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Martial Arts

the view from the mesa

I live next to a beautiful mesa in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. To review that fourth grade geography, a mesa is flat on top, like a mountain with the top peak chopped off. Like a plateau. I blog about doing taekwondo, my extra workouts, more recently adding Figure 8 workouts for a core focus. I’ve talked about WFPB and how I’m eating healthy. Nothing has really shifted. The…

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Martial Arts

My Orange Belt Test!!

It’s like being at Disneyworld (or your favorite amusement park). You’re having fun, riding the cool theme rides, seeing the entertainment–it’s all good. You’ve avoided the crappy food, the crowds are small and you are remembering the sunscreen. Smooth. What a great time! Suddenly, your group heads to the next Fast Pass ride: the biggest, baddest roller coaster in the park. No one bats an eyelash, everyone else is excited,…

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Martial Arts

Does practicing martial arts mean you like to hurt people?

In a class at our Summer Expo, working and practicing in one of the many classes, I was admonished by someone with “oh, you don’t like to hurt people.” In the moment this felt like negative feedback, and I had a momentary flash of shame, of not feeling “tough enough” in class. Wait…Hold it just a minute.  So…in my head I was asking this person, so you do martial arts…

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Martial Arts

Was I an imposter at Expo?

Summer vacation means Expo! 3 days of Taekwondo in a resort setting. While non-TKD family members relax, the students work our way through three days of practice, learning and workouts. Before we left, I was nervous about the Expo. I think part of me has imposter syndrome. I walk into a class full of athletic practitioners and I don’t feel like one of them. I know I look different and…

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Martial Arts

onward, to orange!

I was stunned.  After being out of class for two weeks while in Ireland, and coming back with a nice cold that found me while traveling and has been far too clingy, Mr. Ninja handed me my orange belt testing invitation!!   I was stammering and babbling because we all remember my test anxiety for the yellow belt test.  (Oy.) Do you think I’m ready? Wow, this Saturday. But, I…

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Martial Arts

Can a shiny sticker lure me out of the doldrums?

I’ve quoted Sherlock before, about how “the Universe is rarely so lazy” to allow things to happen by mere coincidence. And this week exemplifies why I believe that.  Every time I get in the doldrums about my progress in Taekwondo (Argh! Damn you, Jumping jacks!) and weight loss, Mr. Ninja shifts something in class or I am gifted something from the Universe.   Over the weekend, doing my workouts and…

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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

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

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

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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