That was my mantra last night during class. Mr. C was my partner again, though this time he was very nice to me and did not try to work me into the ground. We were practicing blocks on both the WaveMaster and on hand-held pads. I think all that lactic acid that was in my legs last week burned up part of my brain because I could not figure out how to do things. I would listen closely to the instructions, watch the demonstrations and then step up to do it. I would look at the appropriate pad and not have a clue what it was that I was supposed to do! I was using fists when I was supposed to use knife-hands. I was stepping when I should have been stopping. If anyone would have caught on to what was going on they would have gotten quite a giggle! I walked out of class knowing that I have really moved all my muscles, but I was not wringing wet as I usually am, so I take that as a big improvement. Once I got moving, I realized how much my body craved this activity over the weekend.
I hated having to miss class on Friday, but it definitely made an impression on Baby Bear and Little Bear. We had a very peaceful and loving weekend. As the cubs are growing up and now have full speaking capacity, we are learning how to discuss things. This is a change for Bear; he is from a more authoritarian parenting mindset. Depending on how it is viewed, the cubs are more like me – they need to understand why they are being told to do things. We are working on a balance between them obeying us without question and still having the freedom to ask questions and understand. Bear also learned how to ask what happened in a kinder tone of voice – it makes him much more approachable to the cubs and allows them explain things without laying blame on each other. I learned a lot of things over the weekend – exercise tremendously improves my ability to deal with the cubs and Bear, that the cubs have outgrown my parenting style and it is time for that style to evolve.
Last week was filled with preparations for graduation. For me, that was more of a mental exercise than a physical one. I went over my form multiple times, but I did not go over it in a fashion that created heavy breathing and copious amounts of sweat. Fast forward to today’s class. Mrs M said we were going to have some fun. Yeah, right. First was the mental exertion of trying to learn something new. Next, because I don’t have an in-shape body yet, I de-conditioned really fast. Last, there is the whole coordination thing. Once upon a time I was a decent dancer – nothing to write home about, but I usually did not fall on stage or cause anyone else to fall, either. Well, tonight we were to use this new combination of moves on the Wavemasters.
This is not a small piece of equipment. Fully extended it stands well above my head. It is as big around or bigger than I am. The first time I did the combination, I managed to make contact with the bag with my 2 punches, but totally missed the bag with my kick. It was not pretty. By the end of class I was making contact with all , but I sincerely doubt that any adversary that I come up against has much to fear from me. The final thing to do in the class was to “practice” on a live human. We were to do it slowly and not make contact (not that my partner had to work to hard to avoid anything that I did). The great part was that I finally understood what body parts I was aiming for and what the purpose of each punch and block was. The final move is to do a double step back up and yell. I looked at my partner for the class – a black belt who is in the Army – and told him I would not be standing around yelling at someone who was trying to hit me. Mr. C grinned at me and said “You are from the Kick ‘Em in the N@%ts and Run School, arent’ you?” My response – “Whatever gets the job done, sir!”
We are getting down to the wire. I need to get my stripes if I am going to graduate to my next belt on the 17th. I can’t believe I just wrote that. When I started this I was not even sure I was going to be able to keep up, let alone even dream about graduating to a new belt. But I am! So I had to get to class tonight. Little Bear had a sleep over to go to and Bear needed to get to Open Floor to make up classes that he missed with this nasty bug that is going around. I tried to explain to him today about timing, but he his brain is not functioning and he did not realize that if I took her I would not be able to make either open floor OR my regular class. I got there 15 minutes into the class. I sat down in the parents’ area and watched as Baby Bear did her stuff. She just missed getting her second stripe – she was SO close. Mrs. M looked over and asked why I was not out there on the floor. I just told her I was too late to interrupt the class. She said she wanted me out on the floor after class. Oh boy – that means me alone with no one else out there and a bunch of onlookers standing around. Not my favorite place to be.
The class bowed out and I went out onto the floor. She wanted to see my form. I did all the moves, and I did them pretty well, but I was less than powerful. Wimpy is a word that comes to mind. And the 2 knife-hand strikes that are to be accompanied by Kihaps? Well, her first question to me after I completed the form was “Were you asking a question with your Kihap?” OK, so she had a point. I need to dig deep inside and find some power and self-confidence and transmit it with my moves and with my Kihap.
But I got my first stripe!