Test Day Recap

My infrequency of posts (and of reading other blogs) is directly due to putting time into working at the dojang.  Not instructing mind you, but actual paid office work.  But that’s a story in and of itself, one that I will probably not go into great detail here.  Part of that is due to my being careful not to divulge proprietary information (Grandmaster also has developed a program he takes out of the dojang to speaking engagements), but also because a lot of it is fairly menial;  typing up lists, sending emails, composing letters, etc.

So, yesterday was my official Black Belt test.  My husband came in the nick of time to tape it with the camcorder.  The fact that he wasn’t there when I walked onto the dojang floor unnerved me a bit, but I did my best to push that to the back of my mind.  I started the test with my highest and favorite poomsae.  I was a little pissed that I messed up the beginning of my favorite, considering it was one of the easiest ones (Tae Guk Sahm Jang – Green Belt), and had to start over, but I executed it flawlessly after that.  The rest went pretty uneventfully.

I was shakier than I would have liked on a few things, seems I was having some balance issues yesterday.  My left hip has been stiff and achy and I think that played a part.  I was paired up with a 13 year old girl for sparring.  She was also testing for Cho Dan and on the video I look slow and heavy compared to her.  But I got a good whack or two in, and she did as well.

I didn’t get much feedback after the test.  The lower belt testers received their new belts, and we can’t even be told that we’ve passed until next month’s Black Belt ceremony, however Grandmaster did give all of us testing for full rank individual “Good Jobs!”.  This next month is looked at as a probationary period.  It’s a period of observation to make sure that you continue to conduct yourself in a manner becoming of a Black Belt.  So even though I did well on the test, and I’m certain I passed, it still does not yet feel complete.  Once I receive that black belt, I’m sure I’ll feel as though my Cho Dan test is finished.

I’m also kind of looking forward to what is to come with the new requirements I will have to learn.


The Day Has Come….

for my Black Belt test!  It’s amazing that this day is here finally.  I’m looking forward to performing my best and having fun.  It’s going to be a LONG day though.  I need to be at the dojang at 8 am and I don’t anticipate leaving until about 6 pm, and that will be to go to dinner with all those that are Black Belts or have tested for Black Belts.

Given that I’m pressed for time, I’ll give an update tomorrow when I’m rested.

New Look!

I was getting tired of the stock WordPress theme I had been using, so I picked one with a little customization…namely the header.  In all my tinkering I’ve discovered that there is a definite lack of photos accompanying my posts.  I will have to remedy that in the future.

P90X = Ooof

Well, well, well, what have we here?  Amy decided to take the plunge, step up her game, and jump into P90X.  I’ve been at the same state of fitness for several months now, and while I’m happy here, for the most part, I really would like a smokin’ bod at least once in my life.  Plus I was informed that the core exercises our one masochistic instructor has us do are from Ab Ripper X.  Sweet.

Anyhoo, I completed my second day (1st day chest & back, 2nd day plyometrics) and I’m already floored.  I knew going in that this system is very difficult, so I figured the first week I’ll give it about 75% to get familiar with it.  Even backing off the intensity I’m still groaning like an arthritic octogenarian getting in and out of my seat, or going up or down stairs.  I am SORE people!!  I’m keeping up with the Zone diet through this and will up the protein if I feel I need to.

After my workout, in that quiet 5 minute walk to pick up my daughter from school, I had an AH-HA moment about what motivates me.  (HINT P90X does not, really – but my body is the type where I have to work damn hard if I’m to get my ass off this comfy plateau I’m on).  I think that I love martial arts so much because it’s a form of exercise that has a purpose.  I don’t really look at it as exercise actually, it’s something I do for fun.  Now going to the gym or doing a home system like P90X is much harder for me to get into.  First, there’s that whole self-motivation thing.  I’m not accountable to anybody but myself, and I tend to be a pretty slackadaisical boss.    But also the purpose of doing exercise for fitness’ sake seems a little abstract and nebulous to me.  Sure I want a slammin’ body and would really like to avoid the heart disease that runs rampant on both sides of my family, but other than that, it’s difficult for me to frame it in a way where I see the practical application of it.  Sure I won’t be huffing and puffing like someone with emphesyma while sparring, and my kicks and punches will have more power, but that isn’t what motivates me.   Fun motivates me.  Tae Kwon Do is FUN!  Doing pull ups and push ups until my muscles burn?   Not so fun.

Maybe it’s my childlike need for immediate gratification.  Maybe I should hook up with the few black belts that follow this program and use them as sort of a buddy system.  Make myself more accountable.  But I already feel my brain trying to give me grief and resisting the desire to exercise.  Perhaps I’m just TOO comfortable in this comfort zone and I need to suffer a bit before I finally find it fun.

Interestingly, I’m finding it easier to watch what I eat than work up the motivation to work out.  I also have doubts about the program working.  I’m suffering from what if-itis.  What if I can’t ever get through every exercise for every second in every workout?  What if I gain muscle weight, but somehow still manage to hang on to every ounce of fat I currently have residing on my belly and ass?  What if I go through all this and 90 days later I don’t look any different?  (I admit, it’s mostly vanity that’s driving me right now).  I am planning on taking before pictures tomorrow so I have at least something to compare to later.  I plan on taking pictures at 1 month, 2 months and 3 months.

Any advice for this 38 year old former couch potato?  Other than take some ibuprofen?