Why I Faked a Knee Injury to Get Out of Class Yesterday.
Why I faked a knee injury to get out of class yesterday. I know, as a teacher, I would have seen right through me. Yes I lied. I’m owning it.
I faked a knee injury to get out of class yesterday. I know, as a teacher, I would have seen right through me. I wonder now, could I just have said to the teacher, “This isn’t fun, I’m going?” or “This isn’t for me. Thanks, I’m going?” Instead, I lied. I’m owning it.
The theme of this month is communication.
What I’ve been looking at in myself is when I still feel too nervous to tell the truth. I either stay silent or it somehow comes out sideways or, like I just did yesterday, I basically lied.
Let me give you a little context on this class though because I actually was excited.
It was a 2 hour Muay Thai class. I love training in different ways. Just the day before I took a human flag class (stall bars) and although I looked like a dying flag I had so much fun and learned so much about my scapular movement in a new way (and personally did my own energetic emotional download about it and I’m geeking out in a new way about the scapulas).
For this class, I came in and we’re jumping rope.
I’m like, “Cool.” I grab one and start. Only it’s really crowded in the room and within 3 minutes my rope slaps the girl in front of me. I’m stressed out about how to jump rope and not hit people and the punching bag near me. 2 minutes later my rope hits her again. “Oops.” She turns around and seethes, “Move back!” Of course she’s setting boundaries and she has every right. But her face was menacing and I was like, “Fuck.” This was a group of guys in the room and it was just her and one other girl. Ladies we gotta have one another’s backs. Granted I kept hitting hers.
I train a lot where I’m only one of the girls (a flip from the yoga room that is usually these days female dominated). I feel embarrassed and back off. I’m trying to be careful with this damn jumprope.I really am.
Everyone is sweating. No one can stick with it long. We’re all stop and go.
I have no idea how long I’m doing this but I get bored. I want to play. So I make up jump rope games. I jump backwards. I internally and externally rotate and click my heels. I do a dance with my rope doing a diagonal to the right and to the left. Yes, 10 minutes in, I get where my space is and now I know how to play in it. Girl in front of me is still taking a break every 15 seconds and I console myself that my rope hitting hers didn’t kill her flow. She doesn’t have one. Yes I’m the asshole who’s obviously so uncomfortable that I’m checking everyone else out. And I probably would have ripped off someone’s head behind me as well if their rope kept hitting mine. I get it.
We are still jumping. Holy fuck, how long is this going.
A few of us non-serious fighters are looking around at one another like”…..ummm….” Finally the assistant walks by and I say, “How much longer?”
“5 more minutes.” She smiles.
I realize we’ve already been jumping rope for 20 minutes.
I get the cardio thing. I train hard in a lot of different ways. But my fun dissipated 4 mins into this class. The only good thing I’ve gotten out of it is a whole new jump rope routine that I just made up and I can’t wait for all the games I’ve made up to play with my students in a retreat I’m putting together called “PLAY.” (Dates location TBA).
But I realize that I probably have to be in a serious mode with these people and I’ve already spent 4.5 hours on my taxes today, so…
Maybe I’m out. I’d rather finish my taxes.
I go up to the assistant and the teacher and tell them about my newfound -fake knee injury. They tell me to run in place instead (which in my opinion is a stupid recommendation for a real knee injury) and I tell them, “No I have to go. I’ll come back.” (Lie #2.) I let them keep my money.
I have to admit despite my relief at leaving (and not having to drive through a crazy thunderstorm later if I had stayed) I couldn’t believe that I actually lied. So I’m sorry Muay Thai people, you’re awesome and not just for me. I admit I had expectations because I used to box a lot (and LOVED it) and I also trained in Tai Kwan Do (for a year – can you see my dabble pattern?) and loved the capoeira my boyfriend shared with me – so I really do enjoy certain movements – even fighting. I’ve seriously trained in other modalties for much much longer.
Fun and pleasure – joy – is part of my essence and my play.
I work a lot and the way to keep healthy and my energy running is to make sure that I choose things that spark my joy. I’m good at stepping out if I need to, albeit usually a bit more gracefully and truthfully.
I think about the other time I lied in a class.
