One of my children is an 18 year old almost-a-man (judging by the number of times he still says, "Mom, can you....., he is not quite there yet). As one friend said of teenage males: "they are testosterone factories". Yes, they are, which might explain his interest in the horrifying phenomenon of MMA fighting. He is not obsessed with it, just intrigued. A couple of years ago he campaigned to join a gym and start boxing. In keeping with my basic philosophy of raising teenagers "I cannot always stop you from doing what I do not want you to do but I am certainly not going to make it easier for you to do what I do not want you to do", my response was a firm NO WAY. I explained that he already participated in two of the most difficult sports for a mother to watch - wrestling and football. I was not about to sit ringside while he and some other mother's son pounded each other to a bloody pulp. I admire a boxer's training regimen, and I know there is a lot more to boxing than appears to a fairly squeamish mother, but I cannot get on board with this idea. It did get me thinking, however. I think there is an untapped market for potential cage fighters - menopausal women. Think about it - all that untapped rage and frustration and out-of-nowhere aggression. Okay, I am probably revealing more than I should about my hormonal struggles but, let's face it, menopause can be a mean thing to deal with. Whose idea was this, anyway? Seriously. Let's wait until a woman has 40 some years on the planet, so she is probably tired, and then let's hit her with hot flashes, mood swings, weird hair growth and/or loss, let's take some of the fat from her chest and smoosh it on her belly and bum, let's throw some graying of the hair, some lining of the face (oh, and this is fun, maybe a zit or two to go along with the wrinkles we will be introducing). And, let's throw some depression and some bouts of irresistable irritability her way, and some ravenous cravings for food, the kind of food that will make her even more tired and grumpy, and let's not even talk about sex. Really, we won't even talk about sex - this is Sparkpeople, not Cosmo. Whilst all this hormonal brouhaha is going on, we can expect her to take care of her aged parents, and college-bound teenagers (who will resist each and every one of her suggestions but expect her to be there to meet every need). Bitter? No, no, not bitter - just given to bouts of ranting, which NO ONE wants to hear, even other menopausal women because they are irritable and sick and tired of listening to everyone and.....Back to cage fighting. Our opponents would not be other middle-aged women. Our opponents could be the driver we are stuck behind in traffic, who insists on going 25 in a 35 while having their blinker on continuously, leaving us to hope, futilely, that they will ACTUALLY TURN, THEREBY LETTING US GO BY, DON'T THEY KNOW WE ARE LATE TO PICK UP - (oh, sorry, another rant-attack). Another possible opponent? The person in front of us at the grocery store who has coupons, questions about the sale flyer, coins they need to count and re-count, an argument for the clerk, & something they want to return. AAAGGGHHH. Or maybe the teenager who cooks a bacon and ramen noodle extravaganza feast for his friends, leaving the evidence all over the previously clean kitchen? The husband who is really annoyed because I express slight annoyance? No, let's face it. I don't want to pummel any of these people. I also do not want my weight announced over a microphone - "Here in the left corner is Cannie, weighing in at 180 lbs because she is stuck in some maddening plateau despite the fact that she is exercising, eating well, and drinking boatloads of water each and every day". No, I will stay out of the cage. I will breathe deeply and pray for patience. I will offer care to those I love, continuing to work on sorting out what I can contribute vs. what they can do for themselves. I will redirect my fighting urges to fighting my cravings, and fighting weight gain, and fighting fatigue, and fighting any desire to give up on myself.