Let's face it. Bruises are a part of life. From the time we are born, we accumulate minor hematomas. A bump here, a bonk there, hell learning to walk is one of the most violent things we ever do to ourselves. Well, unless we are involved in contact sports.
I have troubles working in an office setting. Winter isn't so bad. Pants and sweaters cover a lot of skin. But int he spring and summer when I bust out the skirts and cute shirts my extensive collection of bruises is on full display. Honestly though, I wear them with pride. They are the marks of hard work. Of mistakes I learned the hard way. Of someone else's skill that I helped to hone. They show just how awesome my friends are and how tough I am.
They are outward representations of your journey through life. Each bruise, while it does eventually fade, is a marker of a collision with something that you survived. And that in and of itself is pretty badass.
But for someone in martial arts, they are a constant. There is rarely a moment when you are riddled with the odd blue, purple, black, green, or tanish tinge of a bruise in some point of forming or healing. It's inevitable. What I have learned is that most people don't really care. Unless it is huge or obvious (flashback to my giant black eye from ducking when I should have checked) most people assume you are in some kind of sport. Which they are completely correct on.
The problem comes in when you look like you had your ass handed to you (which you might have if you box) and you walk into a place like a church with your husband who is a foot taller than you and wears a permanent scowl. Yeah... awkward! BUT, I quick explanation and inspection of the calluses on your knuckles clears up the confusion, and accusations, without much fuss.
As a parent, I am less concerned with my own bruises and more concerned with my son's. Nothing makes finger shaped bruises on a kid's arm sound like a good thing. I mean really. "No, it's okay. His friends did that to him. He's fine. He let them do it. They were practicing." Again, awkward. And you look like the shitty mom that lets other kids beat the crap out of your kid. Yep. That sucks. However, I know that if anyone wanted to mess with my son, they have a nasty surprise coming. I also know that if I am in the store and anyone starts behaving a little iffy, there is a really good chance a herd of martial arts kids will stampede to the rescue. Helping at a dojo has a few odd perks.
So, I say wear your bruises with pride. Hold your head high with the knowledge that you are a little tougher, a little stronger, a little more badass for surviving whatever gave them to you.