Saturday, June 20, 2009

two left feet

After feeling so high in the last weeks -- having mastered the Tijeras Voladas, and then successfully wrestling with a camera -- this week was kind of a letdown.

The moves we’ve been recently working on feel foreign to my body, antithetical to everything I know as wrestling. It’s hard for me to stay concentrated in practice on moves which are: 1) difficult for me to execute 2) relatively unspectacular to see or perform, and 3) preposterous from the point of view of a competitive (that is, intercollegiate, olympic-style, or bjj-type) wrestler. I would never be able to execute these moves in a wrestling match (that is, against someone who would put up any resistance), and it’s hard for me to suspend my (wrestling experience-based) disbelief completely enough to absorb wholeheartedly the proffered moves.

In the midst of my failure to grasp basic moves (even after seeing them 3, 5, 10 times), I started flashing back to my awkward attempts at salsa dancing. For the missteps and awkwardness, yes, but also for the physical language, the give and take, the little signals transmitted via hands, eyes, and gestures... which I always missed. Even when I understood a signal, I didn’t really know what to do. And when I (very) occasionally signalled something to my partner successfully, then I only knew one or two ways of carrying out the next steps... doing the same turns over, and over, and over, made a monotonous, dull salsa. My former dance partners (my now ex-girlfriends) quickly tired of this limited repertoire, which, despite its mediocrity, occupied all my attention. They would get frustrated, sigh in exasperation, their eyes glazing over, impatience now guiding their posture while we sort of danced -- all of which made it even harder for me to recognize and follow -- let alone lead -- what we were doing. All dance-related signals became clouded by exasperation. Now imagine this same scenario, replacing the señorita bonita with my bald, hulking wrestling partner Adolfo.


Blogger Erin said...

Chris says that at least Adolfo has pretty eyes even if he's as clumsy as you at dancing the salsa. What drove you to return to Mexico to practice lucha again? It has seemed like such a long time since you wrestled. I begin my last quarter today. Two months of clinic and classes then off to China for four intensive weeks of ninja school and then three weeks unwinding in India (which may prove to be an oxymoron considering the population of India and its tendency for bustle). When do you head back to the states? Much love, erin

June 29, 2009 at 8:22 AM  
Anonymous Ilene said...

This is awesome!

September 24, 2013 at 2:42 AM  

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