Week 2: Noses are Red, Fingers are Blue, This Week Was Insanely Cold, and Exhausting, Too.

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This week’s title inspired by my son’s homemade Valentine.

Week Two of training started off with a snow day (last Monday), which meant that we were expected to attend three training sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  Due to the President’s Day holiday, this week will be the same with three straight nights of training.  I definitely prefer having the Wednesday, mid-week night off, but I am lucky that this is our February Vacation from school and I have the great fortune of catching up on sleep.

Last Tuesday we had our first Candidate Class where we were required to stay for another hour after our regular training class.  The total training time on Tuesday evening was from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m.  Having to rally for two more nights of training after Tuesday night was a bit exhausting, but not anything I couldn’t handle.  Candidate Class is a time for all three instructors to observe and offer assistance on the training content up to that point.  They focused on intermediate forms and defense for this class, even though we just came off of a week training on the beginner content.  This was a little nerve-wracking because we had only one night to prepare the intermediate review – the very same evening of the Candidate Class, so we were all a little rusty.  During the Candidate Class, I basically learned all of the ways that I was doing blocks and stances wrong in my forms and the fine details of the defense that we never really practice in the regular adult class – the expectations for performance are certainly much higher, which was eye-opening.

One interesting toll the training has taken on my body is that my left hip keeps falling out of alignment from all of the kicking we do.  I know that it is out of whack when I cannot whip my left-leg kicks around as fast as usual, and I start to feel a tingly sensation in my hamstring and down my left leg.  Lucky for me, my husband is some sort of sports massage shaman and has been able to realign my hip after class using pressure points and adjustments.  One of the evenings there was a quarter inch difference in the length of my legs after training and he went to work adjusting me.  When he was done, the discrepancy was resolved.  I probably should make an appointment with an actual chiropractor, but this is working for now – and it is free!  In other training news, we are doing upwards to 150 push-ups and sit-ups a night, which is definitely transforming my upper body already.  After class, I have taken to drinking a combination protein and immunity boosting “green” shake to aid in muscle recovery and general health – especially with it being cold and flu season.  My training partner was ill and hospitalized for dehydration from a stomach virus the weekend before, so I was a little concerned about getting sick since we have been in such close quarters, but I kept pounding the Airborne gummies – which are really just glorified sour candies, let’s be real.

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Lulu, our guinea pig friend for the week.

After what felt like a very long week, we had some friends over for pizza on Friday night when they dropped off our charge for the week -a guinea pig named Lulu.  The dogs are perplexed by this new friend, but all are getting along swimmingly. After the pizza party, I promptly collapsed at 9:00 p.m., but made up for it with a busy weekend.

Although it was impossible to get a run in with “feels like” temperatures registering at -33 degrees Fahrenheit, Saturday morning I taught kickboxing and was able to get in two rounds of Thai kickboxing, five kicking rounds, medicine ball ab work, and strength training, as well as practice my karate forms when I had the mat to myself.  In the afternoon we went to see the movie The Revenant with friends, which was… intense.  Do not see it unless you are up for an emotional rollercoaster and some truly realistic blood and gore. At one point during the movie, Steve turned to me and said, “So, when you are running through woods for your black belt test, just be happy there is not a grizzly bear chasing you.”  Way to keep perspective!  Afterwards, the husband/chef made an amazing Valentine’s Day dinner of porcini risotto with black truffle and parmesan and an incredible Barbaresco – all of my favorite flavors from the Piemonte region of Italy that I have never visited – but hope to sometime soon!

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Antipasti of champions and Valentine’s Day dinner pre-game:  marinated mushrooms, artichokes, hot peppers stuffed with cheese and prosciutto, green cerignola olives, and piave and parmigiana reggiano cheese.

Yesterday was Steve’s birthday and he chose pub fare for his birthday dinner. We went to The Abbey (http://www.92beers.com) right near Providence College. If you are looking for a burger and beer joint with some seriously decadent burgers, this is your place.  I went for the “Wild ‘Shroom” burger with grilled mushrooms and Swiss cheese on a sourdough bun.  It was heavenly, but will probably be my last greasy hamburger for a long time.  Red meat and I do not agree with one another – ’nuff said on that note.  The occasional burger may be tough to let go of, but I’ve gone meatless before.  I can get my protein from many other sources that I love and I have never been a devout carnivore.

Tonight will begin Week Three of training and I have no idea what to expect.  All I know is that after this week, I will be halfway to the mid-point Progress Evaluation that is six weeks into training.  Tonight I am bringing some boards to class and hoping to practice my aerial break, which I currently believe will be a flying, switch, front kick.  I will have to see how my practice session goes.  Hopefully, this week won’t be quite this cold:

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Frozen olive oil from…inside our kitchen cupboard.

2 thoughts on “Week 2: Noses are Red, Fingers are Blue, This Week Was Insanely Cold, and Exhausting, Too.

    1. Aw, Toby, you’re the sweetest – thank you. I use the Whole Foods 365 brand whey protein powder (16g of protein per scoop) and Amazing Grass Green Superfood drink powder that I buy off Amazon at a discount. It has probiotics, fiber, green foods and a bunch of other good stuff!

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