I almost feel like I need to extend an apology to the kind friends who advised me to exercise caution and not take my stripe test this week. However, the situation presented itself where: I needed to go to karate class anyhow, it happened to be a testing week, and I actually felt quite optimistic about my healing. With that said, I was able to take and pass my final stripe test before I head into my black belt training this coming Monday. The stripe test went really well, and I felt confident performing the material – so if anyone currently in training suffers an injury – have faith. I was reminded by one of my instructors that I actually exercised patience this time, and it paid off. Watching the class, as difficult as it was for those few weeks, was a good call. Actually, it gave me a completely different perspective of my own abilities. When I saw others execute a form well or maybe flub a spinning kick, I could see where both the progress came from or where errors were made; this will allow me to apply those lessons to my own training. It was a unique opportunity to observe and learn from others, which I think came at a good time for me.
After the stripe test, my training group had our first official black belt candidate meeting. The meeting was an opportunity for one of the head instructors to go over our training schedule, specific candidate classes (where we have to stay later on some nights after our training), the actual test dates, and supplementary “assignments” that have to be completed along way – including gaining character recommendations, intensifying our fitness levels, and writing personal essays. At one point I looked around and everyone except for one other candidate had their mother with them. I am the only person who is (well over) 21 in my training group. That certainly makes it…interesting.
This morning I was able to participate in the Saturday kickboxing class that I teach; I felt so much more like myself. I really prefer to be involved with the class and do as much of the workout as I can, while still helping those who would like or need some instruction. I was back in my Saturday morning happy place, even if I stayed out a little too late last night while taking full advantage of my children sleeping over their grandparents’ house. We had a great night out celebrating our friend’s birthday with dinner at a tasty little place called Noodles 102 (check it out sometime –> http://www.noodles102.com), rock ‘n bowl, and shenanigans with a unique birthday present – shout out to Len the Chicken.
This weekend will include two basketball games for my older child – one at the Dunk for a halftime show, a science fair, prepping lessons on Ernest Hemingway for my American Studies students, the typical housecleaning, grocery shopping and other errands, but I am definitely excited to start black belt training Monday evening. I am anxious to feel what it’s like to put in the training hours three nights a week, along with my 5:30 a.m. wake-up call, and teaching a full day. I’m sure it will take a couple of weeks for my body (and mind) to adjust to the rigor. My goal this week is to gather my wits around the busy weeks ahead and, essentially, try to follow the clichéd adage “take it one day at a time” – which I think will be a popular mantra throughout all of my training.