn’t funny how, intellectually we know all the right things to think, but emotionally we can’t always take our own advice?

  10. Story Teller

    Hello and welcome, Anonymous,

    I can definitely feel your pain. The mental aspect of muay thai can be so much more difficult than the physical. If your mind or heart isn’t in it, you’re bound to have a bad class, no matter how fit you are. Just try to remember that you will do better next time. And, as Wayne said above, you most likely weren’t as bad as you thought.

    I’m really glad that you get something out of this blog. My greatest wish is to help others in some way, and if this story gave you some comfort, than it was worth my suffering through a thousand bad classes. 🙂

    And yes, our minds have very little control over our emotions. Give yourself permission to wallow, and then come back out on Monday and kick ass!

    Hugs to you.


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