Hitting the Heavy Bag

by Urban Samurai on January 31, 2011

How do you handle frustration? Your failures? Who or what do you take out your stress on?

Do you have a punching bag? A person you just rip to shreds when something goes wrong in your life? Could be your mother, brother, girlfriend, dog, the waiter who delivered your sandwich with pickles on it, when you specifically ordered them off your plate.   

Call that person on the phone and apologize right now. Buy your dog the biggest bone you can find. Go back to that restaurant and max out your credit card with a tip to that waiter.

Nobody deserves the crap from your shitty week. Nobody. It’s not good for them. It’s terrible for you.

Junior year of college, friends of mine rented a big house. And parked in back of that house was an old, tireless, engineless, beat-up car. They would come home after failing a test or having problems with their girlfriends, grab a baseball bat and just pound the hell out of that thing. That car was worth a lot more than its blue book value of $70. 

There are times when I wish that I had that car out back…or a heavy bag in my apartment. I could put the kids to bed, strap on some gloves and just beat that thing into oblivion. But I don’t. And you probably don’t. So where do you turn?

I have two outlets, my pen and my sword…although my pen is really a keyboard and my sword is made of bamboo. If anyone read The New Old Era of Man, which was basically about me wanting to beat the hell out of someone, and couldn’t see that was written in a fit of rage and anger, then you don’t know me yet. When I went back to edit it a few hours later, I was already in a better mood, so the final read was that much softer. But if writing that rage didn’t release that anger and I just published what was in my first draft, I would have gone from Urban Samurai to Incarcerated Samurai, just for putting it out there. Writing releases a lot of anger for me. All that rage transfers from my mind onto that paper. The second is or will be kendo. I don’t have all the full gear on yet. But just watching the energy of the others pounding each other with those wooden swords even releases a little.

Maybe you don’t like writing, or kendo…so what’s an outlet?

In the 1980’s there were rubber balls to squeeze and dolls to punch. Starting in the nineties and certainly ever since the year 2000, everything was so soft in the workplace that even punching a doll would get you sent down to HR for a ‘talking to’…aka they start a file in regards to your violent behavior with an eye on firing you in three months.

I recently read an article in New Scientist Magazine about the DNA ties from Neanderthal Man to humans today…we are remarkably close. The point being, we have natural violent instincts. Fits of rage are real. Anger is real.

The issue lies in the fact that violent physical reactions to those fits of rage are obviously not acceptable in society. Emotional and verbal releases of that rage aren’t even acceptable to me, and I get how real these feelings are.

You need to find an outlet for your stress, that isn’t another person or canine.

Maybe exercise, play competitive sports, play violent video games, base jump off a skyscraper if you need to…find whatever it is that works for you. Yes, I like the idea of an outlet being exercise, because that will give you the added health benefit, but if that’s not working…find something that does that is NOT drugs or alcohol.

Taking it out on someone else isn’t the answer. Bottling it up isn’t the answer…ever see the movie Falling Down? You need a release. Maybe go get a heavy bag.