I am obstinate and pertinacious and every other synonym for stubborn that you can think of. When I am trying to fool myself, I say that I am fortitudinous, but that is a lie. My tenacity does not stem from courage or determination. It comes from feeling like I constantly need to prove myself. I need to be just as good as you, if not better.
I have been taking karate for six weeks. When I joined, I was told that other women would also be joining. I have yet to see another woman at karate. Which is fine when all we're doing is drills and stretches and learning technique. It's not fine when we're doing punches and kicks. I morph into Super! Hillary! who can fight with the boys and walk away unscathed. Except that I can't walk away unscathed. One cracked rib later, I am very hurty.
I wish that I could just relax and enjoy karate for what it is: a brutal workout that leaves me sweaty and breathless and grinning after an hour and a half. I wish that I didn't turn it into a competition of me against the boys.