Archive | December 2013

Heard on the Mat…Kama

Kyoshi, teaching Kama:

You’ll know you did it right if you’re still standing! 

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Good class!

Good class tonight!

Kyoshi was nice and didn’t run us up and down the floor for warm-ups so class wasn’t as cardio-heavy as I feared. We did a fun kicking drill then worked on a couple of self-defense moves. I wasn’t out of breath until we started doing weapons. Those bo forms are more tiring than they look!

Anyway, I was happy with my performance today. I’ll be feeling those kicks later, but that’s OK. It’ll be the good kind of sore! 🙂

Apples are healthy!

Hmmm…. Class tomorrow. It’s been a week since I last worked out. Well, more than a week, actually. We didn’t have class last week and I didn’t make it to class Monday. I was having too much fun working on RFPs. (That last part should have been in sarcasm font.) So class tomorrow is going to be really, really rough!

Mom spent Thanksgiving week in Kansas City with us. When Mom’s around, we have a lot of food around but we “exercise” a lot to make up for the extra calories. Our family’s favorite exercise is shopping. We’re really good at it, almost professionals, mostly because Mom raised three daughters…in the mall! She’s also introduced our children to this very important exercise method and they’re all rather proficient as well. In previous years we’ve spent Thanksgiving week power shopping, but now we’re down to just normal shopping so I’m sure I didn’t burn as many calories as I normally would have.

Knowing I wouldn’t be exercising as much as I should, I bought apples and oranges for snacks. They’ve been in a bowl on the kitchen counter for a week. They sure look pretty there! I had good intentions to eat them all, but you know how that goes. I ate a couple of apples, so in a way I was healthy. But the apples I ate might have been on something like this:

Apple Bavarian Torte

Apple Bavarian Torte

OK, they WERE on that exact thing! It’s an Apple Bavarian Torte. A delicious layer of cream cheese topped with apples in cinnamon sugar. Anything with apples is healthy, right? And the cream cheese provides a dairy serving; the eggs contribute protein. It’s topped off with chopped walnuts, a heart healthy nut. See? Good stuff! Wish you had your own Apple Bavarian Torte? Hop on over to Munchies Mind and get the recipe. You won’t regret it!

I know I’m going to pay for it tomorrow, and class will be tough for me, but it was totally worth it! The torte is gone now. And so is the Pumpkin Pecan Crumble Pie. Now back to real life and “real” healthy food…with a sprinkling of fun stuff here and there, because I do love my sugar!

Personal space? What personal space?

Someone backed their chair close to mine recently. We were at a farewell bash at the local pub, and making room for more people around the table. Eventually he turned around and said, “Sorry! I moved into your personal space.”

Personal space? What personal space? I’m in karate – we don’t have personal space! Or if we do, I’d have to say “My personal space is your personal space. And your personal space is my personal space.”

I had personal space once upon a time, back when I was new to karate and wore a crisp white belt. It was uncomfortable to touch other students and have them touch me, and maybe a little weird since we all work together. One co-worker tried karate but admitted she didn’t stick with it because she didn’t like people touching her. I’m sure she’s not the only one. In our society, personal space is a big deal and learning karate definitely encourages, even requires, invasion of that personal space.

Somewhere along the line I discovered I was no longer bothered by someone’s face in my armpit, or being trapped on the ground by one of the guys while I’m learning a ground escape. I’ve spent so much time with these guys that it’s like having your brother pin you to the ground and tap, tap, tap your forehead while you scream for mercy!I’m so used to closing in on someone that personal space no longer seems like a good thing, especially in jujitsu. After all, you can’t take someone’s center without getting up close and personal unless you have Jedi powers.

Funny how the normal social conventions go out the door as we got acclimated to working out with each other. At last year’s Christmas dinner, we crammed 14 people into a booth built for 8 or 10. Were we sitting on each other? You betcha! Did we care? Nope, not one bit! In fact, I think it was even more fun because it was easier to steal the gift you wanted during the gift exchange, and nobody missed out on the conversation like sometimes happens with a larger group.

Now that’s not to say I don’t have any personal space anymore. As long as I am in a “safe” zone, with people I know, I don’t need so much personal space. But if I encounter a stranger, I’m in an unfamiliar place, or am otherwise not completely comfortable and maybe even feel threatened, I have quite a large bubble. I would still be comfortable with someone’s face in my armpit, but not with my face in their armpit or my neck in their grasp.

And while karateka don’t necessarily have a ton of personal space when training or socializing with other martial artists, one thing should be remembered. People who don’t practice martial arts still appreciate their personal space! Don’t be surprised if they don’t like you standing right next to them or grabbing their arm in the middle of a conversation to try out a technique. Even though you don’t mind? They might.  🙂