I’m Baaaack!

Imagine my shock when I realize that my last post was over a month ago! It is a sign of how busy I’ve been with the new school year starting and trying to juggle an increasingly busy schedule. My 10 year old daughter joined a swim team, so any free evenings we had have disappeared. Along with free weekends. I’ve also made a conscious decision to limit my time online. A few weeks ago, in a moment of self-awareness, I realized that I use the internet as a distraction and an avoidance technique, and I thought that at least for a couple weeks, making a clean break was a good idea. It really has made a difference too. I’d much rather engage with the world around me than with pixels on a glowing screen.

Anyhoo, on top of that I’ve been busy constantly memorizing and reviewing what I need to know for my test next month. For the first time, not only do I need to know my red belt requirements, but I also need to memorize and learn the command sheet for the white belt sequence.

What this means is that I basically memorize the format of the white belt class, with commands, as though I was leading the class. There’s quite a bit of Korean involved, and working on the pronunciations and making sure I have the order down has been a trip. From this upcoming test on, I will need to learn an entire sequence. Providing I pass my test (which, barring total catastrophic failure, will happen), I will then have to learn the requirements for senior belt and the yellow belt sequence. Also after this test, I get my senior belt (which is dark blue) and it’s the last actual “belt” I’ll earn before my black belt. Every test after this next one, I’ll earn stripes for my belt while I test for recommended senior I, senior I, recommended senior II and senior II.

When I give myself a chance to sit back and think about it, I can’t believe the progress I’ve made. But I also realize that I have a long way to go.

Oh, I almost forgot! My 10 year old retested this month. If you remember, she totally fell apart at her test last month and didn’t pass. Well, she was a totally different child on Saturday. She nailed her poomsaes (both her blue belt and yellow belt which was her favorite), she looked awesome during the sparring portion of the test, and she broke her board (again)! She was so proud of herself, and even Grandmaster noticed that her performance was hugely improved. I think I actually was more nervous than she was.

Today also marks the beginning of my first leadership project. I need 3 such projects to earn my full leadership, and they are supposed to be in different areas of multiple intelligence. For my first project I chose to work on improving my endurance. About half the time, I tend to run out of gas during class. Part of this, I know, is due to diet, which is improving. The other part though is that even though I’m pretty active, I’m still fairly wimpy in the cardio-vascular sense. I’ve got no staying power, and get winded and tapped out pretty quickly and easily. So I’m implementing a jogging program. I’m starting off very slow and alternating walking and running. I listen to my iPod, so I use the songs as timing (except when Kashmir started playing, that song is 8 minutes long!). I pretty much ran one song, and walked the next, in an attempt to keep my heart at a normal workout level and not pounding so hard I feel like puking. It worked out well, and I was actually out for about 40 minutes this morning (2.6 miles when I mapped it). It was a great start to the day, and I’m looking forward to going out again on Wednesday. This project is supposed to last a month, and that is by design, so we can try to implement a new habit. My goal is to jog/run for 30 minutes without stopping to walk. Not sure if I’ll get there by the end of the month, but I’m definately working towards that goal.

My second project, I think I’m going to do something with photography. Something to challenge myself, but I’m not entirely sure what that is yet. I may talk with Grandmaster about it, since he is a hobbyist photographer as well.

Well, it’s time to try to figure out how to get the songs on my iPod into iTunes on this computer since my laptop is dead, and has been for some time. I currently can’t sync to this computer without losing my music, which sucks. I also want to put together a few running playlists as well. I’ll try not to be such a stranger.