Tag Archives: venting emotions

Day 22: Catharsis, the Cheap Alternative to Complete Meltdown

I punched cancer in the face yesterday.

For real. My hardest right hook. Which would have been a lot more impressive if I wasn’t crying and blubbering at the time.

In days past I belonged to a kickboxing gym and I’ve recently joined again. It’s not quite as bad-ass as it sounds. A cardio circuit for women only called 30 Minute Hit; more like Curves than training with Van Damme. But I feel pretty tough when I’m there.

I feel guilty saying it, since I’m actually a pacifist, but it feels really good to hit things.

I’m not a fan of exercise as a genre, but this is something I enjoy. Glen said it’s because I have a lot of repressed rage. At the time I disagreed. Repression isn’t usually my thing.

Yesterday was my first time back in years and, as the ache in every single muscle of my body can attest to, I’m in the worst shape of my life. I probably should’ve eased my way in gently. That was the plan.

punch cancerBut then there was the t-shirt… on the rubber man at the final station with the word “cancer” on it. And I had to give it the beat-down cancer so richly deserves. While crying like a baby.

I then poured my life story out on the trainer. Who was also a bit teary at this point. I got hugs from both the staff on my way out the door. If they didn’t remember me before this, I bet they will now.

Phew. Felt good. Slightly embarrassing, but mostly good.

Catharsis (from Greek κάθαρσις katharsis meaning “purification” or “cleansing”) is the purification and purgation of emotions—especially pity and fear—through art or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration.

That’s what this blog often does for me: cleansing of emotion through art. Apparently punching works as well.

We’ve been in survival mode for so long I haven’t even begun to feel all the feelings. After the first week of diagnosis I hardly cried; barely a tear during six of the worst months of my life. And that was a good thing: adaptable, practical, neccesary. But the feelings won’t be put off forever. The good, the bad and the ugly, the many, many, many feelings cooking away in here. It’s time to clean house. If I can get myself back into shape along the way, all the better.

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