Martial Arts


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 up?

For the holidays, there are no classes for a week and a half.  With the push-up challenge helping me make progress there, I’ve decided that I’m tired of hating jumping jacks so I’m just going to go at them full force.  I currently dislike jumping jacks so much that I start dreading them about an hour before class.  Often my last words to my husband are “I’m headed out.  Did I ever mention I hate jumping jacks?”  In my relationship with them, jumping jacks have all the power so I’m changing the dynamic.


By doing them to the point of being good enough at them that I no longer dread them. And I’m starting while we have some time off of class this holiday.


There’s an Alannis Morrisette song called “the only way out is through”.  It’s a Buddhist concept.  So, for me and jumping jacks–the only way out is through doing them.

A lot. (And hopefully building leg muscle and endurance).


Jumping jacks are easier in Taekwondo class because the floor is ‘sprung’ and has some bouncy give to it. At home, jumping jacks are more jarring and harder on the joints, so I’m doing them on a mini-trampoline. The trampoline requires more muscle, so while I finish 300-400 in class (the last 150 usually look pretty sad) I’m going to work up to 200 at home, on the trampoline, good form.  That should equate to 300 in class, since they’ll be easier to do there.  I start with 100 (I’ll probably need breaks) and I’ll increase each day.


Part of the goal of doing all this–the taekwondo, the extra workouts– is weight loss.  I mean, many of the troubles I’m having in class would be lessened with weight loss.  In push-ups you are lifting your body weight.  If there is less body weight, then the push-ups will be easier.  Jumping jacks will be easier if there are 20 fewer pounds to jump up and down. Kicks and stretches will be better if there’s less belly in the way.  My belt will magically be longer, my uniform more comfortable (I wish the Taekwondo community would embrace a more giving, flexible yoga-pant-like material in their uniforms…)  Weight loss.

Not something that’s ever come easy for me, but maybe a new environment and Taekwondo will be the shifting factor.


Here’s an article from Prevention magazine, encouraging me to stick to the jumping jacks.


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