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Martial Arts

Martial Arts

An L of an uphill climb

When I walk into class I’m the biggest one in there. When I go to tournaments, I’m the chubby one. It seems like everyone else in Taekwondo is already awesomely athletic and in shape. Even when I meet other white and yellow belts, so many have previous athletic training and often martial arts experience. (Intimidating!)   In sparring gear, they print the size on the outside. (I know, right? Is…

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Martial Arts Uncategorized

What do we say about coincidences, Sherlock?

Mycroft Holmes: What do we say about coincidences? Sherlock Holmes: The universe is rarely so lazy.   I suspect that my son and I learning Taekwondo is no coincidence– that it is the universe’s way of helping us with all the fights and struggles. It’s way of strengthening us for current and future battles.  I never had grandiose plans for both of us to train in Taekwondo, some sort of…

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Martial Arts

My, what a long belt you have, Grandma!

Parents sit outside taekwondo classes,  reading, looking at their phones, watching their kids. I do the same during my kid’s class, even completing CEUs for my acupuncture license while I wait. One day after my adult/teen class, a parent was watching me take off my belt and fold it into my bag before heading out to my car. “Wow, that’s a really long belt!” Said Little Red Riding Hood to…

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Martial Arts

Ups and downs, and challenging my comfort zone

Taekwondo has had ups and downs for me these six months.  The last two weeks have been a down-cycle, with a cold and horrible cough keeping me from being in class and not being able to give 100% when I am there. I’m in this phase of feeling like an awkward 8th-grader.  I’ve started something new, something with strict rules and customs and expectations, and it feels like junior high…

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Martial Arts

Improve your jumping jacks with The Chipmunks

Wait, what? The Chipmunks?  Yep.  The last few classes, the Chipmunks have helped me. No, I haven’t sustained a significant head trauma. Two weeks ago, I had my two-hour in-person test for my yellow belt.  And you all know I have struggled with jumping jacks — we do 350-450 per class.  It is the hardest part of class for me, and there is no way around it.  I need to…

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Martial Arts Meditation Instruction

are you ever too old for test anxiety?

It’s been almost a week since the test and I’m just now writing about it because, well, it was a lot to process.  I had some crazy test anxiety, didn’t sleep well the night before, got woken up super early by the rumbling of snowplows…  I had so much test anxiety I could barely eat, and that was good because…   I threw up through about a half hour into…

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Martial Arts

Reflections on the eve of the yellow belt test

A milestone: tomorrow is the yellow belt test for me, and the four-month mark of my taekwondo journey. I tend to overthink.  And I’m letting this yellow belt test freak me out a little. My last experience with a physical fitness test was in elementary school, and does anyone else remember how that went?  I do. We’d do months of seemingly random game playing in gym–kickball, simple games that did…

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Martial Arts

I’m stuck! Adventures in sparring gear

It was halfway up over my torso and would go no further.  The straps on the back had no give, and the one strap that was supposed to unclip and loosen was broken and tied shut  Only two people were still taking off gear in the back, finishing up to run back to class, looking away from me. All those experienced upper belts were already lined up in front of…

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Martial Arts Uncategorized

Next up: Sparring. Wait, sparring? you mean, fighting?!?

Sparring for the first time last night was so far out of my comfort zone, so far outside my bubble of life as usual.  It was unlike any situation I’ve ever been in.  Mr. Ninja gave some basic instructions, but being out of my comfort zone and my brain and ears covered in the puffy vinyl head gear, I’m not sure it went in. Okay…brain trying to wrap around this…I’m…

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Martial Arts

Jump!

The first part of class is always discouraging for me–here I am, trying to keep up with jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups. And jumping jacks are the hardest for me. Last night I was huffing and puffing and struggling and wondering if I even belonged in class.  Who was I kidding?  Here I am with all these fit upper belts who’ve been doing these workouts for literally years.  Can I keep…

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