2007-10-15: First Stop: The Floor

Starring:

Sharon_icon.gif Heidi_icon.gif

Summary: Learning how to defend oneself is always important. Heidi has an intimate encounter with a floor mat.

Date It Happened: 15 OCTOBER 2007

First Stop: The Floor


Power House Gym

So, Sharon has another new client to meet today, for self-defense. Given what's running around out there, even if most people don't know it, Sharon can't argue with that. A Heidi Pe..Pet…Heidi P. Some woman with a really weird last name. Like the guy running for some political office. Sharon does wonder if she's related though. She might need to look that up later. Either way, Heidi would have been directed by the front desk staff to first get changed, and that Sharon would be waiting in the first training room to the right on the upper floor. That's where Sharon is, in fact, waiting. She's dressed in the usual black breakaway pants and a black jacket that says TRAINER across the back. She's got a heavy bag dragged out in case they need it, though she has to find out just where Heidi falls on the competency ladder first.

—-

Perhaps word spreads!

Or the strings of Heroes-like fate just brings connected people together, like the ever-so-delicate strands of, say, cotton candy. Whichever. Heidi is completely foreign to the gym environment, thought at least she doesn't come wearing high heels and a dress. Thankfully for Sharon, despite the fact that she has a good eye for fashion, Heidi Petrelli also has a good head on her shoulders. And so she climbs the stairs to the upper level, black hair back in a ponytail, wearing a t-shirt and shorts as if she's been doing this for years.

Too bad for Sharon, that on a scale of one to ten (ten being the best) regarding competency, Heidi falls around a one-point-five. "Hello— I— Are you Sharon?" She's a little nervous, while at the same time managing to smile and look confident. "I'm Heidi Petrelli."

—-

Sharon is training far more clumsy people, she's willing to bet, than Heidi. She's used to people showing up on the zero to two point level. "I am, Sharon Hawker. You must be Heidi," Sharon says, offering a hand to the woman. If she takes the hand, Sharon will give her a firm handshake. "Good to meet you. So, if I remember from the list of forms you had to fill out, you wanted to learn basic self defense. How much training have you had?" Sharon asks the woman.

—-

Training! …Well, kidnapped by a group of criminals, held against her will for money… She did kind of almost maybe get the slip on that one guy, but not really. She has two kids, the care of which constitutes an Olympic event. She's crawled through the wrechage of a crashed semi truck—

"Well, I do a bit of running." So at least she has that going for her. She's not a complete weakling. "I was the victim of a crime some time back," she explains, though Sharon never would have read about it in the papers. It was never published. "I'm looking to make it so something like that won't happen again."

—-

Nodding, Sharon replies, "I'm sorry to hear that, but we can definitely work towards preventing that from happening. One of the things I strive for is that in each session, you learn at least one move that can help you out of a dangerous situation," she explains to the woman. "I want you to leave here knowing at least one more useful thing than you did when you came in. Now, you run, so you'll be familiar with some of these stretches. We'll be doing upper and lower body stretches, then we'll start in on the technique I had planned for today's first lesson". It's always good to give them something tangible and useful the first time through. Sharon removes the jacket and tosses it in the corner. She's got a blue sports top on underneath that jacket. She'll start leading Heidi through some stretches, if the woman doesn't object.

—-

Stretches. This is the easy part, and Heidi would like to think she's a good stretcher. She looked some stuff up at the library, Simon found some good pages on the Internet, and so she's still within her element. However, stretching doesn't equate to good technique, which Sharon will soon discover. When it comes to self-defense, Heidi is a complete neophyte.

"I'm hoping I never have to use anything I learn," she admits. That's a hope most people would have, however. No one wants to be attacked… The key is, if you are, you should be able to strike back. At least she doesn't have to worry about that ol' injury acting up, thanks to the healing ability of one Mister Linderman. That brings up the thought, though, that she'd like to be able to defend herself against people with abilities. Not that she can tell anyone that, so Heidi will make due with what Sharon can teach her.

—-

Well, Sharon fought against acid lady with her skills, but it's going to very. It might not work so well against the ElectroBlonde, or she might have just gotten stupidly lucky. "That's the ideal, but it's also New York," Sharon says. They go through the stretches comfortably enough, though soon enough it's time for the real work. "Now. What I'm going to show you is a mixture of a block, joint lock, and a throw. It sounds complicated, but it isn't. I want you to throw a punch at my face with your right arm. We're going to go through this step-by-step, and you'll see how it works. Then you'll try it on me, okay? And whenever you're ready," the woman tells Heidi.

