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carrie

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

Prehab

Prehab.  I love the idea, and part of my ‘workout routine’ so far has been keeping my chubby, newbie self from getting injured in class.  Reading a Runner’s World magazine, I saw an article on prehab and loved the new word! Yoga and pilates are tops on my list for cross-training prehab. Many of the joints that get injured are the least stable ones–knees and shoulders.  Working out a totally…

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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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Book Reviews Martial Arts Meditation Instruction

Black Belt Fitness: Never think you’re at a disadvantage because you start late

Ah, all those book reports from elementary and middle school… while sometimes a dreary assignment, for many of us it also conjures memories of earning free pizzas from Pizza Hut (Book It!)   I’m including a book review because in my quest as a middle age, squishy around the middle, non-athlete learning taekwondo, it answered questions and made me feel better about my path. To quote Black Belt Fitness, “Never…

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Book Reviews Meditation Instruction

finding a reason for family mindfulness practice: The Self-Driven Child

Everywhere, everywhere mindfulness, meditation, relaxation, forest bathing, sophrology–the solutions to the cultural tidal wave of anxiety, depression and less-than-ideal mental health are explained to adults and kids.  Everyone from Buddhist teachers to Oprah and mainstream media have told us WHY we should make it a part of our day.   But change requires a catalyst, a reason, an inspiring moment that sparks the beginning; the energy and motivation to move…

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Martial Arts Mindful Charlotte Mason

Low muscle tone: how taekwondo can help with neurodiversity

A taekwondo class may seem THE place for the naturally athletic and sports-gifted… but maybe it’s an even better place for those who aren’t.   Why?   Did you know that taekwondo is an excellent sport and exercise for kids with low muscle tone and other motor challenges?  The format and nature of teaching is helpful in that it offers repetition with consistent structure and organization. (1)   Did you…

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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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