Have you ever been kicked in the face? Unless you're a blackbelt in karate, experienced equestrian, and/or avid babysitter, probably not. But I have - several times in the last few weeks, in fact - and trust me, it's not enjoyable.
Kick in the Face #1
Location: St Marks & 3rd - Yoga to the People
I go through these phases where I am really into doing yoga as much as possible. It was during one of these phases that I went to a yoga class at a little downtown studio called Yoga to the People. If you've ever been to YTTP, you know that it is a 'donation-based studio' (as the various instructors ALWAYS remind you in a seemingly uniform and memorized monologue at the end of class, right before those eardrum-crushing Tibetan Singing Bowls) and therefore, the instructors try to pack as many people per square inch as they possibly can into each class. More people = more donations, obvi. Simple math. Anyway, because people are packed into these classes like cattle, room to actually practice the yoga poses correctly becomes a bit of hot commodity. In other words, there is no room to move. Basically, it was only a matter of time before someone's foot ended up in my face.
On this particular evening, the yoga studio was packed to the gills and sweaty as a sweatsuit-clad fat man in the Sahara. I was uncomfortable and irritated before the class even started. It didn't take long before Warrior One became problematic; with only a few inches of space between my face and the foot of the girl in front of me, I was constantly having to readjust in order to avoid a swift kick to the schnoz. But despite all my careful movement, it happened anyway and just as I predicted it would. As the girl in front of me lifted her leg before going into Warrior One, she hit me - full on. I could see it happening as if I was having an out-of-body-experience. In slow motion, the girl's foot grazed my chin, then dragged itself vertically across my face. It was shocking, disgusting, and more importantly, infuriating. Who wants another person's probably sweaty, callous-and-bunion-ridden, fungal foot rubbing up against what you use to eat with? It's totally and utterly disgusting. And what's more, the asshole didn't even apologize! After the class was over, she turned around briefly and gave me a momentary sympathetic glance and that was it. Horrific! Horrific! I had the fleeting thought to grab her foot and rip it off. But then I thought better of it; leaving a girl with a bloodied stump for a foot probably wouldn't bode well for me in the long run.
But I think it's safe to say I was scarred for life; I don't think I've been back to yoga since.
Kick in the face #2, #3, #4...
Location: 68th and 2nd - Julia Richman Education Complex
I almost tried to beat up a 6-foot, 7-inch boy last weekend. I was playing in the last game of a rather unsuccessful recreational soccer league season. Including myself, 5 people showed up for the game. Keep in mind, 5 people is how many you need to play. We had no subs. Most of the other people on the team (save for a few exceptions, mostly cocky asshole guys) seemingly decided that since our record was sub-par and because we had no chance of making it into the league playoffs, that they wouldn't show up for the last game. I was staring at the fact that out-of-shape me would have to play the entire game. In other words, I was already irritable and pissed.
We started to play and the score quickly became 6 - 0. Big surprise given that we had no subs and that the other team was playing with a full arsenal of seemingly-professional caliber players. One of these being a kid who probably topped out at 6-foot, 7-inches. Dude was a giant and thus, I will affectionately name him The Giant. Don't get me wrong here, I grew up playing rough-and-tumble co-ed soccer, so I know how to hold my own when playing with overly-competitive, overly-cocky, and overly-aggressive boys. This kid, surprise surprise, was no different. During the course of the game, The Giant continually tried to wow us all with his fancy footwork, but the problem was that he was just simply too long and lanky and kept constantly tripping over his own ginormous feet. It was pretty comical actually and I definitely laughed out-loud on more than one occasion. But this story is not all giggles and laughter, another side-effect of the The Giant being so, well, giant and long and lanky was that when he kicked, his foot would pretty much come to normal-person face-level. This didn't present itself as a problem until The Giant started playing offense and I started playing defense. In other words there were several moments of foot-to-face contact - and it was not pleasant. Having a foot constantly coming at your face is scary, especially when it's large enough to knock your head completely off your neck! By the end of the game, I wanted to throttle The Giant, but my exasperation was a wasted emotion; even if I'd wanted to start a fight, I wouldn't have been able to reach his face to punch him. Sigh.
Nevertheless, getting kicked in the face isn't pleasant; it could be the foot of some ditsy girl in yoga or the monstrous appendage of the giant that came down the beanstalk for Jack, it doesn't matter. Feet are f-ing disgusting and can be very damaging, especially if they meet with a face. Just ask Jackie Chan.