—-

Some might think that a woman like Heidi would hesitate to slug someone. They'd be right - with the exception of her own brother-in-law, she's very reluctant to strike anyone. So when Sharon tells her to do just that, Heidi does curl her fingers into a fist, knowing full-well that Sharon probably knows what she's doing. Still… "Okay, are you sure? You want me to just…" She pantomimes the move against the air, rather than Sharon's face, and it becomes rapidly clear that Heidi punches like a girl. That might need some work.

—-

"That's fine. Just try it again," Sharon says, tilting her head to the side to avoid the pantomimed punch, even if it isn't at her face at all. "We're not actually working on the punch quite yet. What I'm showing you is a defense that can put a person on the ground when they try to punch you in the face," she tells Heidi. "Go ahead and try it again, and we'll continue from there".

—-

Once reassured, Heidi's demeanor changes just slightly. If she's going to do that, she's going to have to stop worrying about hurting people. Not that she wants to hurt her trainer, but Sharon knows what she's going. While she doesn't take a strong swing at Sharon, this one is definitely aimed at her face, with no indication that she's going to stop, should Sharon miss her hand.

—-

Sharon moves to catch Heidi's hand with her right arm and sort of guides it down and to Heidi's left. "Now, try and counter with your left at my face," Sharon says. The result should end up with Heidi's arms crossed briefly in the attempt to strike Sharon.

—-

Heidi doesn't hesitate this time. It's not that she wants to get a one-up and surpass the trainer, but once her hand is deflected, she's confident that Sharon does, in fact, know what she's doing. Diving into things now, bending her knees just a little in order to balance herself, she does as asked, striking in a similar way at Sharon's face, now with her other hand.

—-

Sharon will catch that wrist as well, and Heidi will find her arms crossed. "Now, what I'm going to do is basically steer you like a bus wheel. I step to my right," Sharon says, doing so and twisting slightly as she starts turning Heidi's now-locked arms to Sharon's left. "Then I give a small push with my arms and twist". Provided Heidi doesn't come up with some new move of her own, she's going to find herself flipped to the side and on her back, with Sharon still holding onto her wrists and standing over her. It's controlled though, and there are mats, so it shouldn't hurt too much.

—-

Despite the fact that Sharon's walking her through all this - and she's definitely understanding it - and despite its relative simplicity, this is still a lot to take in. So anticipating what Sharon's going to do, and listening to what she's talking about… Well, it's like learning any new thing. You pick up some stuff, then you pick up more stuff later.

In summary, she's suddenly looking up at the ceiling, and has to backtrack through her thoughts to figure out how she got there. Pale blue eyes widen momentarily, then look up at Sharon. Notably, she is forty years old, so she's going to feel that tomorrow, no matter what. "You probably hear that all the time, but. How'd you do that?"

—-

And Sharon's response to the feeling is usually somewhere along the lines of tough it out. Sharon is careful not to injure them beyond a bit of soreness. "Leverage. Like I said, steering a bus. Most of the effort is generated by the attacker," she explains, offering the woman a hand up. "Now, you're going to do it. Slow, just like I did with you," she explains to Heidi.

—-

Heidi'll tough it out. She always has before. In fact, she's rather expert at toughing it out, given her once-upon-a-time resignation to living the rest of her life in a wheelchair. Learning you'll never walk again is extremely painful, even if someone gave that back to her, with time. In other words, the pain she'll feel tomorrow is nothing compared to that.

Pushing herself back to her feet with Sharon's help, she wrinkles her nose and rubs her shoulderblade, which took the brunt of that fall. The pain is already creeping into joints which will, sad to say, eventually become arthritic. Hey, it happens to everyone. Still, there's no better time to learn this than when she can still move easily.

"Okay, if you're ready," she says, biting her lip before standing before Sharon, knees slightly bent.

—-

Sharon nods to the woman, and sends a slow punch towards her face. Sharon isn't going to let it actually connect, even if Heidi misses it. There isn't much to say right now, simply to see if Heidi can duplicate the move. It shouldn't be hard to catch the wrist. They need to work up to moving at full speed, but she's just letting the woman get the motion down.

—-

Okay, fist coming at her face. Generally, and thanks to the instinct to protect her face, instead of blocking Sharon's punch as she was supposed to do - and she does block - Heidi brings both arms up over her face. And, yes, it's a good block, but not what she's supposed to do. "Ah, I'm sorry," she says, taking a step back once her mind catches up with her body. Rubbing her arm, she rolls her eyes, shakes her hands, and seems ready to try again. Her face has been hit before, and so the initial reaction is one of pure defense, rather than turning it around on her attacker. "I'll try again."

—-

"Instinctive reaction," Sharon says with a nod. "I'm not going to let you get injured, don't worry about it. Most people duck or block like that the first time. Just remember that you're the one in control of the situation, not me," she assures the woman. And once she's ready, here comes the fist again. Same slow speed, not meant to actually hit the woman or do any significant damage to her.