16 years ago I’m at a Yoga Journal Conference. Stupidly like all newbies, I tried to attend the entire conference from morning until late without a break. It’s the last class on the last day. It’s Anusara and I think I’m about to die from any more talking. My head hurts. My friend is next to me and I kind of know she’ll go with me on this. “Drop down into child’s pose and pretend you’re sick,” I whisper. She doesn’t even ask me anything further. She does it. Good friend. We’re stupidly telepathic.
I go up to the assistant and tell her that I have to leave because my friend’s sick. She nods sympathetically. We leave.
An hour later we’re eating pizza with a glass of wine relieved to be out of there. The teachers of the class walk in. I tell my friend to duck and then laugh at myself because at this point, who cares. I’m going to catch myself in my lie and realize it would have been simpler if I didn’t make a dramatic story about leaving.
[However Cat didn’t record herself reading Why I Faked a Knee Injury to Get Out of Class Yesterday, you may enjoy listening to Cat read other blog posts on Cat’s Spotify Podcast]
Some of my students do this.
I’ll get last minute texts about why they can’t show up for a session or emails about why they can’t come to a training. Or why they can’t come to class. I see right through it. I try to hold a space for the real stuff to emerge. And it can be uncomfortable with some of our edges. And it’s less about the excuses we even start making to others (which does make things messy) but the excuses we also make to ourselves – so we can’t even in hone in on our own truth.
I think about the ways in my life I’ve lied when of course I didn’t need to.
That it would have been so much simpler just to say, “This isn’t for me,” or “I can’t make it,” instead of this weird story that comes out. Some of us get even dramatically sick (myself included) as a way to avoid showing up. I can be compassionate to the person inside of me who’s terrified of telling the truth – that I have this wiring deep inside that somehow if I state my true needs, I will be punished in some way.
I have a lot of sensitive (and empathic) students and our throat chakras get stuck.
We don’t even know that we’re not stating our needs because we are so used to trying to organize ourselves around other people’s needs. We feel fear in asserting ourselves at times. We forget that we equally have the right to exist as much as anyone else.
I’m writing this and revealing that I faked a knee injury, because we all do little slippery sideways things at times.
Not because we are evil or are even trying to purposefully harm anyone – just because we feel nervous and we feel like this is our only way through. I’ve spent the past month with A LOT of kids (I am really good at playing with kids, they recognize me as their age and so if you need someone who can play, I’m your auntie. I don’t change diapers, FYI).
I see with these kids the ones who are younger and have no issues asserting their needs. In fact, the tantrum occurs if that need isn’t met. “I want THAT blue bear! Not the RABBIT!” (and my poor friends who feel trapped with a psychopath screaming at them.)
And then I see kids a little older. Who are shy or nervous to admit something. So they think they can feign innocence . “I have no idea who hid the dinner in the plant.” Even though they are the only one sitting next to the plant with an empty plate.
We all want to be loved.
And even in class situations, we want to belong. It can be scary to feel the friction of being different. Of tolerating disharmony. It takes guts just to be ourselves. I’ve felt a certain freedom when I can just admit things like, “Yeah I actually don’t like surfing in these freezing waters with sharks.” Even though for a week I tried to pretend it was my thing.
Our journey is to be ourselves and in that, we find God, we find one another. We have expectations of how we should be – and also how others should be. And the fear can be if we don’t meet these expectations or if others don’t..or if life doesn’t, all will be lost. Things change – we are living in a field of change. The essence of life throws us curve balls to keep us in the space of the surprise, or what we call the present. The present is one of the trippiest spaces to live in, where we find so much is possible, how much we are the Dreamer, and how much doesn’t matter, but there’s love there, and even death is okay.
So as we near the end of this Mercury Retrograde, I’m going to love up my throat and be a little more straightforward.
I admit I thought I nailed this straightforwardness, but I still have a scared toddler inside shoving food in potted plants because I just don’t want to admit how gross this sandwich tastes. I’m going to let myself admit how I really feel.
I’m writing this as a confessional (I’m sorry – I faked my knee injury – Muay Thai peeps) and also to be kind to myself.
No matter how much I’ve hung out with myself – and for any of us – we never hit perfect. We have these sideways squiggly patterns that are a little neurotic. As I’ve said before, my greatest superpower is to love myself up.
So I’m loving myself up and I hope you are too and sending a lot of love from my playground. New routines coming soon.