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Martial Arts

The view from the front

There are two kinds of people who look back at Mr. Ninja in class after 620 jumping jacks. Yep, that’s right, one night a lot of lower belts weren’t in class leaving me with upper belts and two black belts in class. So…yeah. 620 jumping jacks. Mr. Ninja joked after 300 jumping jacks that we weren’t sweating. Apparently he had missed my face. Because I start sweating before 100. We…

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Martial Arts

the yin and yang of competition

Competition is tricky. A balancing act. Being 100% non-competing or always competing can be difficult. For me, competition lures me in. In the realm of Ayurveda, I’m a pitta (with some kapha) and once I get into competition mode it can get…fiery. As I face my third taekwondo tournament, the first two not having gone so well, with last place my average finish (sigh) I’m not sure how I want…

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Herbal medicine Martial Arts

A historical component of martial arts: herbal medicine

After trying for a third time to be a runner (do your joints talk to you? ‘Cause my knees just piped up a disgruntled don’t you ever do that again!), I had to deal with the runner’s knee pain and inflammation. The pain varied and moved all around my patella, hurting when I moved, hurting when I didn’t move. Going down stairs or hills was especially precarious. To go to…

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Herbal medicine Martial Arts

Lifting the Earth element: Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang

Talking to parents outside my son’s taekwondo class, I hear women say, “I can’t join class because I can’t do the jumping jacks.” You could substitute in run, trampoline. laugh or sneeze hard, or any high impact cardio activity. For so many women it isn’t possible to do these activities without leaking urine. And it seems this is just a problem many women endure. WHY?? You don’t have to!  …

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Martial Arts

The gift of groundedness, or, my third attempt at being a runner

Every so many years, I try running. Since my mid-20s, I’ve tried to be a runner THREE times. I love the idea of being a runner. People talk of having dreams of flying. I dream of running. Fast. Of gliding, foot fall after foot fall, wind in my hair due to my speed. The latest attempt at becoming a runner was this summer, when I signed up for a local…

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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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