Kicking Khakis

I settled into my friend’s truck for a long day of driving.

Me: I’m wearing sweats because they’re comfortable. I’ll change into my good clothes when we get there.

Him: Not me! I’ll take my khakis any day. I can get off a really good front snap kick in them!

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!

I Whooshed!!

I whooshed my bo tonight! I’m SO excited!

At first I wasn’t sure I heard a whoosh, but I did it again and then I knew. I’d finally done it! And not just once. I did it several times. For real. It wasn’t just my imagination. Some of the other students heard it too! 😉

I’ve had the toughest time getting my bo to whoosh. Everyone around me has been whooshing for a long time, but I was only able to get a slight whisper. The only whooshes I’d made were me saying Whoosh. 😀 I’ve been trying for 2 years!

Honestly, I’d given up on ever hearing a real whoosh from my bo, so tonight was really fun for me. Hooray for those little breakthroughs, even if they take 2 years to happen. It was worth the wait!

 

Nidan Test Tonight!

Tonight is our annual USKK Black Belt Test and I’m up for Nidan in Okinawan Karate.

Am I ready? Nope!

Am I surprised? Nope! As I’ve said before, I’ve rarely been 100% for ANY of my tests. It’s usually circumstances (workload mostly!) more than anything else. Sometimes nerves are a contributing factor but usually it’s physical issues and most often it’s exhaustion.

I know my material. I’m not worried about that. I’ve gone over it many, many times and it’s in my head. I may forget a thing or two like I did last time, but I’ll just keep going and kiah really loud.  😉

My challenge this time? I’ve been fighting exhaustion – mental and physical – for a couple of weeks and can’t seem to catch up with myself. And the last 2-3 days I’ve been fighting a slight stomach bug. It’s probably partly due to my exhaustion level, but the cause doesn’t really matter. The test is tonight, and I’ll be there.

Tonight is when I hope the Nidan candidates don’t have to stay on the floor the whole time with the Shodan candidates. 🙂 I’d rather not do all the basics up and down the floor, along with the random push-ups if someone forgets something or “just because.” You never know how it’s going to go, since it changes from test to test.

Whatever happens, I’ll be there. And I’ll be giving what Kyoshi always asks us to give. 100% of whatever I’ve got. It might be 100% of 80%, or 100% of 50%, but I’ll give it all! Maybe the energy drink before the test will give me a little more oomph? Let’s hope so!

 

 

 

Dirty, Filthy Obi

What is the dirtiest thing in my karate bag? Hands down, it HAS to be my obi (belt), and in particular, the kanji end of my belt!

Black BeltEvery time I get dressed I grab the end of the belt that has my name on it, hold it against my waist, and drop the rest of the belt on the locker room floor. Then as I wrap my gi around my waist again and again, the end of the obi draaags across the floor before the end flicks up and I knot it.

I’ve done this twice a week for 6 years, the last 2 with my black belt, and it took until last week for me to actually realize what I was doing. GROSS!!

How many germs live on that obi? Since we don’t wash our obi I guess the germs will just stay. Or maybe my karate mojo is terrifying to germs and they’ve all fled? Ha!

I toyed with the idea of spraying my obi with antibacterial stuff or with Lysol but I think I’ll wait until after my black belt test – just in case it makes bleach spots or something.  🙂

Has anyone else cleaned their obi? What did you use?

Belly Full of Fat

90 minutes of karate on a belly full of fat. Blurgh.

I knew I should have eaten a salad at lunch but a burger sounded just too good. We went to a Mom & Pop burger place that I’ve heard about for years, but never tried.

Burger with bacon, jack cheese and Cajun sauce. Side of onion rings. Order of deep fried pickles. I don’t think I’ve had that much fried food in one sitting in 20+ years! But let me just say this: It was fabulous! These people know how to fry things perfectly. PERFECTLY! Crispy, perfectly browned, and not greasy at all. I’m a former food and beverage manager, a pretty good cook, and a really good eater so trust me when I say it was perfect. I wouldn’t lie to you!

Well guess what? I know this will surprise you. It wasn’t the best meal before a workout! I paid for it in class tonight! I knew it wasn’t going to be my best night when I was warming up and it didn’t get better as class wore on. I felt like I was sweating grease out of my pores and my stomach was lurching. I’m proud to say I made it through class – both open hand and weapons. At times I had my doubts, and at times it wasn’t pretty, but I made it! 

When it was all said and done I told Kyoshi I should probably kiss his feet for not running us up and down the floor during basics. I got lucky because tonight wasn’t a cardio class. Tonight was a bit more stationary, as we moved right into self-defense drills. All I can say to that is Thank Goodness!! If it had been a cardio class I’m pretty sure I would have had a problem.  🙂

So lesson learned? Yes, I think so. Next time skip either the fried pickles or the fried onion rings. Hahaha!! Maybe I didn’t learn my lesson well enough? Nah, I think I did. Heavy, fried foods may be delish but that belly full of fat isn’t good fuel for a workout!

Let’s hope this isn’t a lesson I soon forget, but put enough tasty food in front of me and who knows what’ll happen.  🙂

Oh, and what did I have for dinner? Fried chicken and tater tots!! OK, just kidding. That doesn’t even sound good. I had a little deli turkey, a few grape tomatoes, and a banana to offset the cramps in my legs. Maybe I am learning!

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!  🙂