I wish this blog could be bright, cheery, and optimistic, and that I could tell you I am at peak fitness level and still training hard.  That may have been true a few days ago, but alas, I am learning that it takes just one split second decision or one wrong shift in body positioning to change everything.

Week 11 started and I was feeling great!  I ran three miles pain-free on Sunday afternoon, my first two nights of training were at high intensity, and I was confident. Then I threw a front kick onto a kicking shield, tweaked my calf, felt that little soap bubble “pop” of the muscle, and I was down again.  Silver lining:  I am not hurt to the same degree as I was three weeks ago.  I got up.  I could walk.  However, I have a different plan for the next three weeks than what I originally expected.

When I started training, I thought the time committment and finding the balance between family, work, and karate would be the main challenges.  I felt physically fit, despite my bruised ribs.  I expected muscle fatigue, soreness, bruises, but never in my wildest imaginings did I imagine a calf strain/tear.  I have never had problems with my calves; this is entirely new.

When I started training, I thought that I would be wracked with anxiety about the actual testing day and remembering my content.  Now, that is the least of my worries.  Now, I am worried about a calf rupture.  Now, I am worried about not being able to run on the last day of my test and, therefore, not finishing.

I was told to “shut it down”(by many) this week, which is the vacation week from school and karate.  My original plan was to put myself through a personal boot camp this week, but if I have any chance at all to make it to the test, I need to remain fastidious and rest.  This is not easy.  Every day I wake up with new ideas about what I can do to keep training without using my right leg.  There is certainly studying that I can still do and visualization of my forms and defense.  However, there has been a shift in my mentality.

The plan no longer is: “Kick Absolute Butt on My Black Belt Test.”

The new plan is:  “Just Finish.”

Hopefully, in a week or two my system will be ready for a “RESTART.”

I found this guy in the back of a desk drawer at work.  It was given to me by a teacher who retired fourteen years ago when I just starting my teaching career – well before I began martial arts.  She used to call me “small but mighty.”  I will take it as a positive sign!

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