Monday, 13 February 2012

Round II - Humility in the face of an unexpected opponent

Battle commenced shortly after 9 o'clock on Saturday morning.  It was -4.5ºC outside so I drove to the ring.  This was my second BodyCombat™ class.  My opponent is negativity - invisible yet strangely present and easily brought to mind, as a focus for my jabs, crosses, hooks and upper cuts.  So immersed was I in fighting the good fight that I completely missed the announcement over the PA system that my car was attracting rather a lot of interest from several Parking Enforcement Officers. 

This weekend gym visit cost me more than muscle fatigue.  Thankfully, whilst they had attached the straps, meaning my car was dangerously close to boarding the low loader, by some miracle (and a very helpful member of staff) Herbie managed to escape the jaws of death (well, an unwelcome visit to the pound, anyway) and I have only a penalty charge notice to address. 

Having come face to face with an unanticipated opponent in human form (the lead parking officer who seemed equally surprised and possibly rather taken aback by my sudden and wholly unexpected appearance - straight from the studio and consequently still rather scantily clad for the frosty weather conditions!) I faced a new psychological opponent square on.  The temperature, combined with the adrenalin + endorphin rush provided undeniable clarity as to the challenging decision before me:  to jeopardise my serenity for the rest of my weekend, ruminating about the unfortunate (and, I confess, entirely avoidable) incident or, pay the damn thing as quickly as possible, to minimise the energy expended on something beyond my control.

In the grand scheme of things it's only money. May sound strange, particularly having just come to terms with the arduous process that is self assessment (recovery extends to my tax return which was, therefore, searching and fearless); but really and truly, how important is it? Visiting my dearest friend who is bravely battling cancer later that day quickly shifted any remnants of resentment.

Whilst I've yet to part with the funds, mentally I've come to terms with what happened.  It's not worth any further consideration.  Postmortem and retrospective analysis will achieve nothing.  Self depracation and flagellation are hardly productive.  Life is simply too precious to waste.  I've learnt something, too:  I won't park in that spot on a Saturday morning.  I will pay better attention to signage (bearing in mind that usually advertising of parking restrictions is at best ambiguous, and at worst, utterly incomprehensible.  In my experience, the true meaning of such  notices is hard to identify and the message generally fairly confusing - deliberately so, I believe).  I don't mind admitting that my professed everyday mindfulness has, yet again, been given a rude awakening.  Progress rather than perfection!   

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