Freedom to Learn

I had a good class last night! Not because I was buzzing from an energy drink and a chocolate-frosted brownie, even though I was. (Ugh. What was I thinking??)

I had a good class because in a flash of brilliance, I realized I don’t test for at least 3 years!!! I admit I’m relieved at not dealing with my freaky test anxiety for awhile, but that’s not what I’m excited about. I’m excited because now I can just enjoy learning!

There’s a freedom in being in a post-test phase. I can focus on the lesson without worrying that I need to work on my test material. Or being afraid that my brain might lose something important if I try to stuff something new in there. Or wishing Kyoshi would only teach test material until the test was over.

I know I shouldn’t think this way even pre-test, but I can’t help it. It’s how I’m built. If I have to perform at a test, and it is a performance, I want to focus all my energy on getting ready for that test. The closer we get to the test date, the less I want to stray from test material.

But now, instead of thinking “How does this help me at the test?” I can embrace new ideas. I can play with them, think about them, see what works or doesn’t work for me.

It’s very freeing to realize I can just learn without worrying about performing! I can spend these next few years gaining a better understanding of the things I’ve been learning the past 6 years.

It’s freeing. It’s luxurious. It’s exhilarating! And I’m really excited about this time ahead of me!


My Own Personal Trainers

Lots of athletes would  be thrilled to have their very own personal trainer. I have three! My son is a trainer specializing in working with golfers, and I’ve also got two four-legged trainers. They’re furry and adorable, and SO helpful when I work out!Riley and Romeo

My family got Riley, our spaniel, for me because I thought having a dog would get my butt off the couch and outside walking. I was right! Riley has gotten used to nightly walks, which is great when I get home by 8 p.m. and not so great when I don’t get home until 10-ish. We’ve taken some late walks!

What I didn’t realize when I got Riley was how um, encouraging he’d be during my workouts! He stares at me when I’m on the elliptical, puts his face between mine and the mat when I’m doing push ups, and tries to climb up in my lap when I’m doing wall sits. His extra 40 pounds makes those wall sits even more of a challenge!

Nap time!

Training Mom is exhausting. Time for a nap!

Now Riley has an assistant. My son got a puppy on Valentine’s Day. Romeo doesn’t quite have it down yet, but he’s learning fast. Tonight I was trying to hold side planks while Romeo licked my face. And licked. And licked. Lucky me – I had to do both sides, so my face is really clean!

I texted my son: There should be bonus points for holding side planks while your puppy licks my face!
Son: That’s the bonus for working out. Duh!

Yes, duh!  🙂

Mountain Climbers

My cardio jumping-around exercises today included mountain climbers. When The Pretty One heard I had done some of those he commented, “One of these days we’ll get you to do those on the wall!”

On the wall?? Me??

“How crossfit-y,” I said.

I know nothing’s impossible, but geez. Me doing mountain climbers on the wall? Standing on my hands? Maybe. If I can, I guarantee it’ll take a whole LOT of work! But if he can get his lovely, out-of-shape mother to do those, he’ll definitely be a Miracle Trainer!


I was almost in tears after tonight’s class. Not good. Really not good when I felt the same after last Thursday’s class.

I’m so frustrated. I feel like I haven’t learned anything in the past several weapons classes. Like I’m not making progress, or worse – going backwards. We’ve been doing weapons almost a year, and I cannot believe how slowly I’m learning! Maybe my brain has built a brick wall and it’s not going to let any more kata slip through. Who knows.

But if I’m not learning anything, what’s the point? Why bother to go to class? For all the learning I’m doing, I might as well stay at home and practice by myself. The results would be about the same, but maybe with less frustration.

I hate this feeling! I’m going to be grumpy and unpleasant a bit longer. I’ll wonder why I’m trying to learn karate, whether I should give up on weapons, whether I’d hate myself if I didn’t keep working at it. And I expect that, like after last Thursday’s Kenpo class, I’ll eventually realize I did something right or learned something tonight. And I’ll shut up, change my attitude, and get back to it for the next class.

The ups and downs of being a student. *sigh*

Yummy Class Disappointment

H: When we heard Sensei Michele was teaching tonight we said it would be a Yummy Class.

Me: Did you say Yummy Class? What’s a Yummy Class?

H: In yoga, when we have an easy class we say it is a Yummy Class. You have been a disappointment!

Me: I think I’m proud of that!

HIIT & MMA Fights – The Perfect Match

I needed to work out tonight but I wanted to watch the MMA fights. I waited too long to go to the gym beforehand, and didn’t want to go at 9 pm. So I put on my pretty pink shoes and went downstairs and jumped on my elliptical. (I have no excuse not to work out, do I? I have an elliptical, heavy bag & speed bag, hand weights, and a selection of workout DVDs to more than keep me busy!)

Anyway, while I was watching the fights and elliptical-ing away, I realized the fights are the perfect thing to watch while you’re doing HIIT training. There’s a clock in the corner of the screen during each round of the fight! Once you determine your interval times, you just keep an eye on the clock and start and stop as planned. Pretty cool, right?

I’m not saying that’s what I did, I’m just saying you could!  😉