Notes from the Universe, Monday morning edition

Ever notice, Amy, how when you stop trying to make something work that hasn’t been working, new stuff appears and starts working?

Yeah, time and time again I’ve noticed that Universe, thanks for the reminder.  Sometimes it feels like either everything is working great or nothing is.  I think I’m currently moving from one of those to the other.  And not in the direction I would prefer.

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Belt test in an hour

I’m leaving in a few minutes to head to the dojang for my belt test today. I’ll be getting my blue belt today unless something catastrophic happens. I’m scared and nervous. I know I have a good grasp on what I need to know, but there’s something about the test format that scares the bejeezus out of me. I should be back later with a report on how it all went.

UPDATE: The test went well, I broke my board on the first kick and I felt good the whole time. Also, Grandmaster took me aside afterward and congratulated me on getting it all together in such a short amount of time. I’m feeling pretty damn good about myself right now.

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Twitter

I’m having fun with Twitter.  I’m minivanninja, and beware, I allowed my obnoxious side out with the background.  Prepare your retinas.

Notes from the Universe

Reading Wendy over at The Melan’jack, I saw that she posted some of her Notes from the Universe.  I had subscribed a few years ago and stopped, but I’ve been looking for something that could stand in as a daily affirmation or some such thing, and I re-subscribed.  Occasionally I’ll share the better nuggets with all of you.

Hmm…..nuggets.

The Devil is in the Details

I’ve had a few private lessons with GMH (have another one tomorrow) and while he doesn’t have much general criticism on my poomsae or gyeokpa (board breaking kick), he keeps fine tuning what I’m doing.  For instance, when I finally got the sequence for my poomsae down, he has me work on stances.  A good front stance (bent front knee, straight back leg, both feet flat on the floor shoulder width apart).  I got that down and now he’s working on more details.  Like performing a down-block as if I was really blocking.  I know it sounds obvious, but since poomsae is more or less a solitary thing, it’s something that gets lost.  Not only do I block, but have to get my hips into the motion as well.  And the side blocks should be performed much like a punch would.  Speaking of punches, I need to remember to get my whole upper body into them, especially using my shoulders and back for extra power.  Don’t forget the front kick, proper foot position.  It’s got my head swimming a bit.  Grandmaster has even told me that it’s not something he usually teaches to green belts.  I’m sure over time muscle memory will take over.

I already have test anxiety and my test is not until Saturday.  I’m mostly worked up about having to do one-to-one (kind of like sparring, but only with kicks) for the test.  I’ve never had to do that before during a test, and it’s light to no contact, but sparring and one-to-one is most definitely my weak area.  Grandmaster tells us not to think, just do.  He sounds like Yoda, and I know what he says is true, because once I start thinking about what kick I need to do or how to block what is coming at me, it all falls apart.  I almost dissolved into tears not that long ago because I was so frustrated at my inexperience and what I perceived to be bumbling through one-to-one.

I’m getting in my head way too much.  I’m starting to sweat having to re-learn/refresh my earlier poomsaes for my test next month.  I need to do by belt level poomsae and pick a favorite one.  I’ve seen Grandmaster pick a favorite for someone during a test before, yeah, no pressure there.  He points at them, “You do Sahm Jang, you Il Jang, and you Sah Jang!”.

Thank goodness for the coaching and the lessons I’m taking with him.  I know he wouldn’t have given me this opportunity if he didn’t see potential in me (as he tells me all the time), and he seems to have it in his head that in a year and a half I’ll be competing at an international competition.

As I’m learning from him, I’m in an area of competence right now.  I can do it and do it well, but I need to get to a point of excellence, which is being able to call upon my skills without doubt or hesitation.  It seems a long way off, but every day it seems closer and closer.

Made the appointment

I finally bit the bullet and made an appointment with an orthopedic doctor who specializes in sports medicine. Ever since I tried the green belt jump kick that I mentioned here, my ankle has been in a constant dull throb. Nothing that interferes with anything, but when I move it a certain way or have a moment to actually think about it I notice it’s there. That and the past week my achilles tendon area has felt really tight on that foot as well. When I get down in my stances, especially during my poomsae, when that foot is in back it feels like I have no elasticity in it and it hurts. It’s not constant, but only moving certain ways (like walking barefoot on my hardwood floors). Unfortunatlely I don’t see him for 2 weeks but I’m hoping nothing goes wrong in that time.

Since I just made the commitment to accelerate and I’m at the dojang 3-4 times a week, I really don’t want to have to back off. I really hope it’s nothing more major than a strain. I’m so psyched up for the extra training I fear any interruption with wipe out my motivation and energy level.

Wow!

I had my first meeting with GMH (Grandmaster) regarding accelerating and personal coaching (not TKD, but life coaching). All the apprehensions and fears I had about accelerating were put to rest after the program was spelled out for me. I’m going to test for my blue belt this month, purple in May, and brown in June, then I will test every two months and adding in private lessons and whatnot, I should earn my black belt by October of ’09.

I also had a private lesson with GMH today and I got the best compliment today when he said that with the power I can get out of my kicks, I’m the female version of one of the male instructors. It was high praise and it really made my day.

And as a bit of an homage to Skwigg, I took a picture of my arm and shoulder today, because I’m starting to see some muscle development there. I think the warrior training and push-ups are starting to pay off:

Strength