Deadly Ever After

The End of Days: The Beauty of Exhaustion

TODAY’S BREW: Santa’s White Christmas blend. Awwwww.

by Julie

Exhaustion brings out the real you.

My Sensei, then seven time world fighting champion Mafia Holloway said this to me as he trained me for endless tournaments, including the Junior Olympics and the Olympic tryouts.  I would start running sprints at six in the morning, we would have breakfast, followed by hours of drills, weight training, repeating techniques, sparring with all manner of inventive twists until my legs burned, my lungs cried, sweat pouring.   Having seen the sun come up, I would train the day away into dusk. By evening, when actual karate class began, I was floored, even with considerable rest periods in the day.  I often did not want to take or teach class, or spar with people who were wide awake  and ready.  But Sensei would always say the same thing:  “The real you comes out when you’re tired.  This is when you let go.”

So I would fight harder, sometimes bringing tears to my eyes, nothing more to give physically or emotionally.  And I fought through it.  Because my heart never tired.  Exhaustion, when done correctly, is the result of having cared so much about something that you don’t think you can possibly commit more.  When someone tells you that you must, even if that someone is you, this is the moment when you throw all your inhibitions to the wolves and surpass your limits.

When my father died when I was sixteen, Sensei was the one who picked me up, drove me to the dojo, and worked me.  Emotion that I was too numb to feel came out in the form of shattering weight bag kicks until I was sobbing, heart breaking with every motion.  I was tired in every way possible.  He showed me how to make my numbness live and breathe, be something strong.  Others might succumb to grief, but I would not.  Because when you’re drained, there is nothing left but to fill up again.

It is for this reason that I would write into the wee hours after grueling work days, and that I get up at 5 to write prior to long days as Mama.  It is for this reason that I wrote Running Home  in the most challenging time of my life.  It is for this reason that when I have seen the emotional bottom of my barrel, I grab that blank page and put my hand to it like a man writing his will on his deathbed.  It is what I must do to make sure the real me sees the light of day.  Those occasional bags under my eyes and the tears I shed even now are my battle scars showing that there is more, always more.

And I will never be too tired to fight.


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22 thoughts on “The End of Days: The Beauty of Exhaustion

  1. This is exactly what we all need a little more of these days… Drive forward, never quit and always give a little bit more. Also not afraid to say you could kick my ass in a fight lol ❤ You AM AWESOME!

  2. Reblogged this on Zoey Derrick and commented:
    A good lesson in never giving up, no matter what. Thanks Julie :-)!

  3. Thanks Julie!
    If we all gave up, we would never push ourselves beyond our limits to see the end result.
    Never give up & fight hard for everything. :-)!

  4. Just what the doctor ordered! Thank you Julie, this is exactly what I needed. Beautifully written with a point that hits as hard as a martial arts kick 🙂

  5. This is so true! You always amaze me:) Thank you for the inspiration;)

  6. Christopher Shawbell on said:

    Absolutely wonderful, moving piece, Julie. We both know a little about blood, sweat, and tears don’t we; be it pounding the heavy bag or the keyboard?


  7. Christopher Shawbell on said:

    Reblogged this on The Graveyard of My Mind and commented:
    Inspirational piece from the heart of a peaceful warrior, Julie Hutchings. Check out her other works and that of her Undead Duo partner, Kristen Strassel at:


  8. Thanks for the reblog, Chris! This means a lot to me. And I’m so glad you can identify and feel my heart in this post. All the love.

  9. Finally I have electricity again so I can comment.
    Not going to get as deep as Julie, because I just sat in the dark for two hours. LOL. But I’ve always believed that activity breeds activity. An object in motion stays in motion. The more you do, the more you are capable of doing. My mom told me once that someone said that I was “so lucky” to work on movie sets. And her reply was “No she’s not. She works her ass off. Networking, bettering her craft, driving from job to job, etc.” I loved her for that. The harder you work, the luckier you get. It’s no accident.


  10. That’s just the type of ass-kickery I’m talking about woman!

  11. Wow that is one hell of a post. I wish I had something in my life that I was that commited to, something that would drive me to push that hard. Congratulations on not only finding it but giving so much to it.

  12. Why does it not surprise me that you know how to kick ass? Keep up the good work, Julie. You’re inspiring people.

  13. Thank you for this blog. You described feelings I had so many times, yet I was never able to put my finger on them. 🙂

  14. Reblogged this on Lavinia's Writing Corner and commented:
    “…when you’re drained, there is nothing left but to fill up again.”

  15. wow – epic training, did you make the Olympic team ?

    be sure to get rest, for though the body is a machine driven by the will, it can break down, and it sounds like you have another important team depending on you.

    • Wow, thank you so much! I did not even make it to the Olympic tryouts as it were. Tragedy befell our karate school, and destroyed the chances. I was on the Junior Olympic team, however, actually a few months after my dad passed away, and took several regional, state and national titles in this journey.

      But my new team needs me more, as I need them. 🙂

      Pleasure getting to know you and your blog!

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