—-

This time, Heidi's ready, and while she does blink, she also makes a pretty damn good effort to mimic what Sharon showed her earlier. Slightly awkwardly, but nevertheless recognisable. She does have a question, though… Maybe she's getting ahead of herself a little here, but it is a curiosity. "What if the person who's attacking me doesn't come after me with their other hand? What if they do something else?" This is all fine if people do the obvious thing, but… Holding Sharon's arm, she admits - "My husband is running for political office. Generally, if someone's coming after someone in our family, they're going to know how to, I guess, get around that counter." She pauses. "Not that I think anyone's planning to come after me." Again.

—-

"One thing at a time," Sharon says. "We work with one move, get it down, and then build off it. You've just neutralized this hand, and I'm off-balance. Kicking is going to be awkward at best. If they do come with a kick, you can either push this arm you have down to block their own strike, which is more difficult, or release and step back. The can basically either kick, or punch. There aren't a lot of other options left to them. The punch is much more likely, however, as they have the most freedom of movement with their other hand at this moment," Sharon explains. "Are you ready to catch the other arm?"

—-

Sure, one thing at a time. Heidi still looks dubious, but she nods, all the same. Again, she'll defer to the fact that Sharon's probably been at this for some time, and wht she says sounds logical, besides. "Okay. Can't start at the top, I guess," she adds with a small laugh and a smile. In other words, she understands, it's just that she still has some worries that haven't yet been put to rest. It's been months since she was attacked, but now that she's here, the old wounds are re-opened. Anyone can be attacked. "All right, I'm ready.

—-

"Alright. Once you catch it, I want you to mimic the turning of my arms like a steering wheel and to let my momentum be the main force behind flipping me to the ground," Sharon instructs the woman. The first time, especially with these old wounds of Heidi's, are the hardest. Getting that first bit of confidence is important. And then the punch comes now. Lets see how Heidi does with it!

—-

Difficult is what Heidi would call the lesson, even if she logically understands it. The way she turns when she catches Sharon's other arm isn't near as efficient or graceful as the demonstration was, and she does actually manage to unbalance herself. There's a little hop on one foot as she lets go of the trainer's arms. "One more time?" she asks. Just— Do the whole thing at once. Maybe if I'm just— If I have the whole thing in my mind." As she says that, Heidi's going over what she did wrong the first time, and she's pretty sure she can at least do a little better this time.

—-

"We're going to do it until you get it right," Sharon says to the woman with a smile. "And you'll get it; nobody gets it the first time. Like I said, you'll leave here with at least one new trick under your sleeve," she assures Heidi. And she's going to go through with the motion again. First punch, then the second if Heidi catches the first. This isn't difficult for Sharon, as she's just doing the slow punches, though she's making sure she has enough momentum on the second with her body movement so that Heidi can use that in the flip.

—-

She does, indeed catch the first, then the second, and as she surmised, putting the whole thing together does help some. There's more of a natural flow to things, and Heidi turns her arms as indicated. There's always the worry about hurting Sharon unintentionally, something that still sticks at the back of her mind even if she knows that's probably a small chance to begin with. In any case, there's probably not as much dedication behind the execution of this flip as there could be, but she's definitely on the road there, feeling out her own limitations and learning as she goes.

—-

And over Sharon goes, onto the mat. THUD! Well, it isn't as loud of a thud as it could be, but that's okay. Sharon picks herself up off the mat quickly enough. "Good, much better," Sharon tells the woman. "Did you feel how that went?" Sharon asks. "It's a natural movement, and you don't have to use a ton of force to do it," she explains.

—-

Confidence! Give Heidi a proverbial gold star; she's impressed with herself, and much more confident that she'd be able to do this if she had to. Knowing how to do something is already halfway to being able to do it in practice. Of course, her boys would both say 'AND KNOWING IS HALF THE BATTLE,' but Heidi prefers to phrase it differently. "Yeah. Yes, I did." Again, she rubs her arms, though is fairly surprised by how easy that was. She isn't particularly strong.

—-

This might not be so bad! Even if she kind of referenced wanting to start at the top in a lot of ways, Heidi's kind of comfortable now with the results of the first few minutes of this session so far. "Sure," she says enthusiastically.

After working on the Flip of Doom for awhile, and when Heidi's pretty consistant with not outright blocking or otherwise freaking out about fists coming at her face faster and faster over time, they'll move onto other things, like proper execution of things like push-ups and crunches and the like.

Sure, Heidi will have to cover herself with ice later, but at least she's satisfied with the results so far.

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